Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights

  1. Medical and Dental Treatment: You have the RIGHT to quality care and treatment consistent with available resources and applicable standards. You also have the RIGHT to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and government regulations, and to be informed of the significant consequences, risks, or alternative treatment based on your refusal.

  2. Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security: You have the RIGHT, within the law and military regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to have case discussions, consultations, examination, and treatment conducted in a confidential manner. Your privacy rights are detailed in the Military Health System (MHS) Notice of Privacy Practices dated 1 October 2013.

  3. Emergency Care: You have the RIGHT to receive emergency care at designated emergency room departments without preauthorization where and when needed to prevent serious harm to life, limb, eyesight or death.

  4. Respectful Treatment:  You have the RIGHT to have care that is respectful and responsive, without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, culture, language, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, mental or physical disability (vision, speech, hearing impairment), genetic information or socioeconomic status.

  5. Identity:  You have the RIGHT to know, at all times, the name and credentials of the health care personnel providing treatment.

  6. Informed Consent:  You have the RIGHT to engage in all decisions in non-clinical terms related to your health care regarding course of treatment, procedures, and prognosis in your preferred language. Information should include, but not be limited to, the specific procedures or treatment, the medically significant complications and/or benefits. Furthermore, you have the RIGHT to decline  at anytime recordings, images, and films; however, doing so may delay diagnosing and care.  You may request information concerning medical alternatives including understanding if something goes wrong with the care received, with an honest explanation and apology.

  7. Timeliness of Care: You have the RIGHT to the most timely access and treatment that the MTF resources and circumstances allow.

  8. Pain Management: You have the RIGHT to have pain assessed with appropriate timely and treatment options provided.

  9. Choice of Plans: You have the RIGHT to easy-to-understand information about TRICARE; too include covered health benefits plan options.

  10. Medication: You have the RIGHT to have a complete and current list of your medicines.

  11. Spiritual Care: You have the RIGHT to Pastoral care and other spiritual services.

  12. Health Care Proxy:  You have the RIGHT to have a personal (legal) representative with you during your care regarding risks, benefits, and alternatives. The person of your choice will become a part of your medical team who has been granted legal responsibility to make decisions regarding your medical care on your behalf.

  13. Research Projects: You have the RIGHT to be advised if the facility proposes to engage in or perform research, investigation or clinical trials associates with your treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in any research project.

  14. Medical Records: You have the RIGHT to request a copy and review your medical records. You have the RIGHT to request an amendment of your medical records if you believe there is an error. All medical records originating from the Military Treatment Facility are the property of the government. You have the RIGHT to request all accounting disclosures if that information has been released. The Management Activity Notice of Privacy Practices provided information about when medical records are released without patient consent.

  15. Safe Environment: You have the RIGHT to be in a safe and clean environment while visiting our facilities, free from any form of abuse. Please inform medical staff or complete a customer comment card of any unsafe situation that comes to your attention immediately, or ask staff to speak with Patient Advocate or Patient Safety representative.

  16. Patient Concerns: You have the RIGHT to question these civil liberties and provide a copy of these written rights along with advocacy and protective services which include resolution of concerns to include understanding policy.

  17. Patients with Disabilities: If you encounter physical or communication barriers in the clinic, you have the RIGHT to ask staff for assistance.  Fort Drum MEDDAC will continually strive to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding the rights of all disabled individuals. Tell your nurse if you need assistive devices or services (such as wheelchair access).

  18. Advanced Directives: You have the RIGHT to participate actively in decisions regarding your medical care. To the extent permitted by law, this includes the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment, as well as refusal of photographs.  You have the right to formulate an advanced directive (living will) and/or durable power of attorney to request to withhold resuscitative services, and to forgo or withdraw from life-sustaining treatment or healthcare. You have the right to have these directives made part of your permanent medical records. Please contact our local Legal Services (315) 772-5261 to construct these documents for you.

  19. Appeals and Compliant(s): You have the RIGHT to bring forth your concerns regarding your health care, without reproach, to include discussion of ethical issues and have these issues/concerns reviewed and resolved. This can be accomplished by speaking with the clinic/department Officer-In-Charge, the Noncommissioned Officer-In-Charge, the Patient Representative, or the Commander. You may also contact Joint Commission directly by dialing 1-800-994-6610, or email:  or patient safety concern by email:

  20. 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 Whistleblower 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 whistleblowing.

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Patient Responsibilities

  1. Providing Information: You have the RESPONSIBILITY to give, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about symptoms, past illness, hospitalization, allergies, medications and vitamins, herbs and supplements, and other matters relating to your health. It is your RESPONSIBILITY to inform the provider whether or not you understand the treatment plan and what is expected of you. Inform your health care provider if you believe you cannot follow through with the plan of care. We ask that you inform staff when translation is required.

  2. Financial Responsibility: It is your RESPONSIBILITY to cover any charges not covered by your insurance. You may contact the Beneficiary Assistance Coordinator at your local Managed Care/TRICARE office for further inquiries.

  3. Respect and Consideration: It is your RESPONSIBILITY to be considerate to all people you encounter in the medical facility, to include property. In addition, any person accompanying the patient will be responsible for their own actions.

  4. Transportation/Observation: It is your RESPONSIBILITY to provide a reliable adult to assist with transport to and from the facility if recommended by the provider.

  5. We encourage you to maximize healthy habits, such as exercising, not smoking and maintaining healthy weight. Beneficiaries must understand the consequences when choosing not to follow treatment plan.

  6. If not satisfied with provider’s treatment plan, you are entitled to a second opinion within MEDDAC scope of capabilities; you will need to inquire through your PCM and/or Patient Advocate. You may also inquire through your medical team about seeking specialty care services.

  7. If not satisfied with assigned Primary Care Manager, you may request online through TRICARE ( or walk in to the Managed Care/TRICARE office and request a newly assigned provider.

  8. Be knowledgeable about TRICARE coverage and program options, including covered benefits; limitations; exclusions; rules regarding referral process too include appeals, claims, grievance process.