Patient Rights

By Goytree Hakim

I’m sure many of you may have heard about elder abuse on the news and have read about it in the Star Tribune.

As an advocate with AARP, I was invited to hearings and committee meetings at the State Capitol, where I learned about the frequent prevalence of elder abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. There are some bills being crafted to address these findings

I also learned that patients and families have found it difficult to find out the names of the owners of these facilities, in case they had a concern, and that they were afraid to complain to staff, for fear of retribution. I want to share with you that patients have rights any time they are receiving medical services. These rights include:

The right to be free from any form of maltreatment, including physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial exploitation
The right to be treated with courtesy and respect

If you know of/suspect abuse, or feel you have been abused, you can report anonymously by calling the following:

Abuse Hotline: 1-844-880-1574,

or you can contact the following State Agencies:

Office of Health Facility Complaints

Phone: 651-201-4201 or 1-800-369-7994
Fax: 651-281-9796

Mailing Address:
Minnesota Department of Health
Office of Health Facility Complaints
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 300
PO Box 64970
St. Paul, MN 55164-0970

Ombudsman for Long Term Care

Phone: 651-431-2555 or 1800-657-3591
Fax: 651-431-7452

Mailing address:
Homecare Ombudsman for Long Term Care
PO Box 64971
St. Paul, MN 55164-0971

Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities

Phone: 651-757-1800 or 1800-657-3506
Fax: 651-797-1950 or 651-296-1021

Mailing address
121 7th Place East, Suite 420
Metro Square Building
St. Paul, MN 55101-2117