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Understanding Patients’ Rights in Home (Health)Care Settings

Understanding Patients' Rights in Home (Health)Care Settings

Have you ever been to a doctor or medical facility and yearned for the setting to miraculously take place within the comfort of your own home? Without the tiring queues and long waiting hours? Well, you are not alone; with the changing times, this desire of many has made way for a surge in home healthcare demands worldwide.

Since access to affordable, convenient and quality healthcare is a fundamental right and need of every individual, it goes without saying that such people should also have the option of getting home care whenever it is possible, more so when it has been proven that home care is very often a more affordable and better option than hospitalization. 

However, just because some people receive care in the comfort of their homes should not in any way negate their rights to be treated fairly in their homes as they would in a hospital setting.

Any patient receiving care within hospital settings or outside is equally deserving of exercising their rights. So whether you are providing care or receiving it, understanding patients’ rights in home care is key to maximizing satisfaction at both ends. 

The importance of patients’ rights is further underscored by a study conducted by the Urban Institute in December 2020. The Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey revealed that experiencing discrimination in healthcare settings can have severe consequences. Among those who reported feeling unfairly judged due to race or ethnicity, a significant portion (over 75%) delayed or avoided necessary care altogether.

This article will discuss the rights that patients receiving home care can expect or demand to receive. But before that, let’s quickly touch base on the importance of patients’ rights in home care.

Importance of Patients’ Rights in Home Health Care

Understanding the rights of patients in a home care setting is crucial for several reasons. It empowers patients to make informed decisions and receive optimal care, while also allowing providers to ensure that these standards are maintained. Additionally, recognizing these rights helps keep care providers and caregivers accountable, minimizes the chances of abuse and exploitation, and ensures legal safety and clarity for all parties involved.

Patients’ Rights in Home Care

Now let’s explore what are the rights of patients in home care:


Patients receiving any home care services have the right to expect the care provider to maintain privacy about their personal, medical, and social scenarios and anything that may take place at home in their presence.

Moreover, they have the right to control and check any information that is to be let out by their care providers when the law or associated health organizations demand it.


Every patient receiving home care, including their members, has the right to absolute transparency in communication regarding all aspects of the care being given.

Whether it is about the financial aspect of the care provided, the kind of care and treatments given, or the policies of care organization, open and truthful communication is the right of all patients to understand everything about their care or treatment. This also covers informing patients about all possible options for treatment rather than single-handedly making inflexible care decisions.

Financial Knowledge:

Healthcare and financial worries go hand in hand, with 70% of families showing a worrisome state regarding the financial burden that accompanies illnesses, and chronic or acute conditions. Regardless of whether one has Medicare or Medicaid coverage, or full coverage insurance or not, home care patients have the right to know all about the costs of their treatments and whether or not they will be covered in full.

They have the right to know of any hidden charges or co-payments they will be liable for before starting any treatment, so they can make decisions based on that and opt out of any treatment they cannot afford.

Freedom of Choice:

Once the patient has exercised the right to know everything about their condition, care options, and associated costs transparently, one other right they can exercise at all times is to make informed decisions freely without any time constraints as long as they comply with the care providers’ company guidelines.

Every patient receiving in-home care has the right to freedom in choosing the treatment given to them rather than always relying on providers’ suggestions.

Respect and Consideration:

Like every other human, patients in home care are equally deserving of respect and consideration. They have the right to be treated with respect devoid of any physical, psychological, or emotional abuse, as some of these patients also start sourcing emotional support from their care providers over time.

Not only that, all the valuables, personal property, medical records, and lifestyle choices of a patient should also be treated with utmost respect.

Standard of Care:

Every patient receiving home care has the right to access the highest standard of care with no compromise on the quality, frequency, and required intensity of treatments and care. The service providers and caregivers must ensure cleanliness and other necessary Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) followed in medical settings and move patients to a care facility in case of an emergency or when their health situation worsens.

Unbiased Treatment:

All patients accessing home health aide services have the right to be treated in the best possible manner without any biases due to their age, color, ethnicity, race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or financial standing.

Each patient has the right to decline a line of treatment or request a change of caregiver if and when they feel they are being treated in a biased way.


Feedback is vital for improving home healthcare systems and making necessary amendments when and where needed, and this can only be made easy when patients are openly welcomed to share their feedback during or after receiving care. Therefore, all patients receiving home health care hold the right to voice their grievances and ask for a change of care provider when they are not satisfied with them.

The confidentiality of their complaints and grievances must be maintained by the organizations providing home health care services. 

Final Thoughts

By understanding and exercising their rights, home healthcare patients can become active participants in their care. This empowers them to make informed decisions, ask questions, and advocate for themselves. Ultimately, this two-way street of communication and respect between patients and caregivers creates a trusting and positive home healthcare experience for everyone involved.

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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