From Californians for Patient Care.
California consumers have healthcare rights that they may not be aware of, according to Californians for Patient Care, an independent nonprofit and patient advocate that connects consumers to affordable care. Exercising these rights may give patients greater control over their healthcare experiences and even improve their health. “Though the upcoming holiday is really about remembering the independent spirit that led to the founding of our great country, it is also an opportunity for people to re-evaluate the many ways in which independent thinking and living can result in better health.”
Californians for Patient Care reminds all Californians of their right to:
– Be treated with dignity and respect.
– Be protected from discrimination.
– Receive accurate and easily understood information about a health plan, healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities.
– A choice of healthcare providers that is sufficient to provide you with access to appropriate high-quality healthcare.
– Learn about all of your treatment choices and participate in treatment decisions.
– An interpreter and a copy of your medical records
“We hear from people who are scared to ask questions about their own healthcare because they do not want to appear naïve or to challenge the authority of their caregivers; however, we want to remind everyone of their patient rights,” said Carmella Gutierrez, president of Californians for Patient Care. “Though the upcoming holiday is really about remembering the independent spirit that led to the founding of our great country, it is also an opportunity for people to re-evaluate the many ways in which independent thinking and living can result in better health.”
In addition to the general healthcare rights listed above, Medicare patients have additional rights:
– Access doctors, specialists and hospitals.
– Have questions about Medicare answered.
– Get information in a way that you understand from Medicare, healthcare providers, and under certain circumstances, contractors.
– Get emergency care when and where you need it.
– Get a decision about a healthcare payment or service, or about prescription drug coverage.
– Get a review of certain decisions about a healthcare payment or service, coverage of services or prescription drug coverage.
– File a complaint (including a complaint about the quality of your care).
– Have your personal and health information kept private.
– Appeal a hospital discharge if you feel you are too sick to leave; even if you are in a Medicare Advantage plan.
For those without adequate health insurance, there is a safety net of health facilities across the state that provides services at little to no cost. Californians for Patient Care can help find those resources through its MyHealthResource (MHR) online guide.
People can access MHR, the state’s most comprehensive online guide of affordable resources by clicking on the blue button at www.calpatientcare.org. After typing in basic search information such as city or county and category of resource, Californians can find a comprehensive list of local healthcare providers that provide primary, dental and mental healthcare services to the uninsured and underinsured.
Along with information on local healthcare service providers, Californians for Patient Care also provides information on patient rights, chronic disease management, how to shop for health insurance, information on new research studies and links to helpful organizations and websites.
“Californians for Patient Care wants to remind Californians that, even though they have several healthcare-related rights, they also have a responsibility to take charge of their health and healthcare. We encourage people to request an interpreter (SB 853 relates to health plans) if they need one, to take detailed notes during an exam to ensure that all details of treatment and care are understood, to ask about preventive care programs including vaccinations, to keep personal copies of medical records, and to take all medications as prescribed.”
July 4, 2011
Editor: Although the publication date of an article may not be current the information is still valid.