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Patients' Bill of Rights

The Patients' Bill of Rights exists to ensure that the rights and dignity of each person receiving our services are respected.

  1. The patient shall be treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of the patient’s dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and personal care, and including being informed of the name, licensure status, and staff position of all those with whom the patient has contact, pursuant RSA 151:3-b.
  2. The patient shall be fully informed of a patient’s rights and responsibilities and of all procedures governing patient conduct and responsibilities. This information must be provided orally and in writing before or at admission, except for emergency admission. Receipt of the information must be acknowledged by the patient in writing. When a patient lacks the capacity to make informed judgments, the signing must be by the person legally responsible for the patient.
  3. The patient shall be fully informed in writing, in language that the patient can understand, before or at the time of admission and as necessary during the patient’s stay, of the facility’s basic per diem rate and those services included and not included in the basic per diem rate. A statement of services that are not normally covered by Medicare or Medicaid shall also be included in this disclosure.
  4. The patient shall be fully informed by a healthcare worker of his or her medical condition, healthcare needs, and diagnostic test results, including the manner by which such results will be provided and the expected time interval between testing and receiving results, unless medically inadvisable and so documented in the medical record, and shall be given the opportunity to participate in the planning of his or her total care and medical treatment; to refuse treatment, and to be involved in experimental research upon the patient’s written consent only. For the purpose of this paragraph, "healthcare provider" means any person, corporation, facility, or institution either licensed by this state or otherwise lawfully providing healthcare services including, but not limited to, a physician, hospital or other healthcare facility, dentist, nurse, optometrist, podiatrist, physical therapist, or psychologist, and any other officer, employee, or agent of such provider acting in the course and scope of employment or agency related to or supportive of healthcare services.
  5. The patient shall be transferred or discharged after appropriate discharge planning only for medical reasons, for the patients welfare or that of other patients, if the facility ceases to operate, or for nonpayment for the patient’s stay, except as prohibited by title XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act. No patient shall be involuntarily discharged from a facility because the patient becomes eligible for Medicaid as a source of payment.
  6. The patient shall be encouraged and assisted throughout the patient’s stay to exercise the patient’s rights as a patient and citizen. The patient may voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff or outside representatives free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination or reprisal.
  7. The patient shall be permitted to manage the patient’s personal financial affairs. If the patient authorizes the facility in writing to assist in the management and the facility consents, the assistance shall be carried out in accordance with the patient’s rights under this subdivision and in conformance with state law and rules.
  8. The patient shall be free from emotional, psychological, sexual and physical abuse and from exploitation, neglect, corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion.
  9. The patient shall be free from chemical and physical restraints except when they are authorized in writing by a physician for a specific and limited time necessary to protect the patient or others from injury. In an emergency, restraints may be authorized by the designated professional staff member in order to protect the patient or others from injury. The staff member must promptly report such action to the physician and document same in the medical records.
  10. The patient shall be ensured confidential treatment of all information contained in the patient’s personal and clinical record, including that stored in an automatic data bank, and the patient’s written consent shall be required for the release of information to anyone not otherwise authorized by law to receive it. Medical information contained in the medical records at any facility licensed under this chapter shall be deemed to be the property of the patient. The patient shall be entitled to a copy of such records upon request. The charge for the copying of a patient's medical records shall not exceed $15 for the first 30 pages or $.50 per page, whichever is greater; provided, that copies of filmed records such as radiograms, x-rays and sonograms shall be copies at a reasonable cost.
  11. The patient shall not be required to perform services for the facility. Where appropriate for therapeutic or diversional purposes and agreed to by the patient, such services may be included in a plan of care and treatment.
  12. The patient shall be free to communicate with, associate with and meet privately with anyone, including family and residential groups, unless to do would infringe upon the rights of other patients. The patient may send and receive unopened personal mail. The patient has the right to have regular access to the unmonitored use of a telephone.
  13. The patient shall be free to participate in activities of any social, religious and community groups, unless to do so would infringe upon the rights of other patients.
  14. The patient shall be free to retain and use personal clothing and possessions as space permits, provided it does not infringe on the rights of other patients.
  15. The patient shall be entitled to privacy for visits and, if married, to share a room with his or her spouse if both are patients in the same facility and where both patients consent, unless it is medically contraindicated and so documented by a physician. The patient has the right to reside and receive services in the facility with reasonable accommodation of individual needs and preferences, including choice of room and roommate, except when the health and safety of the individual or other patients would be endangered.
  16. The patient shall not be denied appropriate care on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, or source of payment, nor shall any such care be denied on account of the patient’s sexual orientation.
  17. The patient shall be entitled to be treated by the patient’s physician of choice, subject to reasonable rules and regulations of the facility regarding the facility’s credentialing process.
  18. The patient shall be entitled to have the patient’s parents, if a minor, or spouse, or next of kin or personal representative, if an adult, visit the facility, without restriction, if the patient is considered terminally ill by the physician responsible for the patient’s care.
  19. The patient shall be entitled to receive representatives of approved organizations as provided in RSA 151:28.
  20. The patient shall not be denied admission to the facility based on Medicaid as a source of payment when there is an available space in the facility.
  21. Subject to the terms and conditions of the patient's insurance plan, the patient shall have access to any provider in his or her insurance plan network and referral to a provider or facility within such network shall not be unreasonably withheld pursuant to RSA 420-J:8, XIV.

Source. 1981, 453:1. 1989, 43:1. 1990, 18:1-6; 140:2, XI. 1991, 365:10. 1992, 78:1. 1997, 108:6; 331:3-8. 1998, 199:2; 388:5, 6. 2001, 85:1, eff. Aug. 18, 2001. 2009, 252:1, eff. Sept. 14, 2009.

If at any time you have questions, concerns, or a complaint about the level of care or service provided, we encourage you to promptly bring it to the attention of any member of the care team. Patient Relations staff members are available by phone or to meet with you to discuss and investigate a grievance or concern that you have. Your concern will be handled in a confidential manner. Patient Relations can be reached by telephone Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm at (603) 230-1902 or in writing at Concord Hospital Patient Relations, 250 Pleasant Street, Concord NH 03301.

If your concerns cannot be resolved through our Patient Relations office, you can report concerns to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Licensing & Certification. You may contact this department by telephone at (603) 271-9499 or (800) 852-3345 ext. 9499. You may fax them at (603) 271-4968. Written correspondence should be addressed to Office of Operations Support, Health Facilities Administration-Licensing, 129 Pleasant Street, Concord NH 03301.