Mental health patients have rights similar to other types of patients in a health care setting. Patient rights should be disclosed as a part of registration at any hospital or outpatient provider's office. Patients should receive what is called a disclosure statement of services from the provider and a copy of privacy practices that notify patients the right to confidentiality.
Obtaining informed consent on access and availability of resources, knowledge of treatment provider's identity and credentials, including full participation in treatment decisions or refusal of care, is within the rights of mental health patients.
Quality of Care
Receiving treatment in accordance with the highest standards of medical care, safety, sanitation and well-balanced nutrition is the right of a mental health patient. This also includes the right to humane care and treatment with dignity.
Maintaining confidentiality is the responsibility of the doctor's office or facility where services are rendered and privacy of medical information is the right of every patient. The requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require that treatment providers disclose a notice of privacy practices prior to providing treatment.
Knowing the process of how to initiate a grievance, complaint or concern is the right of mental health patients. Resolving the conflict can be done with a patient advocate through the grievance process. Patients also typically have the right for a family member to serve as an advocate if unable to do so themselves.
Being informed of charges for services rendered and non-covered services is the right of mental health patients. Understanding the limits of what insurance covers in addition to responsibility of co-pays will help to minimise stress related to medical expenses. If hospitalised as an inpatient, it is also the right of the patient to request transfer to an in network provider if services are not covered at that location.
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