If you are an individual receiving services for mental health, substance use disorder, or intellectual or developmental disabilities, you have the right to protect how you live your life and how you receive treatment. You also have some responsibilities to help achieve the best results possible from your services.
As outlined in the North Carolina General Statutes (GS 122C 51-67) and the North Carolina Administrative Code (APSM 95-2), Partners and our network of providers make sure your rights are always protected, and we encourage you to know and use these rights.
Partners will remind you of these rights and responsibilities at least once a year. We will announce when a change to state or federal law may affect your rights. Partners and providers can also help you exercise your rights. These statutes and regulations also outline requirements for the use and follow up of restrictive interventions and protective devices.
You are free to exercise your rights and the exercise of those rights shall not adversely affect the way that Partners or its providers treat you. Your rights include:
- The right to be treated with respect and due consideration of dignity and privacy
- The right to receive oral interpreter services at no cost
- The right to be free from any form of restraint or seclusion used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation
- The right to receive information on available treatment options and alternatives, presented in a manner appropriate to your condition and ability to understand
- The right to request and receive a copy of your medical record, except as set forth in MCGS 122C-53(d), and to request that the medical record be amended or corrected in accordance with 45 CFR Part 164
- The right to participate in decisions regarding health care, including the right to refuse treatment
- The right to file grievances and appeals
- The right to a State Fair Hearing
- The right to limited specific treatment consents as a minor
Know Your Rights:
Click the associated tabs to learn more about your rights.
What are my responsibilities?
In addition to your rights as a recipient of services, you can help ensure the best outcomes for yourself by assuming the following responsibilities:
A. Give information to help those that provide your care
B. Follow the plans that you have agreed to
C. Understand your health, and participate in developing treatment goals
D. Tell the doctor or nurse about any changes in your health
E. Ask questions when you do not understand your care or what you are expected to do
F. Invite people who will be helpful and supportive to your treatment planning
G. Respect the rights and property of other consumers and program staff
H. Respect other consumers’ needs for privacy
I. Work on the goals of your Person Centered Plan
J. Keep all the scheduled appointments that you can
K. Cancel an appointment at least 24-hours in advance
L. Inform staff of any medical condition that is contagious
M. Take medications as prescribed for you
N. Tell your doctor if you are having side effects from your medications
O. Tell your doctor if your medications are not helping you feel better
P. Tell your doctor or therapist if you do not agree with their recommendations
Q. Tell your doctor or therapist when and if you want to end treatment
R. Carry your Medicaid or other insurance card with you at all times
S. Cooperate with those trying to care for you
What are my civil rights?
Unless a court has declared a person incompetent, the person is entitled to all civil rights including:
- To register and vote
- To buy or sell property, to own property
- To sign a contract
- To sue others who have wronged them
- To marry or get a divorce
- To procreate and raise children
Persons determined to be incompetent and who are assigned a court appointed guardian retain legal and civil rights, except those rights that are granted to the guardian by the court.
A person receiving services has the right to be informed in advance of the potential risks and benefits of treatment options, including the right to refuse to take part in research studies. The person has the right to consent to or refuse any treatment unless:
- It is an emergency situation
- The person is not a voluntary patient
- Treatment is ordered by a court of law
- The person is under 18 years of age, has not been emancipated, and the guardian or conservator gives permission
The Rights noted here are based on North Carolina General Statutes 122C Article 3 and the Client Rights Rules, 10 NCAC 27C, 27D, 27E, 27F (APSM 95-2). Partners Behavioral Health Management reserves the right to have more restrictive policies and procedures than state and federal rules and regulations.
Your right to privacy
You have the right to confidentiality. The law protects the confidentiality of your care and treatment. Except as allowed by law and agency regulations, your records and other information about you will not be released without your written permission. Circumstances under which we may be required to share information with another person or agency about the services you receive include:
- If you give permission, we may share information with any person that you name.
- Your next of kin may be informed that you are a patient, if it is in your best interest.
- With your permission, your next of kin, a family member with a legitimate role in your service, or another person whom you name, may be given other information about your care.
- A consumer advocate may review your record when assigned to work on your behalf.
- The court may order us to release your records.
- Our attorney may need to see your file because of legal proceedings.
- Another public agency may need to receive your files when your care is transferred.
- If you become imprisoned, we may have to share your file with prison officials.
- In an emergency, another professional who is treating you may receive your records.
- A physician or other professional who referred you to our facility may receive your files.
- If we believe that you are a danger to yourself or to others or if we believe that you are likely to commit a crime or that you are abusing or neglecting your children, we are responsible for sharing this information with law enforcement and DSS.
- Special rules may apply if you have a legal guardian appointed, are a minor, or are receiving treatment for substance use or addiction.
You have the right to request and receive a copy of your medical record unless your provider, doctor or therapist determines that this would be detrimental to your physical or mental well-being. This is called therapeutic privilege as set forth in NCGS 122C-53(d). If the doctor or therapist determines that this would be detrimental to the physical or mental well-being of the person, the person can request that the information is sent to a physician or professional of his or her choice.
The Network Provider shall ensure that all individuals providing services will maintain the confidentiality of any and all consumers and other information received in the course of providing services hereunder and will not discuss, transmit, or narrate in any form any consumer information of a personal nature, medical or otherwise, except as authorized in writing by the consumer or his legally responsible person or except as otherwise permitted by applicable federal and state confidentiality laws and regulations including NCGS 122C, Article 3, which addresses confidentiality of all confidential information acquired in attending or treating a consumer, and 42 CFR, Subchapter A, Part 2, which addresses confidentiality of records of drug and alcohol abuse patients.
Rights of minors
A minor has the right to agree to some treatments without the consent of his or her parent or guardian:
- For treatment of venereal diseases
- For pregnancy
- For abuse of controlled substances or alcohol
- For emotional disturbance
If you are under the age of 18, you have the right to:
- Proper adult supervision and guidance
- Age appropriate activities, special education, and vocational training if needed
- Appropriate structure and treatment separate from adults
Rights in 24-Hour Facilities
If you enter a 24-hour treatment facility, you will be given, and have explained to you, the specific rules for that facility. These rules must be given to you within 72 hours or within your first three visits to the program. These rules will cover hygiene and grooming, your living environment, your personal funds and storage, and protection of clothing and possessions. These rules are in Subchapter 27F of the 10A North Carolina Administrative Code, section .0100 through .0105.
Client Rights Rules in community mental health, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, and substance use or addiction services are available on the Internet at: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/mhddsas/statspublications/Manuals/apsm95-2clrights7-03.pdf.
Rights in Jail
Both the North Carolina General Statutes and the North Carolina Administrative Code set standards for jails. Each jail must have a Medical Plan that includes policies for health screening of inmates upon admission, as well as administration, dispensing, and control of prescription and non-prescription medications. Jails must provide privacy during an examination and conferences with qualified medical personnel. You will be observed twice an hour. If you have a history of making suicide attempts or are displaying erratic behavior, you will be observed four times in an hour. 10A NCAC 14J.0601; 10A NCAC 14J.1001; 1002; 14J.0101 (17); 10A NCASC 14J.0203 (8)