Notice of Patient Rights
At Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, our patients’ rights and well-being are a cornerstone of our services. We are committed to providing our patients with the highest-quality care in accordance with the Massachusetts Patients’ Rights Statute, Chapter 111, Section 70E. These rights apply to all patients at Lahey. You have the right to receive written notice of these rights.
I. Summary of Patients’ Rights Under Massachusetts Law
All patients have the right to freedom of choice in their selection of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, or a Lahey Hospital & Medical Center physician, or health service at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, except in the case of emergency medical treatment or as otherwise provided for by contract as long as the physician, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, or health service is able to accommodate the patient’s choice.
Each patient shall have the right to receive an itemized bill of laboratory charges, pharma-ceutical charges, and third-party credits and shall be provided an explanation of his or her bill regardless of the source of payment. This information shall also be made available to his or her attending physician.
In Addition, Every Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Patient Shall Have the Right:
- (a) to obtain from Lahey Hospital & Medical Center the name and specialty, if any, of the physician or any other person responsible for his or her care or the coordination of his care;
- (b) to confidentiality of all records and communications to the extent provided by law;
- (c) to have all reasonable requests responded to promptly and adequately within the capacity of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center;
- (d) to ask for and obtain an explanation as to the relationship, if any, of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center to any other health care facility or educational institution where the relationship relates to his care or treatment;
- (e) to obtain from Lahey Hospital & Medical Center a copy of any rules or regulations of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center that apply
to his or her conduct as a patient;
- (f) to ask for and receive from Lahey Hospital & Medical Center information relative to financial assistance and free health care;
- (g) to ask to look at his or her medical records and to receive a copy of those records, and the fee for the copies shall be in accordance with Lahey Hospital & Medical Center’s fees charged for copying medical records, except that no
fee shall be charged when the records are requested for the purpose of filing or appealing a claim under the Social Security Act or any federal or state financial needs-based benefit program, and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center shall provide copies of the medical record within thirty days of the request as long as the requestor shall present reasonable documentation at the time of making the records request that the purpose of the request
is to support a claim or appeal under any provision of the Social Security Act or any federal or state financial needs-based benefit program;
- (h) to refuse to be examined, observed, or treated by students or any other Lahey Hospital & Medical Center staff without jeopardizing access to psychiatric, psychological, or other medical care and attention;
- (i) 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;
- (j) to privacy during medical treatment or care within the capacity of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center;
- (k) to prompt lifesaving treatment in an emergency without discrimination on account of economic status or source of payment and without delaying treatment to discuss the source of payment unless the delay can be imposed without material risk to his or her health, and this right shall also extend to those persons not already patients of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center if Lahey Hospital & Medical Center has a certified emergency care unit;
- (l) to informed consent to the extent provided by law;
- (m) to ask for and receive a copy of an itemized bill or other statement of charges submitted to any third party by Lahey Hospital & Medical Center for care of the patient and to have a copy of the itemized bill or statement sent to the attending physician of the patient;
- (n) if refused treatment because of economic status or the lack of a source of payment, to prompt and safe transfer to a facility that 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; and
- (o) if the patient is a female rape victim of childbearing age, to receive medically and factually accurate written information prepared by the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health about emergency contraception; to be promptly offered emergency contraception; and to be provided with emergency contraception upon request.
Every Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Patient Shall Be Provided by His Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Physician the Right:
- (a) to informed consent to the extent provided by law;
- (b) to privacy during medical treatment or other rendering of care within the capacity of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center;
- (c) to refuse to be examined, observed, or treated by students or any other Lahey Hospital & Medical Center staff without jeopardizing access to psychiatric, psychological, or other medical care and attention;
- (d) 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;
- (e) to prompt lifesaving 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 source of payment unless such delay can be imposed without material risk to his health;
- (f) to ask for and receive 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 care or treatment, and such explanation shall include the physician’s ownership or financial interest, if any, in Lahey Hospital & Medical Center or other health care facilities insofar as said ownership relates to the care or treatment of the patient;
- (g) to ask for and receive an itemized bill including third-party reimbursements paid toward said bill, regardless of the sources of payment; and
- (h) in the case of a patient suffering from any form of breast cancer, to complete information on all alternative treatments that are medically viable. Except in cases of emergency surgery, at least ten days before a physician operates on a patient to insert a breast implant, the physician shall inform the patient of the disadvantages and risks associated with breast implantation. The information shall include, but not be limited to, the standardized written summary provided by the department. The patient shall sign a statement provided by the department acknowledging the receipt of said standardized written summary. Nothing herein shall be construed as causing any liability of the department due to any action or omission by said department relative to the information provided pursuant to this paragraph.
