Patient and Visitor Information

Patient's and Parent's 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 need help, the hospital MUST provide assistance, including an interpreter.
  2. Receive treatment without discrimination as to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or source of payment. Individual cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences will also be respected.
  3. Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.
  4. Receive emergency care if you need it.
  5. Be informed of the name and position of the doctor who will be in charge 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 information, if needed, in a manner that meets the needs of those with vision, speech, hearing or cognitive impairments.
  11. 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 "Deciding About Health Care - A Guide for Patients and Families."
  12. Refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health.
  13. Refuse to take part in research. In deciding whether or not to participate, you have the right to a full explanation.
  14. Privacy while in the hospital and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Receive an itemized bill and explanation of all charges.
  18. 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.
  19. Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors.
  20. Make known your wishes in regard to anatomical gifts. You may document your wishes in your health care proxy or on a donor card, available from the hospital.


Parent and Legal Guardian Bill of Rights

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is committed to providing each child with the best care possible and to ensuring that you, as your child’s primary protector and caregiver, are assured certain rights and freedoms. HSS views every parent and legal guardian as a valued member of the health care team and encourages you to speak with HSS staff about your child’s care.

HSS Parent’s and Legal Guardian Bill of Rights, in addition to the “Patient’s Bill of Rights,” sets forth the rights of patients, parents of minors, legal guardians or other persons with decision- making authority to certain minimum protections required by the regulations governing the provision of care in New York State’s hospitals.

HSS Parent’s and Legal Guardian Bill of Rights is subject to laws and regulations governing confidentiality, and is in effect if your child is admitted to the hospital.

As a parent, legal guardian or person with decision-making authority for a patient receiving care in this hospital, you have the right, consistent with the law, to the following:

  • To be asked the name of your child’s primary care provider and have this information documented in your child’s medical record.
  • Qualified and appropriately credentialed staff in a setting and with equipment appropriate for the unique needs of children.
  • To the extent possible given your child’s health and safety needs, at least one parent or guardian may remain with your child at all times.
  • For all test results completed during your child’s admission to be reviewed by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner who is familiar with your child’s presenting condition, as outlined by New York State law.
  • For your child not to be discharged from our hospital until any tests that could reasonably be expected to yield critical value results are reviewed by a physician, physician assistant, and/or nurse practitioner and communicated to you or other decision makers, and your child, if appropriate. Critical value results are results that suggest a life-threatening or otherwise significant condition that requires immediate medical attention.
  • For your child not to be discharged from our hospital until you or your child, if appropriate, receives a written discharge plan, which will also be verbally communicated to you and your child or other medical decision makers. The written discharge plan will specifically identify any critical results of laboratory or other diagnostic tests ordered during your child’s stay and will identify any other tests that have not yet been resulted (such as microbiology studies).
  • To be provided critical value results and the discharge plan for your child in a manner that reasonably ensures that you, your child (if appropriate), or other medical decision makers understand the health information provided in order to make appropriate health decisions.
  • For your child’s primary care provider, if known to HSS, to be provided all lab results of this hospitalization.
  • The right to request information about the diagnosis or possible diagnoses that were considered during this episode of care and complications that could develop, as well as information about any contact that was made with your child’s primary care provider.
  • The right to be provided, upon discharge of your child from the hospital or emergency department, with a phone number that you can call for advice in the event that complications or questions arise concerning your child’s condition.

Contact Information for Questions or Concerns

Should you have questions about any of these rights, or wish to express a recommendation or concern, you may contact one or more of the following:

  • HSS Office of the Patient Experience at 212.774.2403
  • HSS Chief Executive Officer at 212.606.1236, or by letter sent to Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021
  • New York State Department of Health by phone at: 800.804.5447 or letter sent to NYS Department of Health, Centralized Hospital Intake Program, Mailstop: CA/DCS, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12237
  • Joint Commission at 800.994.6610, or by letter sent to Office of Quality Monitoring, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181, or e-mail to
  • Medicare Patients Only: Livanta by phone at 866-815-5440 or letter at BFCC-QIO Program, 9090 Junction Drive, Suite 10, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701