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Patients' Bill of Rights

As a patient in a hospital in New York State, you have the right, consistent with law, to:
  1. Understand and use these rights. If for any reason you do not understand or you need help, the hospital MUST provide assistance, including an interpreter.
  2. Receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or source of payment.
  3. Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.
  4. Receive emergency care of you need it.
  5. Be informed of the name and position of the doctor who will be in change of your care in the hospital.
  6. Know the names, positions and functions of any hospital staff involved in your care and refuse their treatment, examination or observation.
  7. A no smoking room.
  8. Receive complete information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  9. Receive all the information that you need to give informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment. This information shall include the possible risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment.
  10. Receive all the information you need to give informed consent for an order not to resuscitate. You also have the right to designate an individual to give this consent for you if you are too ill to do so. If you would like additional information, please ask for a copy of the pamphlet "Do not resuscitate Orders - A Guide for Patients and Families."
  11. Refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health.
  12. Refuse to take part in research. In deciding whether or not to participate, you have the right to a full explanation.
  13. Privacy while in the hospital and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care.
  14. Participate in all decisions about your treatment and discharge from the hospital. The hospital must provide you with a written discharge plan and written description of how you can appeal your discharge.
  15. Review your medical record without charge. Obtain a copy of your medical record for which the hospital can charge a reasonable fee. You cannot be denied a copy solely because you cannot afford to pay.
  16. Receive an itemized bill and explanation of all charges.
  17. Complain without fear of reprisals about the care and services you are receiving and to have the hospital respond to you and if you request it, a written response. If you are not satisfied with the hospital's response, you can complain to the New York State Health Department. The hospital must provide you with the State Health Department telephone number.
  18. Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors.
  19. Make known your wishes in regard to anatomical gifts. You may document your wishes in your health proxy or on a donor card, available from the hospital.

Your Rights While a Hospital Patient

You have the right to receive all of the hospital care that you need for the treatment of your illness or injury. Your discharge date is determined only by YOUR health care needs, not by your DRG category or your insurance.

You have the right to be fully informed about decisions affecting your care and your insurance coverage. ASK QUESTIONS. You have the right to designate a representative to act on your behalf.

You have the right to know about your medical condition. Talk to your doctor about your condition and your health care needs. If you have questions or concerns about hospital services, your discharge date or your discharge plan, consult your doctor or a hospital representative (such as the nurse, social worker or discharge planner).

Before you are discharged you must receive a written DISCHARGE NOTICE and a written DISCHARGE PLAN. You and/or your representative have the right to be involved in your discharge planning.

You have the right to appeal the written discharge plan or notice you receive from the hospital.

If You Think You are Being Asked to Leave the Hospital Too Soon

Be sure you have received the written notice of discharge that the hospital must give you. You need this discharge notice in order to appeal.

This notice will say whom to call and how to appeal. Toa void extra charges you must call to appeal by 12 noon of the day after you receive the notice. If you miss this time you may still appeal. However, you may have to pay for your continued stay in the hospital, if you lose your appeal.

Discharge Plans

In addition to the right to appeal, you have the right to receive a written discharge plan that describes the arrangements for any future health care you may need after discharge. You may not be discharged until the services required in your written discharge plan are secured or determined by the hospital to be reasonably available. You also have the right to appeal this discharge plan.

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