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Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities

These Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities are designed to establish an equal and effective partnership between doctors, health care providers and patients, which will enable each NYC Health + Hospitals facility to promote and protect the best health care possible for its patients, to achieve total physical, mental and social well-being for each patient.

  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, gender identity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, age or source of payment.
  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. Identify a caregiver who will be included in your discharge planning and sharing of post-discharge care information or instruction.
  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. Review your medical record without charge, and 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. View a list of the hospital’s standard charges for items and services and the health plans the hospital participates with.
  18. Challenge an unexpected bill through the Independent Dispute Resolution process.
  19. 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.
  20. Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors.
  21. Make known your wishes in regard to anatomical gifts. Persons sixteen years of age or older may document their consent to donate their organs, eyes and/or tissues, upon their death, by enrolling in the NYS Donate Life Registry or by documenting their authorization for organ and/or tissue donation in writing in a number of ways (such as health care proxy, will, donor card, or other signed paper). The health care proxy is available from the hospital.

Public Health Law (PHL) § 2803(1)(g); Patient’s Rights, 10 NYCRR, §§ 405.7, 405.7(a)(1), 405.7(c).

Patient Responsibilities

As a patient at a NYC Health + Hospitals hospital, your responsibilities are:
  • To provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information to your health care provider about your present and past medical conditions and all other matters pertaining to your health.
  • To report unexpected changes in your condition to your health care providers.
  • To inform your health care providers whether or not you understand the plan of care and what is expected of you.
  • To follow the treatment plan recommended by your health care providers.
  • To keep appointments, and if you cannot, notify the proper person.
  • To be responsible for the results of your own actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the providers’ instructions.
  • To be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and to follow hospital policy and regulations regarding care and conduct.
  • To fulfill your financial obligations to the hospital as promptly as possible.
  • Respect the property of other persons and of the hospital.

Version 11/2019

Additional Resources

We strive to provide compassionate care that makes you feel comfortable and safe. If you have any concerns about your care, safety or any special needs, our Patient / Guest Relations teams can help address them as well as answer your questions about your rights as a patient. Please get in touch with our teams using the contact information available here: https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/locations/

If your concerns remain unaddressed after contacting our Patient / Guest Relations teams, you may contact any of the following entities for further action on your behalf.

NYC Health + Hospitals
Office of Corporate Compliance
50 Water Street, Suite 528 * New York, NY 10004
Telephone: 646-458-5632

Office of the New York City Public Advocate
Municipal Building * One Centre Street * New York, NY 10017
Telephone: 1-212-669-7200
Email: reception@advocate.nyc.gov

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Chief Privacy Officer – HIPAA
Gotham Center 42-09 28th Street * 14th Floor, CN-30 * Queens, NY 11101
Telephone: 347-396-6007

New York State Department of Health
Centralized Hospital Intake Program
Mail Stop CA/DCS * Empire State Plaza * Albany, NY 12237
Telephone: 800-804-5447
Website: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/consumer_information/

New York State Office of Mental Health
44 Holland Avenue * Albany, NY 12229
Telephone: 800-597-8481

US Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Civil Rights – Region II
Jacob Javitz Building * 26 Federal Plaza, Suite 3312 * New York, NY 10278
Telephone: 800-368-1019

US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
7500 Security Boulevard * Baltimore, MD 21244
Website: https://www.cms.gov/medical-bill-rights/help/submit-a-complaint

(For Hospitals Only)
The Joint Commission Office of Quality and Patient Safety
One Renaissance Boulevard * Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Telephone: 630-792-5000
Email: patientsafetyreport@jointcommission.org

New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs
Telephone: 1-855-373-2122