Patient Rights

Patient Rights at USA Health University Hospital

All patients have their basic rights and responsibilities protected and are informed of them upon admission.

Hospital Responsibility

1. Admission: The patient is given access to treatment or accommodations that are available and medically indicated regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or source of payment.

2. Active Participation: The patient has the right to participate in the development and implementation of his/her plan of care and to request treatment to the extent permitted by the law. The patient has the right to involve his/her family in the making of care or treatment decisions.

3. Advance Directive: The patient has the right to have an advance directive, such as a living will, healthcare proxy or durable power of attorney, which expresses the patient's choices about his/her future care or designates someone to decide for the patient if he/she cannot speak for themselves. If the patient has a written advance directive, he/she should provide a copy to the hospital and the responsible practitioner with the expectation that they honor the intent of that directive to the extent allowed by the law and hospital policy. The patient has the right to be informed about hospital policy that may limit its ability to implement fully a valid advance directive. The patient has the right to amend his/her advance directive at any time. If the patient has been adjudicated incompetent in accordance with the law, is found by his/her physician to be medically incapable of understanding these rights, or exhibits a communication barrier, the patient's guardian or next of kin or legally authorized responsible person is permitted to exercise these rights on behalf of the patient.

4. Age Appropriate Care: The patient has the right to age appropriate care in all aspects of his/her care within the hospital. The pediatric patient is supported in his/her need to grow, play and learn.

5. Conflict Resolution: The patient has the right to voice complaints, to have those complaints reviewed and when possible resolved. Information leading to conflict resolution is provided in the patient information materials given upon admission.

Consultation: The patient, at his/her own request and expense, has the right to consult with a specialist.

6. End of Life Care: The dying patient has the right to respectful, responsive care directed toward fostering the patient's comfort and dignity. He/she has the right to appropriate treatment for primary and secondary systems that respond to treatment including aggressively managing pain and responding to the patient's and family's psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural concerns.

7. Information: The patient has the right to receive complete and current information about their medical condition, treatment, and prognosis in terms they can understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information shall be made available to a legally authorized individual. The patient has the right to be informed by the practitioner, or his/her delegate, responsible for the care of the patient of any continuing healthcare requirements following discharge from the hospital.

8. Informed Consent: The patient has the right to receive information about any proposed treatment, procedure, or research in order to make an informed decision whether to consent or refuse a course of treatment. This information should include who is responsible for authorizing and performing procedures or treatment, purpose and description of the procedure, probable results, medically significant risks, and alternative treatment.

9. Refusal of Treatment: The patient may refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law. When refusal of treatment by the patient or his/her legally authorized representative prevents the provision of appropriate care in accordance with professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice.

10. Restraint Free Care: The patient has the right to be free from both physical restraint and drugs that are used as a restraint that are not medically necessary.

11. Transfer: The patient may be transferred to another facility or organization only after he/she has received a complete explanation of the need for transfer and/or alternatives to such a transfer, and the transfer is acceptable to the other facility or organization.

12. Treatment of Pain: The patient can expect to be given information about pain and pain relief measures. The patient has the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain.

13. Communication: The patient has the right of access to people outside the hospital by means of visitation and by verbal and written communication. When the patient does not speak or understand the predominant language of the community, he/she shall have access to an interpreter. The patient who has vision, speech, hearing, or cognitive impairments will be provided information that meets the patient's needs. The patient has the right to participate in decisions that may place any restrictions on communication. Restrictions on communication will be fully explained to the patient and family, and are evaluated for therapeutic effectiveness.

14. Complaints: The patient has the right to voice and/or document complaints to appropriate hospital personnel using the primary care giver, Patient Representative/Guest Relations, Clinical Administrator or the Department Head of the involved department.

