Home Services Patient Bill of Rights Skip To Content

Home Services Bill of Rights

Home care clients have a right to be notified in writing of their rights and obligations before treatment begins including what to do if rights are violated. Clients may assert these rights personally, or have them exercised by their family or guardian when the client has been judged incompetent, without retaliation. Home care providers may not require a person to surrender these rights as a condition of receiving services. Home care providers have an obligation to protect and promote the rights of their clients, including the following rights.

Decision Making

Clients have the right:

  • to be notified, in advance, about the services that are to be furnished, the types (disciplines) of the caregivers who will furnish the care, the frequency of the visits proposed to be furnished, other choices that are available, the consequences of these choices, including the consequences of refusing these services, and the right to refuse services without fear of reprisal or discrimination.
  • to be given complete and current information concerning your diagnosis, treatment alternatives, risks and prognosis as required by your physician's legal duty to disclose, in terms and language you can reasonably be expected to understand.
  • to be advised, in advance, of any recommended change in the plan of care and to take an active part in any decisions about changes to the plan of care before any changes are made.
  • to receive care and services according to a suitable and up-to-date plan, and subject to accepted medical or nursing standards.
  • to actively participate in creating, changing and evaluating the plan of care and to be advised, in advance, that they have the right to do so.
  • to choose a course of treatment or to refuse a treatment and know what the decision will mean to you.
  • to be informed in writing of rights under state law to make decisions concerning medical care including the right to accept or refuse treatment and the right to formulate advance directives.
  • to be informed in writing of policy and procedure for implementing advance directives including any limitations if the provider cannot implement an advance directive on the basis of conscience.
  • to have the health care provider comply with advance directives in accordance with state law requirement.
  • to receive care without condition or discrimination based on whether or not the client has executed a health care directive.
  • to choose whether or not to participate in research, investigational or experimental studies.
  • to the appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • to know that there may be other services available in the community, including other home care providers, and to know where to go for information about these services.

The home care provider or the client's physician may be forced to refer the client to another source of care if the client's refusal to comply with the plan of care threatens to compromise the provider's commitment to quality care.


Clients have the right:

  • to confidentiality of personal, financial and medical information and to be advised of the provider's policies and procedures regarding disclosure of such information.
  • to expect the home care provider to release information only as required by law or authorized by the client.
  • to privacy and security with personal, written, telephone and electronic communications while a patient.

Clients and Providers Have a Right to Dignity and Respect

  • Home care clients and their formal caregivers have a right to not be discriminated against based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, financial status, source of payment, or type of illness.
  • Clients and caregivers have a right to be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity, including respect for property, personal values, beliefs and culture.
  • Caregivers are prohibited from accepting personal gifts and borrowing from clients.
  • Both clients and providers have a right to mutual respect, dignity and to be free of verbal, psychological and physical abuse or harassment, and neglect and financial exploitation.
  • Clients have the right to be free from all forms of maltreatment covered under the Vulnerable Adult Act and the Maltreatment of Minors Act.

Financial Information

Clients have the right:

  • to be informed, and advised, both orally and in writing, in advance, of receiving care whether services are by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other payer known to the home care provider.
  • to be informed of the charges that will not be covered by Medicare.
  • to be informed of the charges for which the client may be liable no matter who will be paying the bill.
  • to receive financial information, orally and in writing of any changes in coverage and, if applicable, the recipient liability for charges as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the provider becomes aware of the change.
  • to have access, upon request, to all bills for services that client has received regardless of whether the bills are paid out-of-pocket or by another party, and also access to clinical records and written information from records in accordance with section 144.335 in Minnesota.
  • to know of any financial benefit to Sanford Home Care if the patient purchases services or supplies from Sanford Home Care.

Quality of Care

Clients have the right:

  • to receive care in a safe setting and of the highest quality centered on individual needs by home care providers who are properly trained and competent to perform their duties.
  • in general, to be admitted by a home care provider only if it has the resources needed to provide the care safely and at the required level of intensity.
  • to know, in advance, of any limits to the services available from a provider, and the provider's grounds for termination of services.
  • to be told what to do in the case of an emergency.
  • to receive a coordinated transfer and an explanation of the need for the transfer when there will be a change in provider services.
  • to choose freely among available providers and to change providers after services have begun, within limits of health insurance, long-term insurance, medical assistance, or other health programs.
  • to reasonable, advance notice of changes in services or charges, including at least 10 days' advance notice of the termination of service including the reason for termination of services
    • The client, the person who lives with the client or others in the home engages in conduct that alters the conditions of employment as specified in the employment contract between the home care provider and the individual providing home care services.
    • An emergency for the informal caregiver or a significant change in the client's condition has resulted in service needs that exceed the current service provider agreement and that cannot be safely met by the home care provider.

