Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights

Medical care

Patients can expect and have the right to quality care and treatment that is consistent with available resources and generally accepted medical standards in a safe environment, including access to specialty care and to pain assessment and management.

Respectful treatment

Patients have the right to considerate and respectful care, with recognition of personal dignity, psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural values and belief systems.

Privacy and security

Patients can expect privacy concerning their own medical care programs and information. Case discussions, consultation, examination, and treatment are confidential. Patients have rights, in accordance with and defined by *federal law, to reasonable safeguards for the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their protected health information, and similar rights for other Personally Identifiable Information, in electronic, written, and spoken form. These rights include the right to be informed when breaches of privacy occur, to the extent required by Federal law

  • DOD 5400.11-R (Reference (g)), Public Law 104-191(Reference (h)), and section 552a of title 5 U.S.C. (also known as “The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended”) (Reference (i))

Confidentiality of health information

Patients have the right to communicate with health care providers and can expect that all communication and records pertaining to their care will be considered confidential and that their health care information is protected. Patients also have the right to review, copy, and request amendments to their medical records. The release of such medical information shall be only as authorized by current law, military regulations and is protected by Department of Defense policy and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements determine how your medical information can be used.


Patients have the right to choose and know, at all times, the identity, professional status, and professional credentials of their healthcare providers and personnel. This effort ensures sufficient access to appropriate high-quality health care in a Culture of Excellence.


Patients have the right of access to people outside of the health care facility by means of visitors, and by verbal and written communication when such visitations and communications will not interfere with your treatment.

Informed consent

Patients have the right to any and all necessary information in non–clinical terms to make knowledgeable decisions on consent or refusal for treatments, or participation in clinical trials or other research investigations as applicable. Such information is to include any and all complications, risks, benefits, ethical issues, and alternative treatments as may be available.

Refusal of treatment

Patients have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and existing government regulations, and to be informed of the medical and administrative consequences of their refusal.

Transfer and continuity of care

When medically permissible, a patient may be transferred to another medical facility only after he or she has received complete information and an explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such a transfer.

Charges for care

Patients have the right to understand the charges for their care and their obligation for payment.

Rules and regulations

Patients can expect to be informed and/or directed to the health care facility rules and regulations that relate to visitor and patient conduct. Patients are entitled to information about the hospital’s mechanism for the initiation, review and resolution of patient complaints.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC):

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. Our basic authorities come from four federal statutes: the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistle-blower Protection Act, the Hatch Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

OSC's primary mission is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistle-blowing.

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Patient Responsibilities

Providing Information

Patients are responsible for providing accurate and complete information about complaints, pain, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to their health to the best of their knowledge. Patients are responsible for letting their health care provider know when they do not understand the diagnosis, treatment plan, and expectations.

Respect and consideration

Patients are responsible for being considerate and respectful of the rights and property of other patients, hospital personnel, and of the medical treatment facility.

Understanding treatment

Patients have the responsibility to be involved in health care decisions and disclose all relevant information and clearly communicating and/or alerting their wants and needs. Patients must work with their health care providers and/or health care staff, to develop and carryout their agreed–upon treatment plan.

Compliance with prescribed treatment

Patients are responsible for adhering to the medical and nursing treatment plans, including follow–up care, recommended by health care providers. This includes keeping appointments on time and notifying medical treatment facility when appointments cannot be kept.

Refusing treatment

Patients are responsible for their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow the practitioner’s instructions.

Medical records

Patients are responsible for returning medical records promptly to the medical treatment facility for appropriate filing and maintenance if records are transported by the patients for the purpose of medical appointments, consultations, or changes of duty location. All medical records documenting care provided by any medical treatment facility are the property of the U.S. Government.

Rules and regulations

Patients are responsible for following the hospitals rules and regulations affecting patient care, visitors and conduct.

Financial obligations

Patients are responsible for making a good-faith effort to meeting financial obligations incurred for their health care as promptly as possible.

Patient comments

Patients have the responsibility to assist the Hospital Commander in providing and promoting a Culture of Excellence Patient and Family Centered Care, by ensuring the best possible care to all beneficiaries. Patient recommendations, questions, compliments and/or complaints should be reported to the Patient Advocacy Office at (571) 231-4141. If concerns are not adequately resolved, patients have the right to contact The Joint Commission at (800) 994-6610.

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Last Updated 2/28/2020