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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Last November, I directed you to review the health care programs you administer and/or oversee and report to me on the level and adequacy of the patient protections they provide. Specifically, I asked you to advise me on the extent to which those programs are in compliance with the Health Care Consumer Bill of Rights (the "Patient Bill of Rights") recommended by the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry ("the Quality Commission").
Yesterday, you formally conveyed your reports to me through Vice President Gore. He advises me that each of your agencies is well on its way toward full compliance with the patient protections recommended by the Quality Commission. By doing so, your agencies will serve as strong models for health plans in the private sector.
Under your leadership, we are showing that it is possible and desirable to ensure that patients have the tools they need to navigate through an increasingly complex health care delivery system. We are showing that common sense solutions for all too common problems in our health systems are the right prescription not only for beneficiaries of Federally administered programs, but for our private sector colleagues as well. Your efforts illustrate that patient protections can be accomplished without excessive costs or regulations.
While the news is encouraging, your reports also indicate that we have not completed the job. Although Federal health programs are taking a leading role in providing protections to patients, your report indicates we have the regulatory and administrative authority to come into substantial compliance with the Patient Bill of Rights, and I believe that this should be one of my Administration's highest priorities.
Therefore, I hereby direct you to take the following actions consistent with the missions of your agencies to come into compliance with the Patient Bill of Rights.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall:
The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall:
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall:
The Secretary of Defense shall:
The Secretary of Labor shall:
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Last Revised: Friday, June 19, 1998
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