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Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in Military Hospitals and Clinics

Patient Rights

Medical Care. You have the right to quality care and treatment. Your care and your treatment will be consistent with available resources and generally accepted standards. These standards include:
  • Timely access to specialty care
  • Pain assessment and management
Respectful Treatment. You have the right to considerate and respectful care. This includes recognition of your:
  • Personal dignity
  • Psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural values
  • Belief systems
Privacy and Security. You have rights to reasonable safeguards for your protected health information, including its:
  • Confidentiality
  • Integrity
  • Availability
Both federal law and regulation govern your rights. You also have similar rights for other personally identifiable information. This applies to electronic, written, and spoken form. These rights include your right to be informed—to the extent required by federal law and regulation—when privacy breaches happen.

Confidentiality Limits. Sometimes your provider must report sensitive disclosures that you make. These sensitive disclosures include:
  • Sexual assault or harassment
  • Domestic violence
  • Substance misuse or abuse
  • Intent to harm yourself or others
To make a report, your provider doesn’t need your permission or consent. But they should tell you about these limits on confidentiality before you make a sensitive disclosure to them during your visit.
 
Provider Information. You have the right to know your health care team. You can ask for their names and professional credentials.
 
Explanation of Care. You have the right to a clear, easily understood explanation of your:
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment options
  • Procedures
  • Prognosis
Your provider will consider the exact needs of a vulnerable person when developing a treatment plan. A vulnerable person is a person who:
  • Has compromised decision-making.
  • Is otherwise unable to make medical treatment decisions.
If your provider can’t give information to you, your provider will share it with a designated representative.
 
Informed Consent. You have the right to necessary information—in non-clinical terms—to make informed decisions on:
  • Consent or refusal for treatments
  • Participation in clinical trials or other research investigations
This information must include:
  • Any and all potential complications
  • Risks
  • Benefits
  • Ethical issues
  • Potential alternative treatments, as may be available
You can find information on TRICARE network covered services on the TRICARE website.
 
Research Projects. You have the right to know if your military hospital or clinic wants to perform research that relates to your care or treatment. You can refuse to participate in a research project. And you can withdraw your consent for participation at any time.
 
You can also find information on cancer clinical trials on the TRICARE website.
 
Filing Grievances. You have the right to:
  • Make recommendations.
  • Ask questions.
  • File grievances.
To do this, you can reach out to the patient relations representative or the Patient Relations Office. If your concerns aren’t resolved, you have the right to call The Joint Commission at 1-800-994-6610. You can also file a complaint online.
 
Safe Environment. You have the right to care and treatment in a safe environment.
 
Military Hospital or Clinic Rules and Regulations. You have the right to be informed of rules and regulations that relate to patient or visitor conduct.
 
Transfer and Continuity of Care. When medically permissible, you may be transferred to another:
  • Military hospital
  • Military clinic
  • Private sector facility/provider
When medically permissible, you may be transferred to another military hospital or clinic only after you’ve received complete information, an explanation about the need for the transfer, and any alternatives.
 
Charges for Care. You have the right to understand the charges for your care and your obligation for payment.
 
Advance Directive. You have the right to make your health care wishes known. This includes when you may be:
  • Unable to communicate
  • Unable to make decisions for yourself
Chaperones and standbys. You have the right to a chaperone or standby during physical exams and treatments. You can request a different chaperone or standby. For example, you can request someone of a different sex. When possible, military hospital or clinic staff will try to honor your request or help you reschedule your visit. You should keep in mind that there may be some emergency situations when urgency requires an exception to having a chaperone or standby present.

Patient Responsibilities

Maximize healthy habits. You should exercise, avoid smoking, and maintain a healthy diet.
 
Providing Information. You’re responsible—to the best of your knowledge—for providing accurate, complete, and up-to-date information about your health. This includes:
  • Complaints
  • Past illnesses
  • Hospitalizations
  • Medications
  • Other health matters
You should let your provider know if you understand your diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis. If not, let your provider know you have questions.
 
Respect and Consideration. You’re responsible for being considerate of the rights of  staff and others. You should respect the property of others and of the military hospital or clinic.
 
Adherence with Medical and Dental Care. You’re responsible for following your medical and nursing treatment plan. This includes follow-up care that your provider recommends for you. You should:
  • Keep your appointments.
  • Be on time.
  • Tell your provider in advance if you can’t keep your appointment.
You’re responsible for your actions if you refuse treatment. You’re also responsible for your actions if you choose not to follow your provider’s instructions.
 
Medical Records. You’re responsible for returning your medical records to the military hospital or clinic. Your records will be filed and maintained. Your medical records for care at a military hospital or clinic are the property of the U.S. government.
 
Military Hospital and Clinic Rules and Regulations. You’re responsible for following rules and regulations that affects patient care and conduct.
 
Refusal of Treatment. You’re responsible for your actions if you refuse treatment. You’re also responsible for your actions if you don’t follow your provider’s instructions.
 
Health Care Charges. You’re responsible for promptly paying your health care charges.
  • If you have other health insurance, you must tell the military hospital or clinic.
  • Follow the rules of your other health insurance. This includes referral and authorization rules.
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