Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
A Patient Bill of Rights helps define what people can expect in certain health related situations. Sometimes these are called patient rights and responsibilities.
A number of organizations have a Patient Bill of Rights. They are designed to:
The AHA developed one of the first patient bill of rights. Theirs is now called the Patient Care Partnership. It outlines what people should be able to expect when they have to be in the hospital. It addresses several aspects of being in the hospital such as the quality of care, protection of patient rights, safety, and privacy, and help with insurance claims.
In 2010, a Patient Bill of Rights was created to support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) . The bill was designed to give protections to people who are dealing with private health insurance companies.
Here are some of the protections that apply to health plans under the ACA.
There are exceptions to some of these rights. These rules apply to plans issued or renewed on or after September 23, 2010. Plans issued before that date are ‘grandfathered’ and these rules don’t apply to them. You’ll need to check your plan’s materials or ask your employer or benefits person to find out if your health plan has to follow these rules.
Besides the grandfathered plans, there are other ways insurance companies can get around some of the rules. So, you’ll still have to check with each plan to find out exactly what they do and don’t do.
Many states, insurance plans, and health care facilities have their own patient bill of rights or list of rights and responsibilities. Check with your insurance plan or health care provider to see if there’s one for you to review.
Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support include:
US Department of Health and Human Services
This site explains patient rights with regard to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
American Hospital Association
Toll-free number: 1-800-242-2626 (this is the customer service/publication order line)
AHA’s Patient Care Partnership brochure teaches patients about rights and responsibilities in regard to their hospital stay. (It comes in English, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.) The brochure is sold in bulk orders only and there’s a fee for non-members. You can read it online for free, in any of the languages, at www.aha.org/aha/issues/Communicating-With-Patients/pt-care-partnership.html.
National Library of Medicine
This site has information on patient rights along with many links to other sources of related information.
Medicare Rights Center (for those with Medicare)
Toll-free number: 1-800-333-4114
This service can help you understand your rights and benefits, work through the Medicare system, and get quality care. They have newsletters, fact sheets, and a place to submit questions. They can also help you find programs that help reduce your costs for prescription drugs and medical care, and guide you through the appeals process if Medicare denies coverage for drugs or care you need.
*Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
American Hospital Association (AHA). The patient care partnership. Aha.org. Accessed at https://www.aha.org/other-resources/patient-care-partnership on July 7, 2023.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs – Set 2. Accessed from https://www.cms.gov/cciio/resources/fact-sheets-and-faqs/aca_implementation_faqs2 on September 6, 2023.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Patient’s bill of rights. Cms.gov. Accessed at https://www.cms.gov/cciio/programs-and-initiatives/health-insurance-market-reforms/patients-bill-of-rights on July 7, 2023.
HealthCare.gov. Rights and protections. Accessed at https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/ on July 7, 2023.
Medicare.gov. Your Rights. Accessed at https://www.medicare.gov/basics/your-medicare-rights/your-rights on July 13, 2023.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Patients’ Bill of Rights. Accessed at https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/reference-materials/bill-of-rights/ on September 6, 2023.
Last Revised: September 30, 2023