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  • Patient Rights and Responsibilities

    Portage Health respects the rights of the patient and recognizes that each patient is an individual with unique healthcare needs. The staff at Portage Health provides a consistent, safe standard level of care throughout the system which is considerate and respectful of patients’ individual needs and personal dignity.

    All those associated with the health system in any capacity are responsible for the patient’s adherence to their responsibilities and that they are afforded their rights as set forth in this booklet.

    The rights of a patient can be exercised on the patient’s behalf by a designated proxy or surrogate decision maker if the patient lacks decision-making capacity, is legally incompetent or is a minor.

    Patient Responsibilities

    All Portage Health patients have the following responsibilities:

    1. Provision of Information
      • He/ she has the responsibility to report unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible practitioner.
      • A patient is responsible for making it known whether he/she clearly comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him/her.
    2. Compliance with Instructions
      • A patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily 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 and implement the responsible practitioner’s orders, and as they enforce applicable hospital rules and regulations.
      • The patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the responsible practitioner or the hospital.
    3. Refusal of Treatment
      • The patient is responsible for his/her action if he or she refuses treatment or does not follow the practitioner’s instructions.
    4. Hospital Charges
      • The patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his/her healthcare are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
      • He/she should provide the health system with accurate and timely information concerning source of payment and ability to meet financial obligations.
    5. Rules and Regulations
      • The patient is responsible for following health system rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
    6. Respect and Consideration
      • The patient is responsible for being considerate of other patients by respecting other patients' privacy, limiting visitors, reminding visitors to maintain a quiet atmosphere and to observe the no-smoking rules.
      • Telephones, television, radio and lights should be used in a manner agreeable to others.
      • The patient is also responsible for respecting and being considerate to health system personnel and property.

    All Portage Health patients have the following rights:

    1. Access to Care
      • Individuals shall be accorded impartial access to treatment or accommodations that are available or medically indicated regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, religion, age, handicap, marital status, sexual preference, or source of payment for care.
    2. Information
      • The patient has the right to safe, considerate and respectful care outlined in the following rights:
        1. The patient has the right to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing service to him/her to know which physician or other practitioner is primarily responsible for his/her care. The patient has the right to obtain from his/her physician complete current information concerning his/her diagnosis and alternatives for meeting his/her healthcare needs in terms the patient can reasonably be expected to understand.
        2. The patient has the right to make decisions involving his/her healthcare in collaboration with his/her physician including participation in his/her discharge planning.
        3. The patient has the right to appropriate assessment and management of his/her pain.
        4. The care of the patient includes consideration of the psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural variables that influence the perception of illness.
        5. The care of the dying patient optimizes the comfort and dignity of the patient through:
          • Treating primary and secondary symptoms that respond to treatment as desired by the patient or surrogate decision maker.
          • Effectively managing pain.
          • Acknowledging the psychosocial, spiritual and cultural concerns of the patient and family regarding dying and the expression of grief by the patient and family.
        6. The right for (upon patient request) providing safekeeping of personal effects, funds and other property of a patient in accordance with Section 21767, except if it would pose an unreasonable burden on the facility (as with a property).
        7. The right to meet privately with his/her spouse in a room which assures privacy. If both spouses are patients in the hospital, they are entitled to share a room unless medically contraindicated and documented by the attending physician in the medical record.
        8. The patient has the right to know in advance physician appointment times and places. The patient has the right to expect that the health system will provide a mechanism whereby he/she is informed by his/her physician or a delegate of the physician of his/her continuing healthcare needs following discharge.
        9. The patient is not expected to perform services for the health system that are not included for therapeutic purposes in the plan of care.
    3. Advanced Directives
      • The patient has the right to have advanced directives, a healthcare proxy, or durable power of attorney for healthcare concerning treatment or designating a surrogate decision maker with the expectation that the hospital will honor the intent of that directive. The provision of care is not conditioned on the existence of advance directives. Healthcare institutions must advise patients of their rights under state law and health system policy to make informed medical choices, ask if the patient has advance directives, and include that information in the patient’s record.
    4. Communication and Complaints
      • The patient has the right to access people outside the health system by means of visitors and by verbal and written communications. When the patient does not hear, speak and/or understand English, he/she will have the access to an interpreter.
      • A patient is entitled to associate and have private communications and consultations with his/her physician, attorney or any other person of his/her choice and to send and receive personal mail unopened, unless medically contraindicated as documented by the attending physician in the medical record. A patient’s civil and religious liberties, including the right to independent personal decisions and the right to knowledge of available choices, shall not be infringed and the facility shall encourage and assist in the fullest possible exercise of these rights. A patient may meet with, and participate in the activities of social, religious and community groups at his/her discretion, unless medically contraindicated as documented by the attending physician in the medical record.
      • The patient is entitled to exercise his/her rights as a patient and as a citizen, and to this end may present a concern/complaint/grievance on behalf of himself/herself or others to the hospital staff, to governmental officials, or to another person of his/her choice within or outside the health system, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination or reprisal. Patient may present a concern/complaint/grievance to any employee of Portage Health either verbally, or in writing. The employee will follow-up in accordance with health system policy for resolution of the concern/complaint/grievance. The patient may file a concern/complaint/grievance directly with the State regardless of whether he/she has first used Portage Health’s concern/complaint/grievance process.

