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Rights and Responsibilties

Health Care Proxy

You have the right to execute a Health Care Proxy. Upon your admission as an inpatient, you will be asked whether you have completed a Proxy. If you have completed a Proxy, a copy will be placed in your Medical Record. If you have not completed a Proxy, one will be provided to you, along with relevant information, to help you complete the form.

Health Care Proxy forms and additional information are also available in the Patient Registration and Social Service departments.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, implemented in April 2003, requires that we maintain the privacy of your medical information, provide a Privacy Notice (Notice) of our duties and privacy practices and abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect. We reserve the right to change privacy practices, and make new practices effective for all information that we maintain.

At BID-Needham, your privacy is a priority. At the time of admission, you are given the complete Privacy Notice and you may refer to this Notice for a detailed description of how medical information about you may be disclosed and how you can get access to this information. We follow strict federal and state guidelines to maintain the confidentiality of your medical information.

For more information, write to:

Privacy Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham Campus, 148 Chestnut Street, Needham, MA 02492 or call the reporting line at 781-453-3037.

Patient's Bill of Rights

BID-Needham is committed to a program that ensures competent and considerate care for all patients. We support the Patient's Bill of Rights, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 111, Section 70E. Your rights as a patient, established by the provisions of that law, follow below. You will receive written notice of these rights upon admission.

You are entitled to freedom of choice in selection of a facility, physician or health service mode, except in the case of emergency medical treatment or as otherwise provided for by contract; provided, however, that the physician, facility or health service mode is able to accommodate you.

Upon reasonable request, you will receive from a person designated by BID-Needham an itemized bill, and will be allowed to examine an explanation of this bill, regardless of the source of payment.

As a patient, you have the right:

a.  to care that is considerate and respectful of personal values and beliefs;

b. upon request, to obtain from BID-Needham the name and specialty, if any, of the physician or other person responsible for your care or the coordination of that care;

c. to confidentiality of all records and communications to the extent provided by law;

d. to have all reasonable requests responded to promptly and adequately within the capacity of BID-Needham;

e. upon request, to obtain an explanation as to the relationship, if any, of BID-Needham to any other health care facility or educational institution insofar as said relationship relates to your treatment;

f.  to obtain from a person designated by BID-Needham a copy of any Hospital rules or regulations which apply to your conduct as a patient;

g.  upon request, to receive from a person designated by BID-Needham, any information which the Hospital has available relative to financial assistance and free health care;

h. upon request, to inspect your medical records and to receive a copy thereof, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter III, Section 70E;

i.  to access protective services;

j. to refuse to be examined, observed or treated by students or any other BID-Needham staff without jeopardizing access to psychiatric, psychological or other medical care and attention;

k.  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;

l.  to privacy during medical treatment or any other rendering of care and treatment;

m. to prompt lifesaving treatment in an emergency in the Emergency Department or other hospital area without discrimination on account of economic status or source of payment and without delaying treatment for purposes of prior discussion of the source of payment;

n. to be informed at your initial evaluation that pain relief is an important part of your care, that your caregivers will respond quickly to reports of pain, work with you to establish goals for pain prevention and relief as well as develop and implement a plan to achieve those goals;

o. to participate in consideration of ethical questions that arise in the course of care including conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services and foregoing or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment;

p. to receive information prior to treatment including risks, benefits, potential complications and alternatives before consenting to or refusing treatment;

q. to know in advance who will perform each treatment or procedure, and to request another physician or health care provider for treatment or consultation;

r. upon request, to receive a copy of the bill or other statement of charges submitted to any third party by BID-Needham for your care.

As a BID-Needham patient, you shall be provided by the physician in the hospital the right:

s. upon request, to obtain an explanation as to the relationship, if any, of the physician to any other health care facility or educational institution insofar as said relationship relates to your care or treatment, and such explanation shall include said physician's ownership or financial interest, if any, in that institution or other health care facility;

t. upon request, to receive an itemized bill including third-party reimbursements paid toward said bill, regardless of the sources of payments; and

u. to complete information on all alternative treatments that are medically viable in the event that you are suffering from any form of breast cancer.

Any person whose rights under this section are violated may bring, in addition to any other action allowed by law or regulation, a civil action under Sections 60B to 60E, inclusive, of Chapter 231.

• No provision of the law 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 such access to records is permitted. No provision of the law relating to confidentiality shall be construed to prevent access to any records in connection with any peer review or utilization review procedures applied and implemented in good faith.

Your Bill

You are responsible for providing accurate and complete information regarding your medical history, for providing complete information about your insurance coverage, for prompt payment of your bill and for accepting the consequences if you refuse treatment.

Fees and Charges

A schedule of charges will be made available to you upon request.


The Patient Accounts Department will handle all arrangements regarding your hospital bill. Please ask your nurse to contact a representative for you when you have questions.

Before you come to the hospital, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the benefits and level of coverage of your health plan.

Please share financial problems or concerns with your social worker or patient accounts representative. When referencing a bill, please include your date of admission, date of discharge and the patient number that appears on your bill.

Your Right to Be Heard

In the event that a problem occurs which interferes with either your rights as a patient, or with the quality of your care, you are encouraged to notify the Hospital President/CEO:

John M. Fogarty 
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham Campus
148 Chestnut Street
Needham, MA 02492
Phone Number: 781-453-3002

In addition, you have the right to discuss your problems with the following agencies:

Compliance Unit
Division of Health Care
Department of Public Health
110 West Street
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 727 - 8984 or
1 (800) 462-5540


Patient Care Assessment Unit
Board of Registration in Medicine
560 Harrison Avenue,
Suite G4, Boston, MA 02118
(617) 654-9800

Contact Information

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham
148 Chestnut Street
Needham, MA 02492