Home Care Agencies

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Patient’s Bill of Rights

Federal law requires that all people getting home care services be informed about their rights as patients. Below is a model patient bill of rights the National Association for Home Care (NAHC) has developed based on patient rights currently enforced by law.

Ask to see a copy of the agency’s patient’s rights and responsibilities information if it’s not offered to you.

A home care patient has the right to:

  • Be fully informed of all his or her rights and responsibilities by the home care agency
  • Choose his or her own care providers
  • Appropriate and professional care that fits with the doctor’s orders
  • Receive a timely response from the agency to his or her request for service
  • Be admitted for service only if the agency can provide safe, professional care at the level of intensity needed
  • Receive reasonable continuity of care
  • Get all the information necessary to give informed consent before starting any treatment or procedure (See Informed Consent for more on this – you can read it online or call us for a free copy.)
  • Be told of any change in the plan of care before the change is made
  • Refuse treatment as allowed by law and be informed of the likely outcomes of such a decision
  • Be informed of your rights under state law to write advance directives (See Advanced Directives to learn more about these important documents.)
  • Have health care providers follow advance directives as the state law requires
  • Be informed beforehand if there are plans to stop services or transfer your care to another agency
  • Be fully informed of agency policies and charges for services, including whether you can get third-party reimbursements
  • Be referred elsewhere if service is denied because you are unable to pay
  • Voice grievances and suggest changes in service or staff without fear of restraint or discrimination
  • Have a fair hearing if any service has been denied, reduced, or stopped, or for any other grievance caused by the agency’s action. The fair hearing procedure should be set up by each agency to fit the patient situation (for example, funding source, level of care, diagnosis).
  • Be told what to do in case of an emergency
  • Be advised of the telephone number and hours of operation of the state’s home health hotline, which takes questions and complaints about Medicare-certified and state-licensed home care agencies

Last Medical Review: 05/08/2013
Last Revised: 05/08/2013