All persons who provide care to victims of sexual assault shall be provided with medically and factually accurate written information prepared by the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health about emergency contraception to provide to every female rape victim of childbearing age who presents at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center after a rape. Facilities that provide emergency care shall promptly offer emergency contraception to each female rape victim of childbearing age, and shall initiate emergency contraception upon her request. For each facility initiating emergency contraception, the administrator, manager, or other person in charge thereof shall annually report to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health the number of times emergency contraception is administered to victims of rape under this section. Reports made pursuant to this section shall not identify any individual patient, shall be confidential, and shall not be public records.
Lahey Hospital & Medical Center shall require all persons, including students, who examine, observe, or treat a patient of such facility to wear an identification badge that readily discloses the first name, licensure status, if any, and staff position of the person so examining, observing, or treating a patient.
Any person whose rights under this section are violated may bring any action allowed by law or regulation.
No provision of this section relating to confidentiality of records shall be construed to prevent any third-party reimburser from inspecting and copying, in the ordinary course of determining eligibility for or entitlement to benefits, any and all records relating to diagnosis, treatment, or other services provided to any person, including a minor or incompetent, for which coverage, benefit, or reimbursement is claimed, so long as the policy or certificate under which the claim is made provides that access to the records is permitted. No provision of this section relating to confidentiality of records shall be construed to prevent access to any such records in connection with any peer review or utilization review procedures applied and implemented in good faith.
Nothing stated in this notice limits any other right or remedies previously existing at law.
II. Summary of Patients’ Rights Under Federal Law
Every Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Patient or His or Her Legal Representative (as Allowed Under State Law) Shall Have the Right:
- (a) to be notified of his or her rights in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care, whenever possible;
- (b) to be informed of the hospital’s internal grievance (“complaint”) process, including whom to contact to file a grievance;
- (c) to be informed of his or her health status and to participate in the development and implementation of his or her plan of care;
- (d) to make informed decisions regarding his or her care, including being informed of his or her health status, being involved in care planning and treatment, and being able to accept or refuse treatment and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal;
- (e) to formulate advance directives and to have the hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives;
- (f) to have a family member or representative of his or her choice and his or her own physician notified promptly of the admission;
- (g) to personal privacy;
- (h) to receive care in a safe setting;
- (i) to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment;
- (j) to confidentiality of patient records;
- (k) to access information contained in his or her clinical records within a reasonable time frame and as quickly as the hospital’s record-keeping system permits;
- (l) to be free from seclusion and restraints, of any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff;
- (m) subject to the patient’s consent (or support person, where appropriate) to have visitors whom he or she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend, and the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time, in accordance with written hospital policies and procedures setting forth any clinically necessary or reasonable restrictions or limitations that the hospital may need to place on such visitation rights and the reasons for the clinical restrictions or limitations, provided that the hospital must not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability;
- (n) to respectful care, including consideration of the psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural variables that influence the perception of illness;
- (o) to pain assessment and appropriate pain management; and
- (p) to interpreter services and/or the use of alternative communication techniques to ensure effective communication.
III. Your Responsibilities as a Patient
You are responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and for supporting mutual consideration and respect by maintaining civil language and conduct in interactions with staff and providers.
You are responsible for providing accurate and complete information regarding your medical history, for asking questions if you do not understand your care or treatment, for following the plan of care or accepting the consequences if you refuse treatment, and for prompt payment of your Lahey Hospital & Medical Center bill.
You are responsible for discussing pain relief options with your physician or nurse, and for reporting pain promptly.
IV. If You Have a Complaint
You may register a complaint in writing or in person with Customer Relationship Management. Someone is available by telephone from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You may also register a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health or with The Joint Commission. Specific physician complaints may be reported to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. The addresses and telephone numbers are listed below.
- Customer Relationship Management*
Lahey Hospital & Medical Center
41 Mall Road
Burlington, MA 01805
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02111
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Board of Registration in Medicine
200 Harvard Mill Square, Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880
- The Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
* In the event a complaint needs to be registered in the evening or on a weekend, contact the nursing supervisor by telephoning the operator at 781-744-8300.
MPU Approval Date: 2006, 4/5/10, 2013