The home care provider shall assure that:

  • all medically related home care is provided in accordance with physician's orders and that a plan of care specifies the services and their frequency and duration.
  • all medically related personal care is provided by an appropriately trained home care aide who is supervised by a nurse or other qualified home care professional.

Client Responsibilities and Rights

Clients have the responsibility:

  • to notify the provider of changes in their conditions (e.g. hospitalization, changes in the plan of care, symptoms to be reported).
  • to carry out mutually agreed responsibilities and follow the plan of care.
  • to notify the provider if the visit schedule needs to be changed.
  • to inform providers of the existence of, and any changes made to, advance directives.
  • to advise the provider of any problems or dissatisfaction with the services provided.
  • to provide a safe environment for care to be provided.

Clients have the right:

  • to have relationships with home care providers that are based on honest and ethical standards of conduct and be involved in resolving ethical issues regarding care decisions.
  • to know how to contact an individual associated with the provider who is responsible for handling problems and to have the provider investigate and attempt to resolve the grievance or complaint in a timely manner.
  • to voice their grievances regarding treatment or care that is, or fails to be, furnished, or regarding the lack of courtesy or respect to the client or the client's property without fear of discrimination or reprisal for having done so.
  • to have the provider document in writing all complaints, and document in writing the resolution of the complaint against anyone furnishing services on behalf of the provider.
  • to be advised of the telephone number and hours of operation of the state's home health “hot line” that receives complaints or questions about local home care agencies.

Language in italics represents additional consumer rights under Federal law in Minnesota.
Language is bold represents additional consumer rights under Federal law in Iowa.


Iowa numbers

Iowa Department of Inspection & Appeals
Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319-0083
Toll Free Hotline: (800) 383-4920 (leave a message)

If you are a Medicare/Medicaid client in Iowa you may also contact the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) with concerns about quality of care and complaints:

5201 West Kennedy Blvd., Suite 900
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 280-8256 or toll free (855) 408-8557

North Dakota numbers

State Department of Health Facilities
North Dakota State Health Department
600 E. Boulevard
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200
(701) 328-2352 or Toll Free Hot Line (800) 545-8256
Office hours: Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (closed holidays)

If you are a Medicare/Medicaid client in North Dakota you may also contact the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) with concerns about quality of care and complaints:

5700 Lombardo Center Drive, Suite 100
Seven Hills, OH 44131
(216) 477-9604 or toll free (844) 430-9504

Minnesota numbers

Minnesota Department of Health
Office of Health Facility Complaints
85 E. 7th Place, Suite 300
P. O. Box 64970
St. Paul, MN 55164-0970
(651) 201-4201 or Toll Free Hot Line (800) 369-7994 Fax: (651) 281-9796
Consumers may call: Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Website: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fpc/ohfcinfo/contohfc.htm
Email: health.ohfc-complaints@state.mn.us

Home Care Ombudsman
Ombudsman for Long Term Care
PO Box 64971
St. Paul, MN 55164-0971
(651) 431-2555 or Toll Free (800) 657-3591 Fax: (651) 431-7452
Website: http://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/seniors/services/ombudsman/
Email: mba.ooltc@state.mn.us

Ombudsman for Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities
121 7th Place East
Suite 420 Metro Square Building
St. Paul, MN 55101-2117
(651) 757-1800 or (800) 657-3506 Fax: (651) 797-1950 or (651) 296-1021
Website: http://mn.gov/omhdd/
Email: ombudsman.mhdd@state.mn.us

If you are a Medicare/Medicaid client in Minnesota you may also contact the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) with concerns about quality of care and complaints:

5201 West Kennedy Blvd., Suite 900
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 280-8256 or toll free (855) 408-8557

South Dakota numbers

South Dakota Department of Health
700 Governor's Drive
Pierre, SD 57501
Toll Free (800) 592-1861

If you are a Medicare/Medicaid client in South Dakota you may also contact the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) with concerns about quality of care and complaints:

5700 Lombardo Center Drive, Suite 100
Seven Hills, OH 44131
(216)477-9604 or toll free (844)430-9504