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Patient Rights | Patient Responsibility

Patient Rights and Responsibilities were established with the expectation that observance of these rights will contribute to more effective patient care and greater satisfaction for the patient, family, provider, and the staff caring for the patient. Patients shall have the following rights without regard to age, race, sex, national origin, religion, culture, physical handicap, personal values or belief systems: (Pursuant to Chapter 111, Section 70E, General Laws of Commonwealth of Massachusetts)

The patient has the right:

To have all reasonable requests responded to promptly and adequately within the capacity of the facility.

To receive the care necessary to help regain or maintain his or her maximum state of health and, if necessary, cope with death.

To expect personnel who care for the patient to be friendly, considerate, respectful and qualified through education and experience and perform the services for which they are responsible with the highest quality of service.

To expect full recognition of individuality, including privacy in treatment and care. In addition, all communications and records will be kept confidential.

To complete information, to the extent known by the physician, regarding diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, as well as alternative treatments or procedures and the possible risks and side effects associated with treatment.

To be fully informed of the scope of services available at the facility, provisions for after hours and emergency care and related fees for services rendered.

Upon request, to receive from a person designated by the facility any information which the facility has available relative to financial assistance and free health care.

To be a participant in decisions regarding the intensity and scope of treatment. If the patient is unable to participate in those decisions, the patient’s rights shall be exercised by the patient’s designated representative or other legally designated person.

Upon request, to inspect his/her medical records and to receive a copy thereof in accordance with section seventy, and the fee for said copy shall be determined by the rate of copying expenses.

To expect your reports of pain will be believed based upon clinical assessment, and that pain relief measures will be instituted, and effective pain management will be pursued.

To refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and be informed of the medical consequences of such a refusal. The patient accepts responsibility for his/her actions should he or she refuse treatment or not follow the instructions of the physician or facility.

To approve or refuse the release of medical records to any individual outside the facility, except in the case of transfer to another health facility, or as required by law or third-party payment contract.

To be informed of any human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting his/her care or treatment and can refuse participation in such experimentation or research without compromise to the patient’s usual care.

To in the case of a maternity patient, at the time of pre-admission, to complete information from an admitting hospital on its annual rate of primary caesarian sections, annual rate of repeat caesarian sections, annual rate of total caesarian sections, annual percentage of women who have had a caesarian section who have had a subsequent successful vaginal birth, annual percentage of deliveries in birthing rooms and labor-delivery-recovery or labor-delivery-recovery-postpartum rooms, annual percentage of deliveries by certified nurse midwives, annual percentage which were continuously externally monitored only, annual percentage which were monitored both internally and externally, annual percentages utilizing intravenous, inductions, augmentation, forceps, episiotomies, spinals, epidurals and general anesthesia, and its annual percentage of women breast-feeding upon discharge from said hospital.

To express grievances/complaints and suggestions at any time.

Upon request, to obtain from the facility in charge of his/her care the name and specialty, if any, of the physician or other person responsible for his/her care or the coordination of his/her care.

To change primary or specialty physicians or providers if other qualified providers are available.

To prompt life saving treatment in an emergency without discrimination on account of economic status or source of payment and without delaying treatment for purposes of prior discussion of the source of payment unless such delay can be imposed without material risk to his/her health, and this right shall also extend to those persons not already patients or residents of a facility if said facility has a certified emergency care unit.

In the case of a patient suffering from any form of breast cancer, to complete information on all alternative treatments which are medically viable.

To have an advance directive, such as a living will or healthcare proxy. A patient who has advance directive must provide a copy to the facility and his/her physician so that his/her wishes may be known and honored.

To be fully informed before any transfer to another facility or organization.

If refused treatment because of economic status or the lack of a source for payment, to prompt and safe transfer to a facility which agrees to receive and treat such patient. Said facility refusing to treat such patient shall be responsible for: ascertaining that the patient may be safely transferred; contacting a facility willing to treat such patient; arranging the transportation; accompanying the patient with necessary and appropriate professional staff to assist in the safety and comfort of the transfer, assure that the receiving facility assumes the necessary care promptly, and provide pertinent medical information about the patient’s condition; and maintaining records of the foregoing.

To express those spiritual beliefs and cultural practices which do not harm others or interfere with the planned course of medical therapy for the patient.



Patient Rights | Patient Responsibility

Developing and maintaining positive health practices: good nutrition, sleep and rest, exercise, positive relationships and stress management.

Being considerate of other patients and personnel and for assisting in the control of noise, smoking and other distractions. Respecting the property of others and the facility.

Treating providers and staff with respect and calling with questions during reasonable hours (unless it’s a true emergency).

Telling your primary care provider if you do not understand the treatment you receive and to ask if you do not understand how to care for your illness.

Asking what to expect regarding pain and pain management, discussing pain relief options with your provider and working toward developing a pain management plan, helping your provider and nurse assess your pain, informing your provider if pain is not relieved, and expressing worries you have about taking pain medication.

Following the directions and advice you and your provider have agreed upon.

Upon request, to obtain an explanation as to the relationship, if any, of the physician to any other health care facility or educational institutions insofar as said relationship relates to his/her care or treatment, and such explanation shall include said physician’s ownership or financial interest, if any, in the facility or other health care facilities insofar as said ownership relates to the care or treatment of said patient or resident.

Consulting with your primary care provider for referrals to non-emergency specialists or hospital care.

Upon request, to obtain an explanation as to the relationship, if any of the facility to any other health center facility or educational institution insofar as said relationship relates to his/her care or treatment.

Keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, notifying the facility.

Providing caregivers with the most accurate and complete information regarding present complaints, past illnesses and hospitalization, medications, unexpected changes in the patient’s condition or any other patient health matters.

To obtain from a person designated by the facility, a copy of any rules or regulations of the facility which apply to his/her conduct as a patient or resident.

Observing prescribed rules of the facility during his/her stay and treatment and, if instructions are not followed, forfeiting the right to care at the facility and being responsible for the outcome.

Upon request to receive a copy of an itemized bill or other statement of charges submitted to any third party by the facility for care of the patient or resident and to have a copy of said itemized bill or statement sent to the attending physician of the patient or resident.

Upon request to receive an itemized bill, including third party reimbursements paid toward said bill, regardless of the sources of payment.

Promptly fulfilling his/her financial obligations to the facility.

Any person whose rights under this section are violated may bring, in addition to any other action allowed by law or regulation, a civil action under sections sixty b and e inclusive, of chapter two hundred and thirty-one.

Patient Rights | Patient Responsibility

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