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What To Do About Healthcare Discrimination


What to do About Healthcare Discrimination

If you think you have been discriminated against, there are things you can do to protect your rights.

Keep good records.
Write down everything that happened to you right away, including dates and the names and phone numbers of anyone who saw what happened. Ask for copies of all your medical records by signing a release as soon as you can. Be sure to keep copies of any papers related to what happened.

Get support.
Healthcare discrimination can be a trauma. You may want to get help in coping with the stress from friends, support groups, or a therapist.

File a complaint.
There are a lot of different places where you can Þle complaints to try to get action taken about what happened to you. Most hospitals and healthcare providers' offices have an internal way to file a grievance. Some have an office of a patient advocate that may be able to help you. You can also file a complaint with a professional association about a provider's unethical acts. Also, there are local and state government agencies that can enforce discrimination laws if you file a complaint with them.

Talk to a lawyer.
You may be able to bring a lawsuit about what happened to you. The time limits about how soon you have to bring a law suit or give notice of your claim are complicated. It is best to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible so you can better protect your rights. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right lawyer. Even if the first couple of lawyers you talk to cannot take your case, you may still find the right one.

Whether or not you file a complaint or a lawsuit, you can also make change in other ways. Working with other people in your community, organizing, doing direct action and speaking out publicly can help end discrimination against all people.

Last Review and Update: Dec 08, 2009