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What can I do if I am not satisfied with my care?

Sometimes you do not receive the care you want. Some of the reasons why people are not satisfied with their care (adapted from Avitzur, 2009) include:

  • Poor bedside manner (rude, brusque, insensitive, condescending behavior)
  • Unanswered questions
  • Difficulty making appointments
  • Unreturned phone calls
  • Being kept waiting
  • Rude office staff

If you are not happy with your care, a discussion with your health care professional is usually the best way to start. If you decide that it’s time to make a change, check to see what other doctors/hospitals are available within your health plan. If care options are limited within your network, talk to your insurance company to see if out-of-network benefits are available and, if so, what are the costs. If not available, talk directly with a provider about possible discounted rates.

Make sure you have a new provider in place before parting with your old one.  Remember that you have a right to copies of your medical records, which will help your new provider in treating you.

In a hospital setting, if a discussion with your provider does not resolve a situation, contact the hospital’s Patient Advocacy Office or the New York State Health Department.