What Happens Next?
Now that you are educated about the procedures, it’s important that you know your medical rights. Have you ever gone to the doctor and signed a waiver saying you have reviewed your HIPAA rights? HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Essentially, this is as statement of your rights as a patient no matter what your race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or gender. HIPAA only grants rights for legal adults (18 years and older). Let’s take a look at what that entails.
- You have the right to be treated respectfully. Your questions and concerns are important and you have the right to be heard. The nurses and doctors should treat you accordingly and give careful attention to your questions.
- You have the right to see your medical records at any time. This can include all of your test results, doctor’s notes and any other files or history related to you.
- You can make your own treatment choice. You have the right to choose your choice of treatment without pressure or coercion from an outside party.
- You have the right to informed consent. Before you undergo any medical procedure, you will be asked to sign an “informed consent” form that states you have been explained down to the very last detail of the procedure and the risks and/or complications that could be involved. This is to be signed once all of your questions and concerns have been addressed.
- You have the right to refuse treatment. It doesn’t matter if you’ve signed the “informed consent” form and the procedure is about to begin – you can refuse treatment at any time. No one can make you go through a procedure for any reason – no matter how much they may pressure you.