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Your rights

You have certain rights and protections as a patient guaranteed by state and federal laws. These rights help to promote quality and safety in your hospital stay. As a patient in a hospital in New York state, you have the right, consistent with law, to:

  • 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.
  • Receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, source of payment or age.
  • Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.
  • Receive emergency care if you need it.
  • Be informed of the name and position of the doctor who will be in charge of your care in the hospital.
  • Know the names, positions and functions of any hospital staff involved in your care and refuse their treatment, examination or observation.
  • A no smoking room.
  • Receive complete information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health.
  • Refuse to take part in research. In deciding whether or not to participate, you have the right to a full explanation.
  • Privacy while in the hospital and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care.
  • 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.
  • Identify a caregiver who will be included in your discharge planning and sharing of post-discharge care information or instruction.
  • Receive an itemized bill and explanation of all charges.
  • 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.
  • Receive an itemized bill and explanation of all charges.
  • View a list of the hospital’s standard charges for items and services and the health plans the hospital participates with.
  • Challenge an unexpected bill through the Independent Dispute Resolution process.
  • 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.
  • Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors.
  • Make known your wishes in regard to anatomical gifts. You may document your wishes in your healthcare proxy or on a donor card, available from the hospital.

In addition to the Bill of Rights:

  • Northwell will formulate advanced directives (including living wills, MOLST, and/or other expressed decisions) and have the hospital staff implement and comply to the extent applicable, except if conscious objective status.
  • Upon admission, the patient or patient representative may request that the patient’s physician be advised of the admission.
  • The patient will receive treatment without discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression and/or gender transition status.
  • Where room assignments are gender-based, transgender patients will be assigned to rooms based on their self-identified gender, regardless of whether this self-identified gender accords with their physical appearance, surgical history, genitalia, legal sex, sex assigned at birth or name and sex as it appears on hospital records.
  • Patients will be called by chosen name and gender pronoun and will include these preferences in advanced directives.
  • All patients of the hospital may use the restroom that matches their self-identified gender regardless of whether this self-identified gender accords with their physical appearance, surgical history, genitalia, legal sex, sex assigned at birth or name and sex as it appears on hospital records.

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Your responsibilities

At Northwell Health, we believe patients and families are partners in ensuring that the best possible care is provided in a safe and healthy environment. We count on you to participate in your care in the following ways:

  • Providing accurate and complete information to your healthcare providers about your present and past medical conditions and all other matters pertaining to your health.
  • Reporting unexpected changes in your condition to your healthcare providers.
  • Informing your healthcare providers whether or not you understand the plan of care and what is expected of you.
  • Following the treatment plan recommended by your healthcare providers.
  • Keeping appointments and, if you cannot, notifying the proper person.
  • Knowing the consequences of your own actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the healthcare providers’ instructions.
  • Being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and to follow hospital policy and regulations regarding care and conduct.