Right to Active and Effective Treatment

Pursuant to Connecticut Patients’ Bill of Rights all patients are entitled to receive active and effective treatment suited to their individual treatment needs. The obligation to provide active and effective treatment begins as soon as treatment begins and continues until treatment ceases.

In order to provide active and effective treatment, a treatment provider must perform all relevant tests, assessments and evaluations. In addition, providers must make good faith efforts to obtain records of past treatment. The Information obtained from the assessments and record reviews must be utilized to inform the treatment strategy and treatment plan.

To ensure the treatment is individualized, the patient’s goals must be identified when treatment begins and they should drive the treatment plan. Further, the individual’s needs and preferences must be identified and incorporated in to the treatment plan, For instance if the patient cannot speak English, all necessary treatment services must be provided in a language the patient understands. Likewise, if a patient’s ability to participate in the provider’s programs, services or activities is limited by a physical, cognitive or psychiatric disability, the provider must provide the necessary reasonable accommodations to ensure effective access to treatment services. For instance, if a patient has impaired vision but wants a copy of a treatment plan, it must be provided in an alternative format.

The obligation to provide active and effective treatment requires that an adequate quantity of treatment is provided. The medically accepted standard of care for persons in recovery who are receiving in-patient services is to be provided 20 hours of treatment services per week. It is no longer acceptable for in-patient providers to consider mere presence in a hospital treatment- e.g. milieu therapy- active medical treatment.

Active treatment consists of the treatment interventions prescribed in the treatment plan. In order to determine if the treatment provided is effective, its impact on the patient’s treatment goals and objectives must be assessed at regular intervals. For persons in recovery receiving in patient care, the generally accepted standard of care requires that the effectiveness of the treatment services being provided be assessed every thirty days.

In order to know whether or not each prescribed treatment intervention is effective, the treatment providers must document the patients participation in the treatment and the impact that participation is having on the patient’s achievement of a goal. Every intervention must be connected to a treatment goal. Likewise, every goal must have prescribed interventions.

Each and every prescribed intervention should be evaluated as to its effectiveness. For instance, if one of the treatment goals is reduction in internal stimuli, and the prescribed intervention is a specific medication regime, every 30 days the prescribing physician must ascertain whether the medication is having the desired effect of reducing the patient’s experience of internal stimuli.

If the intervention is proving to be effective but the goal has not yet been achieved the intervention should be continued. If the intervention is not proving to e effective, the providers should explore other possible treatment interventions. If the patient’s goals change, new interventions may be required. Likewise should there be a significant change in circumstances or a critical event, the treatment plan may need to be modified to provide treatment necessary to address any such changes.