Patients’ Rights & Responsibilities

Weems Memorial respects the basic human rights and personal dignity of each patient. As a patient, you have the right and responsibility to be informed and participate in decisions involving your care. When you are either incapacitated, incompetent, or a minor, your rights can be exercised by a legally authorized person. Florida law requires that your physician or health care facility recognizes your rights while you are receiving medical care and that you respect the physician or Healthcare facility’s right to expect a certain behavior on the part of the patient. You may request a copy of the full text of this law from your physician or health care facility. A summary of your rights and responsibilities follows:

As a patient, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of your individual dignity and be free from abuse and harassment.
  • The protection of your need for privacy and to receive care in a safe setting.
  • Confidentiality of your medical record.
  • Access information contained in your medical record within a reasonable time.
  • A prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests.
  • To know who is providing medical services and who is responsible for your care.
  • What patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if you do not speak English, or if you are hearing impaired.
  • What rules and regulations apply to your conduct.
  • Refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law.
  • Be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for your care.
  • If eligible for Medicare, to know upon request and in advance of treatment, whether the health care provider or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate.
  • To receive, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
  • Receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained.
  • To impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations regardless of age, race, national origin, religion, language, culture, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical handicap or source of payment.
  • Treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
  • To know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give your consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research.
  • To express grievances regarding any violation of your rights, as stated in Florida law, through the grievance procedure of the health care provider or health care facility that served you and to the appropriate state licensing agency.
  • To be given by your health care provider information concerning diagnosis, planned and unplanned outcomes in the course of treatment, alternatives, risks and prognosis.
  • To have your pain treated, to be taught about pain and how your pain can be relieved, and to have your complaint of pain addressed.
  • To receive visitors you choose, including, but not limited to a spouse, domestic partner (including same sex domestic partner), another family member or a friend, and you have the right to deny consent at any time.
  • To have a family member, friend or other individual person present for emotional support during the course of your stay.
  • To be free from restraint unless the restraint is needed to protect you or others from harm.

As a patient, you have a responsibility to:

  • Provide to your health care provider, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health.
  • Report unexpected changes in your condition to your health care provider.
  • Report to your health care provider whether you comprehend a contemplated course of action and what is expected of you.
  • Follow the treatment plan recommended by your health care provider.
  • Keep appointments and, when you are unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the health care provider or health care facility.
  • Take responsibility for your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the health care provider’s instructions.
  • Assure that the financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  • Follow the health care facility rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
  • Be responsible for proper conduct, including no violence toward patients, visitors or staff.

If you have concerns

Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline 1-800-96-ABUSE  

To report abuse, neglect, or exploitation, please call toll-free 1-800-962-2873. The Abuse Hotline investigates allegations of physical, sexual and mental abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable persons.  

Agency for Health Care Administration Hotline 1-888-419-3456  

To report a complaint regarding the services you receive, please call toll-free 1-888- 419-3456 (press Option 1), or visit  If your concerns represent a potential regulatory violation, the Agency will conduct a complaint inspection.  

Disability Rights Florida 1-800-342-0823  

To report that a staff member of a health care facility has not made reasonable accommodations to meet your specific needs or has discriminated against you because of a disability, please call toll-free 1-800-342-0823.  

Bureau of Medicaid Program Integrity 1-888-419-3456  

Medicaid Program Integrity audits and investigates providers suspected of overbilling or defrauding Florida’s Medicaid program. If you feel that you have been charged for services that should be paid for by Medicaid, or if someone billed Medicaid for services that were not provided, this unit will investigate Medicaid billing practices to determine if they were appropriate. To report a complaint, please call toll-free 1-888-419-3456, or go to the Agency web site at  

Medicaid Fraud Control Unit 1-866-966-7226  

Medicaid fraud means an intentional deception or misrepresentation made by a health care provider with the knowledge that the deception could result in some unauthorized benefit to him or herself or some other person. It includes any act that constitutes fraud under applicable federal or state law as it relates to Medicaid.   To report suspected Medicaid fraud, please call the Attorney General toll-free 1-866-966-7226. Under Florida law, you may be entitled to a reward for providing information after a criminal case has resulted in a fine, penalty, or forfeiture of property. The amount of the reward may be up to 25 percent of the amount recovered, or a maximum of $500,000 per case.  

Callers may request to remain anonymous.