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Herbert Reid Home - Patient Rights

Patient Rights

This is intended to be a general overview of your rights and is not intended to be used as the sole source of information regarding your rights. Please contact us with questions or further assistance. 

24-Hour Facilities

Members admitted to 24 hour facilities have important rights. However, there are times when a member admitted to a 24 hours facility may have some of their rights restricted based on care and treatment considerations. If you have any questions about these restrictions, you should ask to speak to a facility advocate. 

Rights of adults which CANNOT be restricted include the right to: 
  • Send and receive unopened mail 
  • Contact a lawyer, doctor or other private professional at your own expense. 
  • Receive medical care if you are sick 
  • Contact a client advocate
 
Rights of minors which CANNOT be restricted include the right to: 
  • Talk to a parent or guardian. 
  • Consult with legal counsel, private doctors or mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse service providers. 
  • Contact a client advocate. 

Substance Abuse Rights

There are special rights regarding substance abuse that are protected in federal law. Ask your Managed Care Organization (MCO) customer service representative about specific substance abuse rights. 

Involuntary Commitments

Sometimes when a person’s illness makes it difficult for him or her to recognize the need for help, it is up to someone else who care’s about them to seek help and petition for what is called involuntary commitment. You are entitled to many rights when under an involuntary commitment petition. If you are unsure of what your rights are when you are under an involuntary commitment position, you should ask staff at the facility to explain these rights to you. 

Freely File an Appeal

Before anyone can charge your service or deny your request for a service, you will receive a notice explaining your rights. You have a right to appeal any changes to the services you already receive or any services you and HRH, Inc. (your service provider) have requested to receive.

The way you appeal the changes depends on how your services are funded:
 
  • If Medicaid pays for your services, you may appeal the changes through the Division of Medical Assistance. Follow the direction in the written letter for your federal rights. If you appeal the decision by the deadline in the letter, your services will continue during the appeal.
  • If you services are paid for by state funds (sometimes called IPRS funds), you may appeal the decision to the MCO. If you are still unsatisfied with what the MCO decides, you may appeal to the state DMH/DD/SAS to review the decision. Your services may or may not continue while you are appealing this decision.
  • If your private insurance company pays for your services, you can appeal their decision through your insurance company.

    If you are unsure how to appeal changes to your services or if you have questions about appeals, contact your MCO customer service office at 1-800-513-4002 or contact the Advocacy & Customer Service Section at DMH/DD/SAS at (919) 715-3197. For all appeals, call the number on your appeal notice.

Requesting Special Accommodations

You may request the following special accommodations:
  • Language Assistance: Including assistance with TTY, Sign language interpretation, Interpretive services if you do not speak English, and assistance for the visually impaired. 
  • Physical Access: All buildings and programs of the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services are required to be physically accessible to individuals with all qualifying disabilities. If you need to request an accommodation, contact the MCO customer service representative. 
  • To make advanced instructions: You have the right to a written plan called an “advanced instruction for mental health treatment.” This written plan describes how you want to be cared for if you ever become unable to decide or speak for yourself. You can also name a “health-care proxy” in your advanced instruction. This lets another person, who you have identified, make decisions about your care if you become unable to do so. For help in preparing these plans, you should speak with someone you trust. You can also contact the organizations listed at the end of this booklet for assistance. 
  • To review your medical records: You will usually have the right to review information in your medical records, which includes your service plan. 
  • To see a medical care provider: If you are sick or need medical care, you have the right to receive medical treatment. 
  • To know the costs of services: The charges or fees for services you receive should be discussed with you at your first visit. You should also be given a written copy of the fees. Ask your provider, HRH, Inc., or have someone you trust to speak with us if you have questions about any costs or fees that you may be charged. 
  • To be accepted for treatment: You have a right to receive age-appropriate treatment. Services cannot be denied, interrupted or reduced without good cause. If your services are denied, interrupted or reduced you can appeal the changes to your services. There is more information on what to do if there are changes to your services in the next section of this booklet. 
  • To have information about you kept confidential: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is the federal law that protects your private health information. The HIPAA law states that medical records, treatment plans and any other information about you (including what you say or share) must be kept private. Anyone not involved in providing your care, including family members, must first obtain your or your guardian’s permission before this information is provided to them. 
  • To understand and give informed consent: When you are making a decision about your treatment, you should have the chance to know the most likely results of your decision and what other choices you have. Making decisions after considering all available options is called “informed consent.” Except during an emergency, informed consent is always your right. Before you give your approval for any service or treatment, be sure you have all of the information you need. This right is based on the idea that you are the person who best knows what works for you. 
  • Informed consent includes being given information: 
    • To know about medication: You have the right to know the possible side effects of medication and to be free from unnecessary or excessive medication. Medication cannot be used a punishment, discipline or for the convenience of staff. 
    • To accept or refuse services: By law, you can accept or refuse any service, medication, test or treatment. However, during an emergency situation, treatment may be necessary without your permission. 
    • To be involved in the service plan: It is your right to be involved in your service plan. You have a right to be involved in the development and review of your plan before you sign it. 
    • To make certain treatment choices: It is your right to be informed of the potential risks, benefits and alternatives to the treatments being offered to you. 
  • To exercise your right as a citizen: You have many rights as a citizen. These include buying or selling property, signing a contract, registering to vote, marrying or getting a divorce. Unless the court has declared you incompetent, you will always have these rights. When you receive services from the public mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services system, you have many rights supported by law. Understanding your rights will help you stand up for yourself and fully participate in your care. Knowing your rights can help you: 
    • Make informed choices about your care 
    • Resolve any problems that may occur 
    • Know what to expect from your service provider (HRH, Inc.) 
    • Become a better self advocate for your care and treatment 
  • You also have the following rights:​
    • To be informed of your rights: By law, you must be informed of all of your rights within the first three visits to your provider (or within the first 72 hours if you are in a 24-hour facility). You also have the right to ask that printed information explaining your rights be given to you in a way that you can understand, and know what to do and whom to call if you believe someone is trying to take away your rights. 
    • To know what is expected of you: You must be told about any rules you need to follow. This information should be shared with you when you begin receiving services. If you do not receive this information, ask someone your trust to help you obtain this information. 
    • To always be treated with respect: Staff should be polite, attentive and responsive to your needs and values. 
    • To live as independently as possible: You should receive care in your community in the least restrictive environment suitable to your needs. 
"It is the policy of the State to assure basic human rights to each client of a facility. These rights include the right to dignity, privacy, humane care and freedom from mental and physical abuse, neglect and exploitation.” - North Carolina General Statutes Article 3. 122C. 
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