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Patient Rights

Overview

As a patient, you have certain rights. Some are guaranteed by federal law, such as the right to get a copy of your medical records and the right to keep them private. Many states have additional laws protecting patients, and healthcare facilities often have a patient bill of rights.

An important patient right is informed consent. This means that if you need a treatment, your healthcare provider should give you the information you need to make a decision.

Many hospitals have patient advocates who can help you if you have problems. Many states have an ombudsman office for problems with long term care. Your state's department of health may also be able to help.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Patient Advocate Foundation
This site includes resources for patients facing illness-related job discrimination, debt crisis intervention and a managed-care answer guide.

Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
This site explains individuals' healthcare rights, provides a list of FAQs and gives information on how to file an official complaint.

Local Resources

Northern Colorado Medical Society
The Northern Colorado Medical Society is the professional association for physicians in Larimer and Weld counties. The Medical Society can assist the public with complaints against its members.

Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
This site provides information on the licensing of health professionals, along with information on filing grievances.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman
This Larimer County Department of Human Services has information on the long-term care ombudsman program, which works to protect the rights of residents of assisted living facilities and nursing facilities.

Fort Collins Public Library
Search the library collection for books about patient rights, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

Still Looking?

Best Health Sites
This collection of web links, organized by site type, will help you find the health information you're looking for.

Health and Healthcare Statistics
Looking for health and healthcare statistics at the local, state and national level? This collection of web links will help you find the health data you're looking for. Great for researchers, grant writers, students and the curious.

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