Florida Patient's Bill of Rights & Responsibilities
The Bill of Rights applies to all physicians who see patients in an office setting, and to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers that offer emergency, outpatient, or inpatient services. Section 381.026, Florida Statutes, requires that physicians and health care facilities, if requested, shall inform patients of the address and telephone number of each state agency responsible for responding to patient complaints. Physicians and health care facilities are also required to adopt and make public, in writing, a summary of the rights and responsibilities of patients. This is best accomplished by posting a copy in the office in a conspicuous place. Fines for noncompliance range from $100 for nonwillful violations to $500 for willful violations. A copy of the summary follows:
SUMMARY OF THE FLORIDA PATIENT’S BILL OF RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES
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 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 a right to be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of his or her individual dignity, and with protection of his or her need for privacy.
- A patient has a right to a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests.
- A patient has the right to know who is providing medical services and who is responsible for his or her care.
- A patient has the right to know what patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if he or she does not speak English.
- A patient has the right to know what rules and regulations apply to his or her conduct.
- A patient has the right to be given by the health care provider information concerning diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks, and prognosis.
- A patient has the right to refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law.
- A patient has the right to be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his or her care.
- A patient who is eligible for Medicare has the right to know, upon request and in advance of treatment, whether the health care provider or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate.
- A patient has the right to receive, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
- A patient has the right to receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable, itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained.
- A patient has the right to impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, national origin, religion, handicap, or source of payment.
- A patient has the right to treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
- A patient has the right to know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give his or her consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research.
- A patient has the right to express grievances regarding any violation of his or her rights, as stated in Florida law, through the grievance procedure of the health care provider or health care facility which served him or her and to the appropriate state licensing agency.
- A patient is responsible for providing to the health care provider, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to his or her health.
- A patient is responsible for reporting unexpected changes in his or her condition to the health care provider.
- A patient is responsible for reporting to the health care provider whether he or she comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him or her.
- A patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the health care provider.
- A patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when he or she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the health care provider or health care facility.
- A patient is responsible for his or her actions if he or she refuses treatment or does not follow the health care provider’s instructions.
- A patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his or her health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
- A patient is responsible for following health care facility rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
This article is presented for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for legal advice, which should be obtained from personal legal counsel. Nevertheless, the FMA hopes that the information provided here and in its other publications continues to assist physicians in answering many of their most common legal questions allowing them to treat patients, instead of addressing legal concerns.