Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July is our national holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, which occurred on July 4th, 1776. Since our Nation's founding the preamble to the Declaration has served as a foundational document regarding human rights:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness."
The United States Constitution was written in 1787 and amended in 1789 to include what we commonly refer to as "The Bill of Rights" which were amendments specifically designed to protect the rights and freedoms of American Citizens. Today more than ever, our rights and freedoms require protection, especially when it pertains to receiving medical care.
At Hospice of the Valleys, we believe that each patient should be treated with dignity and respect and allowed to make informed decisions regarding what type of treatment they want, including the right to refuse treatments when they feel those treatments are no longer beneficial. As a patient, it is extremely important that you know your rights and for those patients who are eligible for Medicare, I would encourage you to review your rights and protections under Medicare.
If you are a Medicare Patient, you have the right to be treated fairly, understand the information you get, and the right to keep your personal information safe. You also have the right to select the Hospice Provider of your choice, which is very important because not all hospice agencies provide the same quality of care to their patients.
Below is a partial overview of Medicare Patients' Rights from the Medicare website: https://www.medicare.gov/basics/your-medicare-rights/your-rights
You have the right to be:
- Treated with courtesy, dignity, and respect at all times.
- Protected from discrimination. Every company or agency that works with Medicare must obey the law. They can't treat you differently because of your race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, or sex.
You have the right to have:
- Your personal and health information kept private.
- Access to doctors, specialists, and hospitals for medically necessary services.
You have the right to get:
- Medicare-covered services in an emergency.
- Information in a way you understand from Medicare, health care providers, and, under certain circumstances, contractors.
- Information about your treatment choices in clear languages that you can understand, and participate in treatment decisions.
- Medicare information and health care services in a language you understand.
- Your Medicare information in an accessible format, like braille or large print.
- Answers to your Medicare questions.
- A decision about health care payment, coverage of items and services, or drug coverage.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hospice care, please feel free to contact our office at 951-200-7800 and one of our friendly nurses will be happy to speak with you and answer your questions.