Colorado Patient Bill of Rights

What makes healthcare good? In truth, there are a lot of things that go into making healthcare positive and beneficial for a patient.

Colorado has created patient rights for people receiving care in the state. These rights reinforce the important ways people deserve safe, respectful, and informed healthcare. They are minimum standards for patient care in a variety of respects.

Understanding patient rights in Colorado can help you make the most of your medical care and ensure that it meets your needs. In addition, it can help you fight back when you’re treated inappropriately.

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List of Patient Rights in Colorado

  • Participate in decisions about care and treatment
  • Know if the hospital is a teaching hospital
  • Consent to participate in clinical trials
  • Refuse treatment
  • Receive information about the risks and benefits of a course of treatment
  • Recognition of their values, beliefs, dignity, and personal privacy
  • Know the names, professional status, and experience of caregivers
  • Estimated charges for non-emergency care before treatment
  • Billing procedures and itemized billing
  • Give informed consent for care
  • Complain to the health care entity and government officials; know how to make a complaint
  • Care that is free of abuse, neglect, and inappropriate restraints
  • A care facility that can meet their medical needs, except in emergencies
  • Care in a safe setting
  • Record confidentiality
  • Know if a referral has a financial interest with the healthcare provider
  • Creation and compliance with advance directives
  • Disclosure of patient rights and complaint procedures

What Is the Patient Bill of Rights in Colorado?

The Patient Bill of Rights¹ in Colorado is a list of specific rights people have when receiving medical care. It is a statement of minimum standards that people have the right to expect when they receive medical care. The Bill of Rights encompasses several aspects of care, including informed consent, confidentiality, and transparent billing practices.

doctor consulting patient

Have My Patient Rights Been Violated?

When you get medical care, you may not know that your patient rights have been violated. You may only have a bad feeling or unease about something that has happened or the medical care you received.

Our lawyers can help you evaluate if your patient rights have been violated. Health care organizations and health insurance companies have large teams of lawyers and public relations personnel who will not volunteer the truth. Our medical malpractice lawyers can help you investigate. Our knowledge of the Patient Bill of Rights can determine if what happened to you violated your rights. Then, we can help you take the appropriate action to enforce your rights and seek justice.

What Can I Do If My Rights Were Violated?

Even though patient rights are known and written down in Colorado law, violations happen all too often. If you’re a victim, there are several things that you can do to enforce your rights. You may file internal complaints with the healthcare entity that may prompt an internal investigation.

In addition, there are multiple government entities that receive reports about patient rights violations. You may make a report to the Health Facilities Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Office of Civil Rights. The Colorado Board of Medical Examiners may also investigate a report.

Finally, you may exercise your legal rights. You may have a valid legal claim. You may seek to hold the healthcare providers accountable and claim compensation. The result may be a finding of wrongdoing and monetary compensation for the victim.

doctor writing on a medical record paper with pen

Who Can Access My Medical Records?

There are a few exceptions, but in general, the accountability act HIPAA³ states only a few circumstances where someone other than you can access your medical records. There are mandatory reporting requirements for some infectious diseases to state health officials. A patient can consent through authorization forms for someone else to access their medical information or test results.

In the case of a deceased person, the personal representative may access medical history. Heirs may ask for documents if a personal representative is not appointed.

Can a Doctor Refuse to Give You Your Medical Records?

Usually not. While a doctor’s office can charge a small fee for the production of records, in general, they cannot outright deny you access to your records⁴.

lawyer consulting client

Lawyers for Patient Bills of Rights Violations

In medical care, you have important rights. At Bachus & Schanker LLC, our entire law firm is focused on protecting the rights of individuals and families.

If you’re concerned about the medical care you have received, we invite you to contact us to examine your rights. There’s no cost or obligation to call. Contact us today.


¹Rule 6 CCR 1011-1, Standards for Hospitals and Health Facilities. Retrieved 14 June 2022.

²Individuals’ Right under HIPAA to Access their Health Information 45 CFR § 164.524. United States Department of Health and Human Services HIPAA. Retrieved 14 June 2022.

³Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC) Retrieved 14 June 2022.⁴Joy Pritts, JD, et. all. (2006) Your Medical Record Rights in Colorado, Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University. Retrieved 14 June 2022.

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Written and Legally Reviewed By: Kyle Bachus

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Kyle is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bar associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for more than twenty years in total. Over the years, Kyle has achieved justice for many clients. He has served on numerous committees and repeatedly won recognition from his peers at both the state and national level. He is proud of the role he has played in the passage of state and national legislation to protect consumers and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer.