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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Fenway Health

Updated November 13, 2013

Fenway Health respects the rights of the patient and recognizes each patient as an individual with unique health needs. The organization also respects each patient’s personal dignity and provides considerate and respectful care based upon the patient’s individual needs. The following information summarizes patient’s rights in accordance with Chapter 111, Section 70E of Massachusetts General Law, describes patient responsibilities, and provides instruction on what to do if you have concerns regarding your care.

Every patient shall have the right:

  • to receive medical care that meets the highest standards of Fenway Health, regardless of his/her race, religion, national origin, any disability or handicap, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, military service, or the source of payment for his/her care;
  • upon request, to obtain from the facility in charge of his care the name and specialty, if any, of the physician or other person responsible for his care or the coordination of his care;
  • to the confidentiality of all records and communications to the extent provided by law;
  • to have all reasonable request responded to promptly and adequately within the capacity of the facility;
  • upon request, to obtain an explanation as to the
  • relationship, if any, of the facility to any other health center, facility or educational institution insofar as said relationship relates to his/her care or treatment;
  • to receive any rules or regulations which apply to conduct as a patient;
  • to, upon request, receive any information that the facility has available relative to financial assistance and free health care;
  • upon request, to inspect your medical records and to receive a copy thereof in accordance with section seventy, and the fee for said copy shall be determined by the rate of copying expenses;
  • to refuse to be examined, observed or treated by students or any other Fenway staff without jeopardizing access to psychiatric, psychological, or other medical care and attention;
  • to refuse to serve as a research subject and to refuse any care or examination when the primary purpose is educational or informational rather than therapeutic;
  • to privacy during medical treatment or other rendering of care within the capacity of Fenway to provide it;
  • to prompt life saving treatment in an emergency without discrimination on account of economic status or source of payment and without delaying treatment for purposes of prior discussion of the source of payment unless such delay can be imposed without material risk to his health;
  • to informed consent to the extent provided by law;
  • upon request, receive a copy of an itemized bill or other statement of charges submitted to any third party by Fenway for your care and to have a copy of the itemized bill sent to the attending physician of record;
  • if refused treatment because of economic status or the lack of a source of payment, to prompt and safe transfer to a facility which agrees to receive and treat such patient. Said facility refusing to treat such patient shall be responsible for: 
    • ascertaining that the patient may be safely transferred; contacting a facility willing to treat such patient; arranging the transportation; accompanying the patient with necessary and appropriate professional staff to assist in the safety and comfort of the transfer, assure that the receiving facility assumes the necessary care promptly, and provide pertinent medical information about the patient’s condition; and maintaining records of the foregoing;
  • upon request, to obtain an explanation as to the relationship, if any, of the physician to any other health care facility or educational institutions insofar as said relationship relates to his/her care or treatment, and such explanation shall include said physician’s ownership or financial interest, if any, in the facility or other health care facilities insofar as said ownership relates to the care or treatment of said patient;
  • upon request to receive an itemized bill including third party reimbursements paid toward said bill, regardless of the sources of payment;
  • in the case of a patient suffering from any form of breast cancer, to complete information on all alternative treatments which are medically viable;
  • to have cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs and preferences respected;
  • to have access to no cost interpreters;
  • to be involved in all aspects of care, and to have family, or when appropriate, the patient’s legally appointed guardian or health care agent, participate in care decisions;
    to be involved in resolving conflicts about care decisions, treatment or services.

Patient Responsibilities

The provision of patient care services is the result of a mutual effort and the participation of the patient, family members or significant others is indispensable. Along with the patient rights, the patient, family member or significant other also assumes the following responsibilities:

Patients have the responsibility:

  • to provide accurate and complete information regarding health matters, including all changes that happen during the course of treatment;
  • to provide the organization with accurate information such that appropriate determinations may be made regarding services, fees, and whether or not the patient is covered by a health insurance plan;
  • to follow the treatment plan as established by the care provider in conjunction with the patient;
  • to assume responsibility for his/her actions in the event that the patient does not follow the established plan of care;
  • to notify the organization 24 hours in advance for a medical appointment and 48 hours in advance for a mental health appointment that must be canceled;
  • to assure that his/her financial obligations resulting from services provided by the organization are fulfilled as promptly as possible;
  • to ask your doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain and pain management, discuss pain relief options with your doctors and nurses, work with your doctor and nurse to develop a pain management plan, ask for pain relief when pain first begins, and help your doctor and nurse assess your pain;
  • to show respect and consideration for the staff, property, and other patients and visitors of Fenway Health.

Concerns Regarding Care or Services

As a patient at Fenway Health you have the right to receive information about how you can get assistance with concerns and complaints about the quality of care or service you receive. Should you have concerns, problems, or complaints about the quality of care or service that you are receiving, you are encouraged to speak to the people directly involved in your care. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, or if you would like the help of someone not immediately involved, the Director of Patient Services is available to help resolve the problem (617.927.6178).

If you find the above avenues unsatisfactory, you may contact any of the following agencies if you have concerns about the safety and quality of care provided:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality

99 Chauncey Street, 2nd Floor
Boston MA, 02111
1.800.462.5540

The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Blvd
Oakbrook, IL 60181
1.800.994.6610

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1340 BOYLSTON ST.
BOSTON, MA 02215
617.267.0900
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