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Patients' Rights - Federal Patients' Bill Of Rights

health healthcare care information

Dissatisfaction with an expanding corporate healthcare industry dominated by profit margins has spawned numerous reform ideas. One idea that has gained a foothold is a patients' federal BILL OF RIGHTS. In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed an Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. The commission was directed to propose a "consumer bill of rights." The 34-member commission developed a bill of rights that identified eight key areas: information disclosure, choice of providers and plans, access to emergency service, participation in treatment decisions, respect and nondiscrimination, confidentiality of health information, complaints and appeals, and consumer responsibilities.

The proposed rights include: the right to receive accurate, easily understood information in order to make informed health care decisions; the right to a choice of healthcare providers that is sufficient to ensure access to appropriate high-quality health care; the right to access emergency healthcare services; the right and responsibility to fully participate in all decisions related to their health care; the right to considerate, respectful care from all members of the healthcare system at all times and under all circumstances; the right to communicate with healthcare providers in confidence and to have the confidentiality of their individually identifiable healthcare information protected; the right to a fair and efficient process for resolving differences with their health plans, healthcare providers, and the institutions that serve them; and the responsibility of consumers to do their part in protecting their health. This bill of rights has been debated in Congress and there are bipartisan areas of agreement, but, as of 2003, no final action has taken on enacting a set of rights into federal law.

Patients' Rights - Further Readings [next] [back] Patients' Rights - Privacy And Confidentiality

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