Whether you require urgent care, physical examinations, occupational medicine, or other patient care services, you should know your patient rights in the healthcare system.
While the US does not have a universal healthcare system, and many patients do not receive government health benefits, patients should still access care services mainly because they have the right to receive receptive attention and appropriate treatment.
Still, there is some uncertainty around US healthcare rights. Continue reading below to find out about your rights as a healthcare patient.
Your healthcare rights as a patient
Some patient rights, such as the right to privacy, informed consent, and access to medical records, are guaranteed by law.
There are some circumstances by which a physician might refuse to treat a patient – but they must have a legal right to do so. Among numerous reasons, often the most common reason for refusing to treat a patient is because of their inability to pay for the services. Therefore, patients should know there will be a cost when they attend a medical clinic or hospital for treatment.
As a patient, you are entitled to:
- Discuss and ask questions about medical treatment, associated risks, alternatives, and benefits of care.
- Receive respectful treatment, be treated with dignity, and be seen promptly.
- Make an educated decision about treatment and care based on physician recommendations.
- Privacy and confidentiality.
- Seek a second opinion if necessary.
- The continuity of medical care unless assistance is given to make other arrangements.
- Receive copies of all medical records whenever requested.
Healthcare should be pursued by those needing medical attention, and according to American laws, doctors cannot refuse a patient if that refusal will cause the patient harm.
A collaborative approach to patient care
A collaborative approach to patient care and urgent care means that both the patient and medical professional have a courteous understanding of mutual respect, regard, and cooperation. A physician must respect a patient’s privacy and confidentiality, and a patient must do the same.
You have a right to feel safe and informed when receiving care just as much as the physician attending to your needs has a right to feel safe also.
You have rights and responsibilities as a patient
Since 1996 individual medical records have been protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to continue to encourage high-quality healthcare.
The American Patient Rights Association (APRA) also has an ethical guideline for all medical regulators to prevent violating basic human rights.
Above all else, patients in the US healthcare system have a right to be treated with respect and dignity. While some laws protect patient rights throughout America, most states also have a “bill of rights” to protect patients and physicians.
In conclusion, you will receive timely and responsive attention to your needs, including suitable care treatment by a medical professional and full access to your medical records. Your rights as a patient will also be upheld if you uphold your responsibilities, such as making payments and treating your physicians with respect.
Common services provided by urgent care centers include in-person & virtual care for cold and flu symptoms, allergic reactions, physical examination, and more.