15. Confidentiality and Security: The patient has the right to confidential treatment of all communication and records pertaining to his/her care, including the source of payment for treatment. The patient has the right to have his/her medical record read only by individuals directly involved in his/her care or in the monitoring of its quality. The patient has the right to inspect and obtain copies of records pertaining to his/her care. Only upon the patient's written authorization or that of his/her legally authorized representative, may other individuals read his/her medical record. The patient has the right to confidentiality pertaining to discussion or consultation involving his/her care and that individuals not directly involved in his/her care will not be present without his/her permission.

16. Cultural Diversity: The patient has the right to express his/her spiritual beliefs and cultural practices, as long as these do not harm or interfere with agreed upon treatment.

17. Facility Charges: The patient has the right to complete information about the services available including any related charges or fees for services not covered by third party payers, before or at the time of admission and during their stay. The patient has the right to receive a copy of their bill.

18. Hospital Rules: The patient has the right to be informed of hospital rules and regulations applicable to conduct as a patient or visitor.

19. Identity: Patients have the right to know, at all times, the identity, professional status, and professional credentials of healthcare personnel, as well as the name of the healthcare provider primarily responsible for his/her care. This includes the patient's right to know of the existence of any professional relationship among individuals who are treating him/her, as well as the relationship of any other healthcare or educational institutions involved in his/her care.

20. Living Area: The patient has the right to live a dignified manner and exercise his/her freedom commensurate with their ability to exercise autonomy. The patient has the right to an atmosphere with sufficient living space, which is clean, appropriately ventilated, of the proper temperature and appropriately furnished and contributes to a positive self-image.

21. Notification of Admission: The patient has the right to have a family member or representative of their choice and their physician notified of their admission.

22. Visitation: The patient has the right to designate a support person (a spouse, domestic partner, family member, friend, or other advocate) to be with the patient for emotional support during the course of his or her hospital stay, unless that person's presence infringes on the rights or safety of others, or is contrary to the treatment and well-being of the patient.

23. Personal Property: The patient has the right to maintain the use of personal possessions such as appropriate clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as space permits unless this infringes on the rights of other patients or is medically contraindicated.

24. Privacy and Safety Rights:

  • to personal privacy.
  • to be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to assure reasonable visual and auditory privacy. This includes the right to have a person of one's own sex present during certain parts of a physical examination, treatment or procedure performed by a health professional of the opposite sex, and the right not to remain disrobed any longer than is required for accomplishing the purpose of exam or treatment.
  • to refuse to talk with or see anyone not officially connected with the hospital, including visitors, representatives of outside or community agencies, or persons officially connected with the hospital and not directly involved in his/her care.
  • to be free from mental, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • to refuse or participate in social, spiritual, or community activities or groups.
  • to receive care and treatment in a safe environment.
  • to be placed in protective privacy when considered necessary for personal safety.
  • to request transfer to another room if another patient or a visitor in the room is unreasonably disturbing his/her.

25. Respect and Dignity: The patient has the right to considerate and respectful care at all times and under all circumstances, with recognition of his/her personal dignity.

26. Response to Legitimate Complaints: The patient is entitled to information about the hospital's mechanism for the initiation, review, and resolution of patient complaints. The patient has the right to written notice of hospital decisions and steps taken on behalf of the patient to investigate legitimate grievances.

Patient Responsibility

1. Active Participation in Care: The patient, or his/her legal guardian/representative is responsible for being aware of patient rights to quality service, to understand the appropriate information needed to make informed decisions, and for taking an active role in his/her care and treatment. The patient is responsible for his/her actions if he/she refuses treatment or does not follow the practitioner's instructions.

2. Advance Directive: The patient is responsible to provide the hospital with a copy of his/her advance directive, if they have one.

3. Be Informed: The patient is responsible for making it known whether he/she clearly understands the plan of care and what is expected of him/her. The patient is responsible to ask the physician for an explanation of medical care in terms that are understandable.

4. Compliance: The patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner responsible for his/her care. This may include following the instructions of nurses and allied health personnel as they carry out the coordinated plan of care.

5. Financial Obligations: The patient is responsible for assuming that the financial obligations of his/her healthcare are fulfilled as promptly as possible. This includes providing the hospital with correct information about insurance or method of payment.

