Patient Rights

Tuesday, May 09, 2017
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Patient Rights and family choice are terms you or a loved one will hear if you have been through the healthcare system, especially in the hospital.

But do they really mean?

We just experienced a case with a well-known PPO hospital tried to force patient and family to agree to a non-licensed level of post acute (post hospitalization) care, far away from their home, creating a burden and barrier to visits

Not only did it not meet family needs for nursing and rehabilitation care in the form of physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) all to regain dexterity for everyday living, the family had a negative reaction to the facility.

So what are your rights? What is the patient’s choice?

Hospitals talk about choice because Medicare mandates they neutrally offer options but don’t recommend or it could be construed as fraud and they won’t reimburse. A new level of care from an outside agency might be home health (clinical in home case such as nurse or therapist), personal or companion also called custodial care with a home care agency, or a skilled nursing facility or a continuing care residential community (CCRC).

Choice should mean that based on the level of care and recommendations from doctors and specialists, insurance coverage and your own financial resources that you have a range of care levels, costs and choices for the next level of care. You should be able to research, vet and rank your choices and seek them out sequentially.

It’s important to know that insurances can dictate your choices.

Also, reluctance to change opinions can often exist, even if the service is mediocre because healthcare and hospitals tend to be risk averse. Hospitals are in a position to offer next steps and favor successful outcomes and recovery, though sometimes it may not address care priorities such as aggressive PT. In addition a major factor that we often see is that the institutions often lack connections with the outside community resources.

This is when you need to get versed on the system and your rights really quickly.

Even the most activated, motivated, intelligent family members are bewildered by the cycle of care from hospital to home when they’re faced with decisions for the first time. It’s common when emotional strains are high, voices are strong and deadlines are near to go with the flow. But that’s not always in the best interest of your loved one.

Here is a Summary of Patient Rights keep in mind the key one, is the right to accept or refuse treatment. Here is the link to learn more.