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Why Advocates Must Know Patients’ Rights

Patient rights are the foundation of all patient advocacy.  When healthcare providers (such as hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, home care, and medical equipment companies) know that you know what the law requires, you will avoid or at least quickly resolve problems.

Rights come from many sources.  Medicare and Medicaid providers (including the ones listed above) must meet standards called Conditions of Participation (CoPs) or Conditions for Coverage (CoP).  Patient rights are part of those standards.  When providers fail to meet those standards, they might be sanctioned or fined.

Patient rights also come from federal regulations such as the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA), Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA); and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Patient rights also come from state laws, such as those governing services including mental health, developmental disabilities, older adults and children services.

Advocate Alliance is dedicated to empowering patients and their advocates with information and tools to resolve the most commonly encountered issues. Please know  that this blog is not intended as legal advice or a comprehensive analysis of healthcare law.  You should always seek legal advice specific to your situation.

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