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Your Rights in Living Independence for the Elderly

Living Independence for the Elderly, also called LIFE, is a special program that combines medical and long-term care services in a community setting.

When you join a LIFE program, you have certain rights and protections. Albright LIFE, as your LIFE program, must fully explain and provide your rights to you or someone acting on your behalf in a way you can understand at the time you join.

To be eligible, you must

  • Be age 55 or older.
  • Live in the service area of the LIFE program.
  • Be certified as eligible for nursing home care by the State Administering Agency.
  • Be able to live safely in the community at the time of enrollment with LIFE services

The goals of LIFE are:

  • To maximize the independence, dignity, and respect of LIFE members;
  • To help make LIFE members more independent and improve their quality of life;
  • To provide coordinated quality health care to LIFE members;
  • To keep LIFE members living safely in their homes and communities as long as possible;
  • To help support and keep LIFE members together with their family.

At Albright LIFE, we are dedicated to providing you with quality health care services so that you may remain as independent as possible. Our staff seeks to affirm the dignity and worth of each participant by assuring the following rights:

You have the right to be treated with respect.

You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, to have all of your care kept private and confidential, and to get compassionate, considerate care. You have the right:

  • To get all of your health care in a safe, clean environment and in an accessible manner.
  • To be free from harm. This includes excessive medication, physical or mental abuse, neglect, physical punishment, being placed by yourself against your will, and any physical or chemical restraint that is used on you for discipline or convenience of staff and that you do not need to treat your medical symptoms or to prevent injury.
  • To be encouraged to use your rights in the LIFE program.
  • To get help, if you need it, to use the Medicare and Medicaid complaint and appeal processes, and your civil and other legal rights.
  • To be encouraged and helped in talking to LIFE staff about changes in policy and services you think should be made.
  • To use a telephone while at the LIFE Center.
  • To not have to do work or services for the LIFE program.

You have a right to protection against discrimination.

Discrimination is against the law. Every company or agency that works with Medicare and Medicaid must obey the law. They cannot discriminate against you because of your:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Mental or physical disability
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Source of payment for your health care (For example, Medicare or Medicaid)

If you think you have been discriminated against for any of these reasons, contact a staff member at the LIFE program to help you resolve your problem.

If you have any questions, you can call the Office for Civil Rights at 1-800-368-1019. TTY users should call 1-800-537-7697.

You have a right to information and assistance.

You have the right to get accurate, easy-to-understand information and to have someone help you make informed health care decisions. You have the right:

  • To have someone help you if you have a language or communication barrier so you can understand all information given to you.
  • To have the LIFE program interpret the information into your preferred language in a culturally competent manner, if your first language is not English and you can’t speak English well enough to understand the information being given to you.
  • To get marketing materials and LIFE participant rights in English and in any other frequently used language in your community. You can also get these materials in Braille, if necessary.
  • To have the enrollment agreement fully explained to you in a manner understood by you.
  • To get a written copy of your rights from the LIFE program. The LIFE program must also post these rights in a public place in the LIFE center where it is easy to see them.
  • To be fully informed, in writing, of the services offered by the LIFE program. This includes telling you which services are provided by contractors instead of the LIFE staff. You must be given this information before you join, at the time you join, and when you need to make a choice about what services to receive.
  • To look at, or get help to look at, the results of the most recent review of your LIFE program. Federal and State agencies review all LIFE programs. You also have a right to review how the LIFE program plans to correct any problems that are found at inspection.

You have a right to a choice of providers.

You have the right to choose a health care provider within the LIFE program’s network and to get quality health care. Women have the right to get services from a qualified women’s health care specialist for routine or preventive women’s health care services.

You have a right to access emergency services.

You have the right to get emergency services when and where you need them without the LIFE program’s approval. A medical emergency is when you think your health is in serious danger—when every second counts. You may have a bad injury, sudden illness or an illness quickly getting much worse. You can get emergency care anywhere in the United States.

You have a right to participate in treatment decisions.

You have the right to fully participate in all decisions related to your health care. If you cannot fully participate in your treatment decisions or you want to have someone you trust help you, you have the right to choose that person to act on your behalf. You have the right:

  • To have all treatment options explained to you in a language you understand, to be fully informed of your health status and how well you are doing, and to make health care decisions. This includes the right not to get treatment or take medications. If you choose not to get treatment, you must be told how this will affect your health.
  • To have the LIFE program help you create an advance directive, if you choose. An advance directive is a written document that says how you want medical decisions to be made in case you cannot speak for yourself. You should give it to the person who will carry out your instructions and make health care decisions for you.
  • To participate in making and carrying out your plan of care. You can ask for your plan of care to be reviewed at any time.
  • To be given advance notice, in writing, of any plan to move you to another treatment setting and the reason you are being moved.

You have a right to have your health information kept private.

You have the right to talk with health care providers in private and to have your personal health care information kept private and confidential, including health data that is collected and kept electronically, as protected under State and Federal laws.

You have the right to look at and receive copies of your medical records and request amendments.

You have the right to be assured that your written consent will be obtained for the release of information to persons not otherwise authorized under law to receive it.

You have the right to provide written consent that limits the degree of information and the persons to whom information may be given.

There is a patient privacy rule that gives you more access to your own medical records and more control over how your personal health information is used. If you have any questions about this privacy rule, call the Office for Civil Rights at 1-800-368-1019. TTY users should call 1-800-537-7697.

You have a right to file a complaint.

You have a right to complain about the services you receive or that you need and don’t receive, the quality of your care, or any other concerns or problems you have with your LIFE program. You have the right to a fair and timely process for resolving concerns with your LIFE program. You have the right:

  • To a full explanation of the complaint process.
  • To be encouraged and helped to freely explain your complaints to LIFE staff and outside representatives of your choice. You must not be harmed in any way for telling someone your concerns. This includes being punished, threatened, or discriminated against.
  • To appeal any treatment decision by the LIFE program, staff, or contractors.

You have a right to leave the program.

If, for any reason, you do not feel that the LIFE program is what you want, you have the right to leave the program at any time and have such disenrollment be effective the first day of the month following the date the LIFE organization receives the participant’s notice of voluntary disenrollment.

Additional Help:

If you have complaints about your LIFE program, think your rights have been violated, or want to talk with someone outside your LIFE program about your concerns, call 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227 to get the name and phone number of someone in your State Administering Agency.