        Consumer and Industry Services
        Office of Health Services for the State of Michigan
        Phone: (517) 373-9196


        Consumer and Industry Services
        Office of Health Services
        Complaint and Allegation Division
        P.O. Box 30670
        Lansing, Michigan 48907-8170

        If the concern/complaint/grievance concerns premature discharge or termination of benefits for Medicare patients:

        Michigan Peer Review Organization
        40660 Ann Arbor Road, Suite 200
        Plymouth, Michigan 48170
        (800) 365-5899
    5. Consent
      • The patient has the right to receive from his/her physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment. Except in emergencies, such information for informed consent should include but not necessarily be limited to the specific procedure and/or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, and the probable duration.
    6. Experimentation and Research
      • The patient shall be informed if the health system proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting his/her treatment and the patient has the right to refuse to participate in any such activity.
    7. Consultation
      • The patient, at his/her own request and expense, has the right to request a consultation with a specialist or ask for a second opinion.
    8. Health System Charges
      • Regardless of the source of payment for his/her care, the patient has the right to request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation of his/her total bill for services rendered and to receive, upon request, information relating to financial assistance available through the health system. The patient has the right to examine and receive an explanation of his/her bill regardless of source of payment. The patient is entitled to be fully informed before or at the time of admission and during stay of services available, and of the related charges including any charges for services not covered under Title 18 or 19 of the Social Security act, 42 U.S>C. 1395 to 1396j, or not covered by the health system’s basic per diem rate. The statement of services provided by the health system shall be in writing and shall include those required to be offered on an as-needed basis.
    9. Health System Rules and Regulations
      • The patient has the right to know what rules and regulations apply to his/her conduct as a patient.
    10. Personal Safety
      • The patient has the right to expect safe care provided in a safe environment. The patient is entitled to be free from mental and physical abuse and from physical and chemical restraints, except those restraints authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited time or as are necessitated by an emergency to protect from injury to self or others.
    11. Privacy and Confidentiality
      • A patient is entitled to privacy, to the extent feasible, in treatment and in caring for personal needs with consideration, respect, and full recognition of his/her dignity and individuality. In recognition of this basic right, the patient may:
        • Refuse to talk with or see anyone not officially connected with the health system, including visitors, or persons officially connected with the health system but who are not directly involved in his/her case.
        • Wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
        • Be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to assure reasonable audiovisual privacy. The patient may have a person of the patient’s own sex present during certain parts of a physician’s examination, treatment, or procedure performed by a health professional of the opposite sex, and the patient does not have to remain disrobed any longer than is required for accomplishing the medical purpose for which the patient was asked to disrobe.
        • Expect that all communications and other records pertaining to his/her care, including the source of payment for treatment, will be treated as confidential.
        • Request a transfer to another room if another patient or visitors in the room are unreasonably disturbing.
        • Expect that any discussion, consultation, or examination relating to his/her case will be considered confidential and will be conducted discretely and that individuals not directly involved in his/her care will not be present without permission.
        • Have medical and personal records treated confidentially and read only by individuals directly involved in his/her treatment or the monitoring of its quality and by other individuals only on the patient’s written authorization or that of the patient's legally authorized representative, except as required by law.
    12. Continuity of Care and Transfer
      • The patient has the right to expect that, within its capacity, the health system must make reasonable response to the request of a patient for services and is entitled to expect reasonable continuity of service. The health system must provide evaluation, service, and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of the case. A patient may be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, for his/her welfare or that of other patients or for nonpayment of his/her stay, except as provided by Title 18 or 19 of the Social Security Act, 42, U.S.C. 1395 to 1396k. A patient is entitled to be given reasonable advance notice along with complete information and explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such a transfer. These actions shall be documented in the medical record. The institution to which the patient is to be transferred must first have accepted the patient for transfer.
    13. Right of Access to Record
      • The patient and/or patient’s legally designated representative has access to the information contained in the patient’s medical record, within the limits of the law:
        1. The right of the patient’s guardian, next of kin, or legally authorized responsible person to exercise, to the extent permitted by law, the rights delineated on behalf of the patient if the patient has been adjudicated incompetent in accordance with law, is found by his/her physician to be medically incapable of understanding the proposed treatment or procedure, is unable to communicate his/her wishes regarding treatment, or is a minor.
        2. An individual who is or has been a patient is entitled to, for a reasonable fee, receive a copy of his/her medical records upon request. A third party shall not be given a copy of the patient’s medical records without prior authorization of the patients.
    14. Refusal of Treatment
      • The patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of his/her action. When refusal of treatment by the patient or his/her legally authorized representative prevents the provision of appropriate care in accordance with ethical and professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice.
    15. Ethical Issues
      • The right of a patient's designated representative to participation in the consideration of ethical issues that arise in the care of the patient:
        1. The health system has in place a process for ethical issue resolution through which a committee may be convened for the consideration of ethical issues arising in the care of patients and to provide education to caregivers and patients on ethical issues in health care. The membership of the committee may consist of but not be limited to nursing, medical staff and administration.
        2. The policies are developed in consultation with the medical staff, nursing staff, and other appropriate bodies and are adopted by the medical staff and approved by the governing body. The policies describe:
          • The mechanism(s) for reaching decisions about the withholding of resuscitative services from individual patients or for giving or withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment. The policies include the requirement that appropriate orders be written by the physician primarily responsible for the patient and that documentation be made in the patient’s medical record if life-sustaining treatment is to be withdrawn or resuscitative services are to be withheld.
          • The mechanisms for resolving conflicts in decision making, should they arise.
          • The roles of physicians and, when applicable, of nursing personnel, other appropriate staff, and family members in decisions to withhold resuscitative services or forgo or withdraw life-sustaining treatment.
          • The policies include provisions designed to assure that the rights of patients are respected.
          • The policies address the use of advance directives to the extent permitted by law.


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Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1777

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