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Home Health Patient Rights
The patient and representative (if any), have the right to be informed of the patient's rights in a language and manner the individual understands. The HHA must protect and promote the exercise of these rights.
Notice of Rights
The HHA must:
Provide the patient and the patient's legal representative (if any), the following information during the initial evaluation visit, in advance of furnishing care to the patient:
Obtain the patient's or legal representative's signature confirming that he or she has received a copy of the notice of rights and responsibilities.
Provide written notice of the patient's rights and responsibilities under this rule and the HHA's transfer and discharge policies as set forth in paragraph (d) of this section to a patient-selected representative within 4 business days of the initial evaluation visit.
Exercise of Rights
If a patient has been adjudged to lack legal capacity to make health care decisions as established by state law by a court of proper jurisdiction, the rights of the patient may be exercised by the person appointed by the state court to act on the patient's behalf.
If a state court has not adjudged a patient to lack legal capacity to make health care decisions as defined by state law, the patient's representative may exercise the patient's rights.
If a patient has been adjudged to lack legal capacity to make health care decisions under state law by a court of proper jurisdiction, the patient may exercise his or her rights to the extent allowed by court order.
Rights of the Patient
The patient has the right to:
Have his or her property and person treated with respect.
Be free from verbal, mental, sexual, and physical abuse, including injuries of unknown source, neglect and misappropriation of property.
Make complaints to the HHA regarding treatment or care that is (or fails to be) furnished, and the lack of respect for property and/or person by anyone who is furnishing services on behalf of the HHA.
Participate in, be informed about, and consent or refuse care in advance of and during treatment, where appropriate, with respect to:
Receive all services outlined in the plan of care.
Have a confidential clinical record. Access to or release of patient information and clinical records is permitted in accordance with 45 CFR parts 160 and 164.
Be advised, orally and in writing, of:
Receive proper written notice, in advance of a specific service being furnished, if the HHA believes that the service may be non-covered care; or in advance of the HHA reducing or terminating on-going care.
Be advised of the state toll free home health telephone hot line, its contact information, its hours of operation, and that its purpose is to receive complaints or questions about local HHAs.
Be advised of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the following Federally-funded and state-funded entities that serve the area where the patient resides:
Be free from any discrimination or reprisal for exercising his or her rights or for voicing grievances to the HHA or an outside entity.
Be informed of the right to access auxiliary aids and language services and how to access these services.
Transfer and Discharge
The patient and representative (if any), have a right to be informed of the HHA's policies for transfer and discharge. The HHA may only transfer or discharge the patient from the HHA if:
The transfer or discharge is necessary for the patient's welfare because the HHA and the physician or allowed practitioner who is responsible for the home health plan of care agree that the HHA can no longer meet the patient's needs, based on the patient's acuity. The HHA must arrange a safe and appropriate transfer to other care entities when the needs of the patient exceed the HHA's capabilities.
The patient or payer will no longer pay for the services provided by the HHA.
The transfer or discharge is appropriate because the physician or allowed practitioner who is responsible for the home health plan of care and the HHA agree that the measurable outcomes and goals set forth in the plan of care have been achieved, and the HHA and the physician or allowed practitioner who is responsible for the home health plan of care agree that the patient no longer needs the HHA's services.
The patient refuses services, or elects to be transferred or discharged.
The HHA determines, under a policy set by the HHA for the purpose of addressing discharge for cause, that the patient's (or other persons in the patient's home) behavior is disruptive, abusive, or uncooperative to the extent that delivery of care to the patient or the ability of the HHA to operate effectively is seriously impaired. The HHA must do the following before it discharges a patient for cause:
The patient dies; or
The HHA ceases to operate.
Investigation of Complaints
The HHA must:
Any HHA staff (whether employed directly or under arrangements) in the normal course of providing services to patients, who identifies, notices, or recognizes incidences or circumstances of mistreatment, neglect, verbal, mental, sexual, and/or physical abuse, including injuries of unknown source, or misappropriation of patient property, must report these findings immediately to the HHA and other appropriate authorities in accordance with state law.
Information must be provided to patients in plain language and in a manner that is accessible and timely to:
42 CFR §484.50
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