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Legally Protected Patient Healthcare Rights

What are your legally protected patient healthcare rights? How do you identify if you experience a patient rights violation? How do you effectively address any infractions of your healthcare rights???

In November 2022, VVFF Team Member Kristal Kent, presented at the Fibromyalgia Community Conference, hosted by the Support Fibromyalgia Network. In the video presentation (video below) Kristal discusses patient healthcare rights, reviews real examples of patient healthcare rights violations from professional experiences to personal experiences, at a variety of healthcare systems, such as nonprofit healthcare systems, federally funded healthcare through the VA healthcare system, county and state funded healthcare systems and private (for profit) healthcare systems. Kristal also discusses how she addressed violations of patient rights, from both a professional and personal perspective, and how YOU can protect your healthcare rights, and successfully advocate for your healthcare needs!

Before diving into the video below, here are your legally protected patient healthcare rights:


United States – State Revised Codes, i.e., Ohio Revised Code of Patient Rights, adopted from Federal Law. Many states have additional laws protecting patients, and healthcare facilities often have a patient bill of rights.


· To be treated with courtesy, respect, dignity.

· Right to timely, access to care and responsive attention to medical needs, and referrals/tests (when medically appropriate)

· To receive information from their physicians and to have opportunity to discuss the benefits, risks, and costs of appropriate treatment alternatives, including the risks, benefits, and costs of forgoing treatment. Patients should be able to expect that their physicians will provide guidance about what they consider the optimal course of action for the patient based on the physician’s objective professional judgment.

· To ask questions about their health status or recommended treatment when they do not fully understand what has been described and to have their questions answered.

· To make decisions about the care the physician recommends and to have those decisions respected. A patient has the right to accept or refuse any recommended medical intervention and/or treatment

· To have the physician and other staff respect the patient’s privacy and confidentiality.

· To obtain copies or summaries of their medical records.

· To obtain a second opinion.

· To be advised of any conflicts of interest their physician may have in respect to their care.

· To continuity of care. Patients should be able to expect that their physician will cooperate in coordinating medically indicated care with other health care professionals, and that the physician will not discontinue treating them when further treatment is medically indicated without giving them sufficient notice and reasonable assistance in making alternative arrangements for care.

· HIPPA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. *Except in certain cases like medical emergencies and continuity of care between medical treatment team providers. VA is a good example of continuity of care rule.

This is definitely a MUST WATCH informational presentation!

Watch the video below on Kristal's presentation on Healthcare Patient Rights:

For more information about the Support Fibromyalgia Network (SFN) and the 2022 Fibromyalgia Community Conference, visit SFN's website at: Fibromyalgia Education, Research, & Advocacy | National Nonprofit (

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