Before receiving health care, it is important to understand one's rights and responsibilities as a patient. Although there is no state or federally mandated Patient's Bill of Rights, most hospitals have developed their own Patient Rights and Responsibilities statements or are using the suggested Patient's Bill of Rights as adapted by the Maryland Health Care Commission.
As a patient, one should expect:
- To receive emergency care without consideration of ability to pay
- To receive considerate and respectful care
- To receive information about diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis
- To make decisions about one's plan of care before and during treatment, when medically possible
- To have the right to leave the hospital against the advice of one's doctor
- To receive information about hospital policies related to patient care, such as resources for resolving disputes, grievances and conflicts
- Privacy and confidentiality
The process for resolving complaints varies, depending on the type of complaint. Complaints regarding patient care are handled through hospital channels and/or through regulating agencies. Complaints about insurance denials are handled through the peer review organization.