Deciding to enter an inpatient treatment facility is a big move, especially if it’s your first time. Being outside your comfort zone in new surroundings can present challenges you may have never experienced before. There are also some negative perceptions involving inpatient treatment, such as not having autonomy over what happens to you and being in lockdown all the time. However, the patient bill of rights Florida has in place is meant to protect individuals by preventing those things from happening.
It’s important to understand the patient bill of rights and responsibilities before deciding to pursue treatment. Learn what these rights entail so you have the necessary knowledge to ensure you’re protected while undergoing medical care.
Background on Patient Rights
Patient rights fall under the category of human rights, which establishes the minimum standards for how a person can expect to be treated. Having clearly defined patient rights standardizes care across the health care industry and provides patients with expectations of how they should be treated while receiving any form of medical treatment.
The first bill of rights written exclusively for patients in the United States was the American Hospital Association patient bill of rights, adopted in 1973 and updated in 1992. This bill was developed with the expectation that health care institutions and hospitals would refer to these rights to administer effective patient care. Institutions are encouraged to translate or simplify the bill of rights as needed to meet the specific needs of each patient and ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities.
Federal Protections for Patients
While there isn’t necessarily a federal law that provides a general patient bill of rights summary, there are some patient rights in common usage across the country. These include:
- Giving informed consent, including the right to autonomy over one’s body
- Ability to refuse treatment
- Receiving medical treatment in an emergency
- Ability to speak out against unfair treatment
- Access to confidentiality regarding medical records
- Ability to receive continuity of care, including accepting or refusing care from a provider
Other patient rights acts have been passed at the federal level, including one in 1986 that limited the use of physical restraint or seclusion and enabled visitation for patients. In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill established the following:
- Right to insurance despite preexisting health conditions
- Right to essential health benefits without limitations on coverage
- Right to choose a health care provider
- Right to free preventive care
- Right to some protections against employer retaliation
- Right to maintain health insurance, even while sick
- Right to some health benefits previously not covered, such as mental health conditions
Overview of the Patient Bill of Rights Florida Passed
Florida law requires health care providers and facilities to recognize the rights of their patients while providing medical care, including during a stay in an inpatient treatment center. At any point, you can request a copy of your rights from the facility to ensure you’re being treated fairly.
What are the 12 patient bill of rights Florida has set up? In short, they require that patients must:
- Have access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of national origin, race, handicap, religion or source of payment
- Be treated with respect and courtesy, which includes preserving dignity and protection of privacy
- Know who’s providing medical services and in charge of care
- Refuse any treatment, unless required by law
- Receive prompt and reasonable responses to questions or requests
- Be informed of important information by the provider, such as a diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks and prognosis
- Receive a reasonable cost estimation for medical care prior to treatment
- Have access to a copy of an itemized bill that can be clearly read and have the charges explained if needed
- Understand available patient services, including access to an interpreter if the patient doesn’t speak English
- Receive full information and necessary counseling on the financial resources available to help cover care costs
- Know whether a provider or facility accepts Medicare and if the patient’s needs are covered by Medicare
- Receive treatment for an emergency medical condition, especially if treatment is necessary to fix it
Under the patient bill of rights, individuals should also be made aware if a treatment is being used for experimental research. Patients must give consent to participate in the treatment before a provider or facility can administer it, which means an inpatient treatment center can’t force you to partake in research. Patients also have the right to express complaints if they feel any of their rights have been violated and should be informed of any rules or regulations that apply to their conduct.
Along with patient rights, there are a few responsibilities that are put on the patient to ensure they’re receiving the proper treatment for their condition. A patient should be prepared and willing to relay pertinent information to a provider, such as accurate details about their current condition, any past hospitalizations, illnesses, medications and other necessary health-related information. When unexpected changes occur, the patient should give a status update to their provider.
Patients are also responsible for assuring the provider they understand the planned course of action and are able to follow the recommended treatment plan. It’s on the patient to show up to appointments and inform the health care facility if they aren’t able to make it. Following all rules and regulations of the facility and carrying out financial responsibilities are also key to ensuring you receive proper care.
By taking on these responsibilities as the patient, you gain more autonomy over your health and become an active participant in your treatment. Patient responsibilities serve as an extension of your rights by helping you establish a partnership with your provider or facility. It’s important to find a treatment facility that’ll take your rights seriously and provide care that’s always in your best interest.
Start Your Journey to Recovery Today
If inpatient treatment seems like the right move for you or you’re curious what other options are available, Sunlight Recovery is here to help. Contact us by filling out our secure form or calling (888) 402-3647 to speak with a licensed counselor. Your well-being is important to us, and we encourage you to take those first steps toward recovery today.