VA’s 80-bed mental health facility opened June 21, 2012, in Palo Alto, Calif., at a time when 2.4 million service members have deployed to war zones since 2001. The rate psychiatric injury among returning veterans is nearly 40 percent according to a 2009
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VA Wants to Hear From You
Rights and Responsibilities
Survey of Healthcare Experiences

Patient and Nursing Home Resident Rights and Responsibilities
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is pleased you have selected us to provide your healthcare. We want to improve your health and well-being. We will make your visit or stay as pleasant for you as possible. As part of our service to you, to other veterans and to the Nation, we are committed to improving healthcare quality. We also train future healthcare professionals, conduct research, and support our country in times of national emergency. In all of these activities, our employees will respect and support your rights as a patient. Your basic rights and responsibilities are outlined in this document. Please talk with VA treatment team members or a patient advocate if you have any questions or would like more information about your rights.

I. Respect and Nondiscrimination

■You will be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect as an individual. Your privacy will be protected. You will receive care in a safe environment. We will seek to honor your personal and religious values.
■You or someone you choose has the right to keep and spend your money. You have the right to receive an accounting of any VA held funds.
■Treatment will respect your personal freedoms. In rare cases, the use of medication and physical restraints may be used if all other efforts to keep you or others free from harm have not worked.
■As an inpatient or nursing home resident, you may wear your own clothes. You may keep personal items. This will depend on your medical condition.
■As an inpatient or nursing home resident, you have the right to social interaction and regular exercise. You will have the opportunity for religious worship and spiritual support. You may decide whether to participate in these activities. You may decide whether or not to perform tasks in or for the Medical Center.
As an inpatient or nursing home resident, you have the right to communicate freely and privately. You may have or refuse visitors. You will have access to public telephones. You may participate in civic rights, such as voting and free speech.
■As a nursing home resident, you can organize and take part in resident groups in the facility. Your family also can meet with the families of other residents.
■In order to provide a safe treatment environment for all patients or residents and staff, you are expected to respect other patients, residents and staff and to follow the facility's rules. Avoid unsafe acts that place others at risk for accidents or injuries. Please immediately report any condition you believe to be unsafe.
II.  Information Disclosure and Confidentiality

■You will be given information about the health benefits you can receive. The information will be provided in a way you can understand.
■You will receive information about the costs of your care, if any, before you are treated. You are responsible for paying your portion of any costs associated with your care.
■Your medical record will be kept confidential. Information about you will not be released without your consent unless authorized by law (an example of this is State public health reporting). You have the right to information in your medical record and may request a copy of your medical records. This will be provided except in rare situations when your VA physician feels the information will be harmful to you. In that case, you have the right to have this discussed with you by your VA provider.
■You will be informed of all outcomes of care, including any potential injuries. You will be informed about how to request compensation for any injuries.
III.  Participation in Treatment Decisions

You, and any persons you choose, will be involved in all decisions about your care. You will be given information you can understand about the benefits and risks of treatment. You will be given other options. You can agree to or refuse treatment. You will be told what is likely to happen to you if you refuse treatment. Refusing treatment will not affect your rights to future care but you take responsibility for the possible results to your health.
■Tell your provider about your current condition, medicines (including over-the-counter and herbals), and medical history. Also, share any other information that affects your health. You should ask questions when you do not understand something about your care. Being involved is very important for you to get the best possible results.
You will be given, in writing, the name and title of the provider in charge of your care. As our partner in healthcare, you have the right to be involved in choosing your provider. You also have the right to know the names and titles of those who provide you care.  This includes students, residents and trainees. Providers will properly introduce themselves when they take part in your care.
■You will be educated about your role and responsibilities as a patient or resident. This includes your participation in decisionmaking and care at the end of life.
■If you believe you cannot follow the treatment plan, you have a responsibility to notify your provider or treatment team.
You have the right to have your pain assessed and to receive treatment to manage your pain. You and your treatment team will develop a pain management plan together. You are expected to help the treatment team by telling them if you have pain and if the treatment is working.
■As an inpatient or nursing home resident, you will be provided any transportation necessary for your treatment plan.
You have the right to choose whether you will participate in any research project. Any research will be clearly identified. Potential risks of the research will be identified and there will be no pressure on you to participate.
You will be included in resolving any ethical issues about your care. You may consult with the Medical Center's Ethics Consultation Service and/or other staff knowledgeable about healthcare ethics.
■If you or the Medical Center believes that you have been neglected, abused or exploited, you will receive help.
IV.  Complaints

■You are encouraged and expected to seek help from your treatment team or a patient advocate if you have problems or complaints.  You will be given understandable information about the complaint process. You may complain verbally or in writing, without fear of retaliation

This  document comes directly from the VA headquarters and should be posted at the VA Medical Facility where you receive care. If one or any of these rights are abused....Demand Action.   I knew about these rights for many years and it seems many facilities have forgotten they are binding.   This is why I raise Hell  when they are abused.

The VA Healthcare system is a good model for single payer and it is our responsibility to make sure our veterans are treated properly according to VA patient bill of rights.
The VA has set them in place and we have to make sure veterans get this type of treatment nationwide and are not just words on a wall.   The VA Administration needs to hear from veterans and their families along with advocates to ensure this bill of patient rights is followed.

Originally posted to Vetwife on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:42 AM PST.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos.

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