Your Nonprofit Home Health & Hospice Agencies

Your Rights as a Patient


Federal law requires that all individuals receiving home care services be informed of their rights as a patient. As a home care patient you have the right to:

  • be fully informed of all your rights and responsibilities by the home care agency;
  • appropriate and professional care in accordance with physician orders;
  • receive a timely response from the agency to your request for service;
  • receive information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any treatment or procedure;
  • be advised of any change in the plan of care, before the change is made;
  • refuse treatment within the confines of the law and to be informed of the consequences of your action;
  • be informed of your rights to formulate advanced directives;
  • have your health care provider comply with advance directives in accordance with state law;
  • be informed within reasonable time of anticipated termination of service or plans for transfer to another agency;
  • be fully informed of agency policies and charges for services, including eligibility for third-party reimbursements;
  • voice grievances and suggest changes in service or staff without fear of restraint or discrimination;
  • a fair hearing if you service has been denied, reduced, or terminated;
  • information concerning the fair hearing procedure;
  • be informed of what to do in the event of an emergency; and
  • be advised of the telephone number and hours of operation of the state’s home health hot line, which receives questions and complaints about Medicare-certified and state-licensed home care agencies.

Should you have a problem, we want to know so we can work with you to resolve it. It is recommended that you begin with calling the agency providing your care directly. Most problems are resolved by the agency. You can find a listing of agency contact information here.

If you are not able to resolve the situation, or would like to seek further assistance, the following resources are available to you:

  • VNAs of Vermont Ombudsman (Helpline). Many problems can be resolved through this method. The number is 1-800-713-0893
  • State Home Health Hotline, 1-800-564-1612
  • Office of the VT Health Care Ombudsman, 1-800-917-7787
  • State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, 1-800-889-2047
  • Medicaid complaint line, 1-800-987-2839
  • Medicare complaint line, 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4273)
  • Home Care Compare