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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 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, source of payment, or age
  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 environment
  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 "Deciding About Health Care — 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. Identify a caregiver who will be included in your discharge planning and sharing of post-discharge care information or instruction
  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. View a list of the hospital's standard charges for items and services and the health plans the hospital participates with
  19. You have a right to challenge an unexpected bill through the Independent Dispute Resolution process
  20. 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.
  21. Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors
  22. 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.

The policies and procedures that guide Hospital for Special Surgery’s interaction with and care of patients demonstrate its recognition and support of patients’ rights.

In the State of New Jersey, each patient receiving services in an ambulatory care facility shall have the following rights:

  1. To be informed of these rights, as evidenced by the patient’s written acknowledgment, or by documentation by staff in the medical record, that the patient was offered a written copy of these rights and given a written or verbal explanation of these rights, in terms the patient could understand. The facility shall have a means to notify patients of any rules and regulations it has adopted governing patient conduct in the facility;
  2. To be informed of services available in the facility, of the names and professional status of the personnel providing and/or responsible for the patient’s care, and of fees and related charges, including the payment, fee, deposit, and refund policy of the facility and any charges for services not covered by sources of third-party payment or not covered by the facility’s basic rate;
  3. To be informed if the facility has authorized other health care and educational institutions to participate in the patient’s treatment. The patient also shall have a right to know the identity and function of these institutions, and to refuse to allow their participation in the patient’s treatment;
  4. To receive from the patient’s physician(s) or clinical practitioner(s), in terms that the patient understands, an explanation of his or her complete medical/health condition or diagnosis, recommended treatment, treatment options, including the option of no treatment, risk(s) of treatment, and expected result(s). If this information would be detrimental to the patient’s health, or if the patient is not capable of understanding the information, the explanation shall be provided to the patient’s next of kin or guardian. This release of information to the next of kin or guardian, along with the reason for not informing the patient directly, shall be documented in the patient’s medical record;
  5. To participate in the planning of the patient’s care and treatment, and to refuse medication and treatment. Such refusal shall be documented in the patient’s medical record;
  6. To be included in experimental research only when the patient gives informed, written consent to such participation, or when a guardian gives such consent for an incompetent patient in accordance with law, rule and regulation. The patient may refuse to participate in experimental research, including the investigation of new drugs and medical devices;
  7. To voice grievances or recommend changes in policies and services to facility personnel, the governing authority, and/or outside representatives of the patient’s choice either individually or as a group, and free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal;
  8. To be free from mental and physical abuse, free from exploitation, and free from use of restraints unless they are authorized by a physician for a limited period of time to protect the patient or others from injury. Drugs and other medications shall not be used for discipline of patients or for convenience of facility personnel;
  9. To confidential treatment of information about the patient. Information in the patient’s medical record shall not be released to anyone outside the facility without the patient’s approval, unless another health care facility to which the patient was transferred requires the information, or unless the release of the information is required and permitted by law, a third-party payment contract, or a peer review, or unless the information is needed by the New Jersey State Department of Health for statutorily authorized purposes. The facility may release data about the patient for studies containing aggregated statistics when the patient’s identity is masked;
  10. To be treated with courtesy, consideration, respect, and recognition of the patient’s dignity, individuality, and right to privacy, including, but not limited to, auditory and visual privacy. The patient’s privacy shall also be respected when facility personnel are discussing the patient;
  11. To not be required to perform work for the facility unless the work is part of the patient’s treatment and is performed voluntarily by the patient. Such work shall be in accordance with local, State, and Federal laws and rules;
  12. To exercise civil and religious liberties, including the right to independent personal decisions. No religious beliefs or practices, or any attendance at religious services, shall be imposed upon any patient;
  13. To not be discriminated against because of age, citizenship status, color, disability or handicap, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, nationality, race, religion, veteran status or ability to pay/source of payment for care; to not be deprived of any constitutional, civil, and/or legal rights solely because of receiving services from the facility; and
  14. To expect and receive appropriate assessment, management and treatment of pain as an integral component of that person’s care in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:43E-6.

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:

  1. To inform the hospital of the name of your child’s primary care provider, if known, and have this information documented in your child’s medical record
  2. To be assured our hospital will only admit pediatric patients to the extent consistent with our hospital’s ability to provide qualified staff, space and size appropriate equipment necessary for the unique needs of pediatric patients
  3. To allow at least one parent or guardian to remain with your child at all times, to the extent possible given your child’s health and safety needs
  4. That all test results completed during your child’s admission or emergency room visit be reviewed by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner who is familiar with your child’s presenting condition
  5. For your child not to be discharged from our hospital or emergency room 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.
  6. For your child not to be discharged from our hospital or emergency room 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 concluded.
  7. 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
  8. For your child’s primary care provider, if known, to be provided all laboratory results of this hospitalization or emergency room visit
  9. 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
  10. 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 complaint@jointcommission.org
  • 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