Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Patient

Notice of Privacy Practices

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires health care agencies to protect privacy and create standards for electronic transfers of health data. At Baystate Health we are committed to maintaining the privacy of your information. To learn more, read our Notice of Privacy Practices.

As a patient at any Baystate Health facility, you have the right to:


  • Be treated in a considerate, respectful way. Receive timely, complete, and accurate information.
  • Expect privacy during treatment and care, within the capacity of the hospital.
  • Receive care in a safe setting.
  • Be free from unnecessary restraint or seclusion.
  • Be free from all forms of abuse and harassment.

Participation & Decision Making

  • Make decisions regarding your health care, including the decision to refuse or discontinue treatment, to the extent permitted by law.
  • Participate in the development of your plan of care.
  • Receive information about your diagnosis and treatment options.
  • Fill out an advance directive, such as a health care proxy form.
  • Refuse to be examined, observed or treated by students or any other Baystate Health staff without jeopardizing your access to care.
  • Say yes or no to taking part in a research study.
  • Choose who may be present for emotional support.

Information & Treatment

  • Know the name and specialty of those providing care.
  • Know the relationship between your doctor and the medical center.
  • Be provided an interpreter or other assistance, as available, when language, communication or hearing support is needed.
  • Receive prompt life-saving treatment in an emergency.
  • Receive an up-to-date list of all of your current medications.
  • Be evaluated and treated appropriately for pain.
  • If the patient is a rape victim of childbearing age, to be offered prompt emergency contraception; and to be provided with emergency contraception upon request.
  • If you have breast cancer, receive complete information from your doctor on medically available treatment options.
  • Review and request medical records, as allowed by law.
  • Have reasonable requests responded to promptly.
  • Know the rules which apply to you.

Financial Information

  • Information about financial assistance and free health care.
  • Request and receive an itemized explanation of your medical bill.

Billing & Financial Assistance

We offer multiple bill payment options, and we participate in most insurance programs offered in our area. Learn about your bill and request an itemized bill by calling Patient Billing Services at 413-794-9999 or see hospital insert for Financial Counselor contact information.

As a patient at any Baystate Health Facility You have the responsibility to:

  • Provide your health care team with up-to-date medical information to the best of your ability.
  • Follow your treatment plan and express any concerns with your provider.
  • Tell your provider about medications you have been taking.
  • Leave your valuables and personal items at home or send them home with someone you trust.
  • Be thoughtful and considerate of the rights of others by behaving in a respectful way.
  • Limit noise to help promote a healing environment for everyone.
  • Provide up-to-date information about your health insurance to hospital financial counselors.
  • Take responsibility for your hospital bill.
  • Know that staff members will address any behaviors that are disruptive or which may convey lack of respect to patients, guests or members of the health care team.

Seek Emotional Support

Emotional support is important in restoring health. Patients are likely stressed by their illness or injury. Talk to the nurse about how you can help and support your loved one.

Understand there may be times when we have to restrict visitors, especially when there is safety, health exposure or security risks.

Maintain a smoke free environment

To ensure the health and safety of Baystate Health patients, visitors and employees, smoking is not permitted on Baystate health property. Support is available for smokers during their hospital stay.

We also do not permit the possession or consumption of marijuana on Baystate Health premises. This includes medical marijuana in any form. If you feel that medical marijuana is required for health reasons, please speak with your health care provider to discuss possible alternatives during your stay.

Follow visitor policies

We embrace a patient- and family-centered care philosophy that values a patient’s family as an integral part of the patient care team. For this reason we have open visiting hours for friends and family, as desired by you, the patient. Children are welcome, but only with adult supervision. All visitors are asked to be as quiet as possible while walking in the hallways or in patient rooms so other patients are not disturbed.

There will be times when we have to restrict visitors, especially when there are safety, health exposure or security risks. Please speak to your caregivers if you have any questions about this policy.

Maintain a quiet environment

We make every effort to help you get the rest and quiet you need. Quiet times may be in effect in some patient areas. Visitors are asked to support quiet time to promote a healing environment.

Every evening, starting at 8 pm, quiet hours are followed (times may vary).

Sleep kits (sleep mask, headphones or ear plugs) may be available from your nurse.

Keep our hospitals safe and secure

Contraband items such as weapons (including sharp items).illicit drugs or fire hazard materials are not permitted on our premises.

Follow our code of conduct

Baystate Health is committed to maintaining a safe, inclusive, equitable, and respectful environment for our patients, employees, and visitors. We expect our doctors, nurses, and other employees to treat our patients and visitors with courtesy and respect as outlined in our Baystate Health Code of Conduct. We ask that our patients and visitors extend that same level of courtesy and respect to all our employees when visiting or receiving care at any of Baystate’s hospitals, clinics, or doctors’ offices.

Baystate Health will not tolerate:

  • Threatening, abusive, aggressive, bullying, or violent language or behavior
  • Discriminatory, disrespectful, harassing, or offensive language or behavior
  • Swears, slurs or remarks targeting another’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, disability, language, sexuality or sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, marital status, or ancestry
  • Possession of weapons, explosives, or firearms on Baystate property or in any Baystate Health facility
  • Possession or use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, medical marijuana, or illegal drugs on Baystate Health property or in any Baystate Health facility
  • Disruption of other patients’ care or experience
  • Taking photos or videos of patients, visitors, and/or staff without permission

If you are the target of any of these behaviors, please report it to our Patient Relations Office. Visitors found violating the Patient and Visitor Code of Conduct may be asked to leave and future visits may be restricted. Patients violating the Patient and Visitor Code of Conduct may be asked to continue their care elsewhere and their future ability to obtain non-emergent care at a Baystate hospital may be suspended or terminated. Baystate may also report these actions to local law enforcement.

Thank you for helping us maintain a healing environment for all of our patients!

Do not take photos or videos

We ask that you refrain from taking photos and videos in the hospital. Do not take patient photos unless they agree.

Concerns, Complaints, or Grievances

The Office of Patient Relations is here to provide resolution for any concern or issue patients and family members may have with their care experience. We provide caring, professional support. If you feel that your issue was not resolved, you have the right to contact us to file a complaint or grievance at:

Baystate Franklin Medical Center: 413-773-2214

Baystate Medical Center: 413-794-5456

Baystate Noble Hospital: 413-572-6088

Baystate Wing Hospital: 413-370-5297

More Information About Your Rights

For more information about your rights as a patient, you may also contact the following organizations:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Health Care Quality

99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Floor

Boston, MA 02111


The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine

560 Harrison Ave.

Boston, MA 02118


The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Office of Quality Monitoring

1 Renaissance Boulevard

Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181



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