Section 381.026, Florida Statutes, addresses the Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. The purpose of this section is to promote the interests and well being of patients and to promote better communication between the patient and the health care provider. Florida law requires that your health care provider or health care facility recognize your rights while you are receiving medical care and that you respect the health care provider’s or health care facility’s right to expect certain behavior on the part of patients. You may request a copy of the full text of this law from your health care provider or health care facility. A summary of your rights and responsibilities follows.
A patient has the right to:
- Be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of his or her dignity, and with protection of privacy.
- Receive a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests.
- Know who is providing medical services and who is responsible for his or her care.
- Know what patient support services are available, including if an interpreter is available if the patient does not speak English.
- Know what rules and regulations apply to his or her conduct.
- Be given by the health care provider information such as diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks, and prognosis.
- Refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law.
- Be given full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for care.
- Know whether the health care provider or facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate, if the patient is covered by Medicare.
- Receive prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
- Receive a copy of an understandable itemized bill and, if requested, to have the charges explained.
- Receive medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, national origin, religion, handicap, or source of payment.
- Receive treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
- Know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give his or her consent or refusal to participate in such research.
- Express complaints regarding any violation of his or her rights.
A patient is responsible for:
- Giving the health care provider accurate information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and any other information about his or her health.
- Reporting unexpected changes in his or her condition to the health care provider.
- Reporting to the health care provider whether he or she understands a planned course of action and what is expected of him or her.
- Following the treatment plan recommended by the health care provider.
- Keeping appointments and, when unable to do so, notifying the health care provider or facility.
- His or her actions if treatment is refused or if the patient does not follow the health care provider’s instructions.
- Making sure financial responsibilities are carried out.
- Following health care facility conduct rules and regulations.