Patient Rights & Privacy

Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, P.C. has a legal and ethical obligation to safeguard your patient rights and your protected health information.

Some patients’ rights are guaranteed by federal law, such as the right to get a copy of your medical records and the right to keep them private. Many states have additional laws protecting patients and healthcare facilities often have a patient bill of rights.

An important patient right is informed consent. This means that if you need a treatment, your health care provider should give you the information you need to make a decision.

Notice of Privacy Practices – effective date 12/09/2013

 

Patient’s rights and health insurance: The Affordable Care ActResource: American Cancer Society

In 2010, a new Patient’s Bill of Rights was created along with the Affordable Care Act. This Bill of Rights was designed to provide new patient protections in dealing with insurance companies. Some of the protections started in 2010, but others will be phased in more slowly.

For instance, annual and lifetime limits to coverage are being phased out over the next few years, and in general children will be able to get health insurance in spite of any medical conditions. Children will also be able to stay on a parent’s policy until age 26. Another change is that health insurance companies will no longer be able to rescind (take back) your health coverage after you get sick because you made an honest mistake on your application.

Still, there are exceptions even to these rights. As of late 2011, many existing health plans are “grandfathered” in, meaning that they don’t have to follow the new rules as long as they keep an old plan in effect. The rules only apply to plans issued or renewed on or after September 23, 2010 and, insurance plans may ask the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for waivers (exceptions) to some of the new requirements. It has already granted a number of these exceptions, so you will have to check with each plan to find out exactly what they do and don’t do. These new rights may not apply to all patients for some time.

If you would like to read more about these rights and how they are being phased in, you can visit www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/bill-of-rights/index.html.