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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

At UMass Memorial Medical Center, we respect your rights as a patient and recognize your individual health care needs. We want to be your partner in making decisions regarding your medical care. Our responsibility, therefore, is to provide you with considerate and respectful care, to ensure that you are fully informed about your condition and treatment, and to maintain your privacy and confidentiality. You can help us in this partnership by asking for clarification of things you do not understand, reporting any changes in your health and making informed decisions.

As a Patient of UMass Memorial Medical Center, You Have the Right:

  1. To obtain, upon request, the name and specialty of the physician or others responsible for your care or coordination of care.
  2. To freedom of selection of a physician and facility except for emergency medical treatment, provided that the physician is able to accommodate the patient.
  3. To participate in the development and implementation of the plan of care.
  4. To the confidentiality of all records and communication as provided by law.
  5. To have visitors of your choosing (or a support person where appropriate) in accordance with hospital policies. Visitation rights cannot be denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
  6. To have all reasonable requests responded to promptly and adequately within the capabilities of this facility.
  7. Upon request, to obtain an explanation as to the relationship, if any, of UMass Memorial Medical Center to any other health care facility or educational institution as it relates to your care or treatment.
  8. Upon request, to receive any information which this facility has available relative to financial assistance and free care as well as any rules that apply to your conduct as a patient at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
  9. To receive information about your responsibilities while receiving care, treatment and services.
  10. Upon request, to inspect, request an amendment to or receive a copy of your medical records for a fee determined by the current rate of copying expenses.
  11. To be notified of your rights in advance of providing or discontinuing care whenever possible.
  12. To receive care in a safe setting free from all forms of abuse and harassment.
  13. To request pastoral and other spiritual services.
  14. To receive a copy of your medical records, free of charge, if you show that your request is to support a claim or appeal under any provisions of the Social Security Act or federal or state financial needsbased benefit program.
  15. To refuse to be examined, observed or treated by students or any other staff member without jeopardizing access to psychiatric, psychological or other medical care and attention.
  16. 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.
  17. To privacy and personal dignity during medical treatment or care within the capacity of UMassMemorial Memorial Medical Center.
  18. To have your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences respected.
  19. To lifesaving treatment in an emergency without discrimination because of source of payment or delay due to discussions of source of payment.
  20. If refused treatment because of lack of a source of payment, to a prompt and safe transfer to a facility which agrees to receive and provide treatment.
  21. If you are a female rape victim of childbearing age, to receive medically and factually accurate written information prepared by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health about emergency contraception, to be promptly offered emergency contraception and to be provided with emergency contraception, upon request.
  22. To informed consent to the extent provided by law, including the right to accept or refuse medical treatment, including foregoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment or withholding resuscitative services.
  23. To receive, upon request, an itemized bill reflecting charges from the physician and/or the facility including laboratory charges, pharmaceutical charges and third-party credits and charges.
  24. If you have breast cancer, to complete information regarding alternative treatments which are medically viable. If you are having a breast implant, you have the right to know the disadvantages and risks associated with breast implantation, and your physician should discuss this with you at least 10 days before the planned surgery, except in an emergency.
  25. To be free from seclusion, physical restraints and medications that are used as restraints when they are not medically necessary.
  26. To have a family member or other representative of your choice and your own physician notified of your admission to the hospital and to designate a Caregiver to participate with your discharge process.
  27. To formulate advance directives and revise those directives at any time. In Massachusetts, the tool for implementing your advance directives is a Health Care Proxy.
  28. To interpreter services upon request.
  29. To be informed about the outcomes of care and treatment that was provided, including unanticipated outcomes.
  30. To appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  31. If you are asked to remove your clothing and change into hospital attire to enable a medical screening examination (if appropriate) or in the event hospital staff conducts a search for safety reasons, you have the right to refuse unless there is compelling clinical information indicating an imminent risk of harm to you or others and all other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted.
  32. If this hospital provides maternity services and you are a maternity patient, to receive statistical information regarding certain aspects of previous deliveries at this hospital.

Patient Responsibilities

As a patient at UMass Memorial Medical Center, we ask that you: 

  1. Give correct and complete facts about your new and old health problems.
  2. Ask for help if you do not understand what you have heard about your care.
  3. Give the hospital a copy of your Health Care Proxy if you have one.
  4. Follow hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct, including the no smoking and no tobacco products policy.
  5. Interact with health care providers, other patients, visitors and hospital staff in a respectful, civil manner, not using offensive, threatening and/or abusive language or behavior.
  6. Be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and assist in the control of noise.
  7. Provide the hospital with the information they will need about the payment of your medical care, which includes identification and insurance papers.
  8. Work with your caregivers to get the most effective and safe treatment for your health problem.
  9. Be respectful of hospital staff, other patients and visitors when using your cell phone, especially in public areas.
  10. Give a family member or caregiver your personal property or have your valuable items locked in the hospital safe.

For more information about Patient Responsibilities, please see our Patient and Visitor Code of Conduct.

Voice Your Concerns 

You have the right to voice your concerns and/or complaints regarding the quality of care and/or services you have received. Voicing a concern or complaint will in no way compromise your access to care or treatment. If you have a concern or feel your rights have not been respected, contact:

Quality and Patient Safety Office at HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital
60 Hospital Road, Leominster, MA 01453
Tel: 978-466-2073
Fax: 978-466-4005

Quality and Patient Safety Office at Marlborough Hospital
157 Union Street, Marlborough, MA 01752

Office of Patient Advocacy at UMass Memorial Medical Center
55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655
Tel: 774-442-3701
Hours: Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 5:30 pm

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Board of Registration in Medicine
200 Harvard Mill Square
Wakefield, MA 01880
Tel: 781-876-8200
Consumer Hotline: 800-377-0550

Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification Complaint Intake Unit
99 Chauncy Street, Second Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Tel: 800-462-5540 or 617-753-8000

Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality
Improvement Organization
Tel: 888-319-8452
TTY: 855-843-4776

Office of Quality and Patient Safety
The Joint Commission 
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Fax: 630-792-5636

For Privacy Concerns

Privacy Office, UMass Memorial Health Alliance-Clinton
60 Hospital Road
Leominster, MA 01453
Privacy Line: 978-466-4333

Privacy Office, UMass Memorial Medical Center
365 Plantation Street, 3rd Floor
Worcester, MA 01604
Privacy Line: 508-334-5551

Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
Toll-free: 800-368-1019
TDD toll-free: 800-537-7697