6. Hospital Rules and Regulations: The patient is responsible for knowing and following hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct as outlined in the information materials given upon admission.

7. Providing Information: The patient is responsible for providing, to the best of his/her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, pain management concerns, and questions regarding pain management options, past history and hospitalization, medications, and other matters relating to his/her health as well as any changes in his/her condition.

8. Respect and Consideration: The patient is responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and for assisting in the control of noise, smoking, and the number of visitors. The patient is responsible for being respectful of the property of other persons and of the hospital.

Your voice matters! The physicians and staff at University Hospital strive to provide the best possible care for every patient and family. In the event that any customer has a concern about patient care or patient safety, we encourage you to ask for the Departmental Manager or the House Supervisor. Every effort will be made to address your concern.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from our staff, please fill out our Contact Form. If you prefer, you can contact Director of Patient Relations Detronia Carson at (251) 471-7127 or dtcarson@health.southalabama.edu.

You also have the right to submit your concerns to our regulatory bodies:

KEPRO, our CMS and Tricare quality improvement organization
1 (844) 430-9504
or 1 (216) 447-9604
5700 Lombardo Center Dr., Suite 100
Seven Hills, OH 44131

Alabama State Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Facilities
1 (800) 356-9596

P.O. Box 303017, Suite 710
201 Monroe Street, Suite 710
Montgomery, AL 36104

The Joint Commission, the hospital's accrediting body
- At www.jointcommission.org, using the "Report a Patient Safety Event" link in the "Action Center" on the home page of the website.
- By fax to 1 (630) 792-5636
- By mail:
The Office of Quality and Patient Safety
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Patient Rights at USA Physicians Group Clinics

All patients in our care have the right to:

  • Impartial access to medical treatment or care, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Respectful treatment and personal dignity at all times.
  • Personal and informational privacy and confidentiality.
  • Personal safety in the care environment.
  • Know the identity and professional status of individuals providing healthcare and to know their primary care physician.
  • Complete, current information about their diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis to the degree known, in terms that can reasonably be expected to be understood.
  • Go outside this office for a second opinion.
  • Reasonable informed consent and participation in decisions involving their healthcare.
  • Refuse to participate in experimental research.
  • Consult with a specialist at their own request and expense.
  • Be informed of continuing healthcare requirements, of the need for transfer to another facility, or alternatives to transfer.
  • Know which services incur a charge, the amount of that charge, and to initiate a formal review of unresolved billing questions.
  • Full information regarding the grievance and care evaluation process, including information, review, and resolution of patient complaints.

Patients of this physician’s office have the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate and complete healthcare information to the best of their ability.
  • Follow the treatment plan recommended by the primary clinician and other caregivers.
  • Understand and assume consequences of refusing treatment or not complying with therapy.
  • Keep appointments or notify of cancellations in a timely manner.
  • Provide feedback to clinicians about the quality of care received and our policies.
  • Be considerate and respectful of the rights and property of other patients and our staff.
  • Fulfill financial obligations for healthcare promptly.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

USA Health Ambulatory Division complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Our clinics offer the following:

  • Free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, including: qualified sign language interpreters, written information in other formats such as large print, audio, and accessible electronic formats.
  • Free language services to people whose primary language is not English, including qualified interpreters, information written in other languages.

If you need these services, please inform your physician’s office.

If you believe that USA Health Ambulatory Division has failed to provide these services or discriminated in any, you can file a grievance in person or by mail or email with:

Sandra Curtis, RN, BSN
Quality Management Department
USA Health Physicians Group
1700 Center Street
CWEB 1.5, Ste. 1576
Mobile, AL 36604
Phone: 1 (251) 434-3939
Email: amb-pss@health.southalabama.edu

You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/portal/lobby.jsf, or by mail or phone at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
1 (800) 368-1019
, 1 (800) 537-7697 (TDD)

Complaint forms are available at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/file/index.html.

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