Patient Rights & Responsibilities
At BayCare Health System, we want our patients to have the best possible care. We want you to know your rights as a patient as well as your responsibilities to yourself, your physicians and other caregivers. We support these rights and responsibilities and have developed them with utmost concern and respect for our patients, physicians and team members.
The following is a summary of the Patient's Bill of Rights, under Florida Statute 381.026.
As a patient, you have a right to:
- Equal access to medical treatment, accommodations and services, regardless of race, national origin, religion, age, disability, other protected category or source of payment
- A prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests
- Be treated with courtesy, dignity and respect at all times. Care is delivered with respect for your spiritual and cultural beliefs, personal and ethical values and educational needs.
- Have your privacy protected
- Know what patient support services are available, including auxiliary aids and services for persons with hearing, vision or speech disabilities, as well as persons of Limited English Proficiency, and to be provided such services as are necessary to ensure effective communication free of charge
- Receive language interpreting and translation services as needed
- Know the name, role and qualifications of your caregivers
- Receive adequate assessment of and treatment for relief of pain and discomfort
- Complete and current information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, in terms you understand
- Be informed of unexpected outcomes related to care
- Participate in decisions involving your care, treatment and services, including the right to have your family or personal physician notified of your admission to the hospital
- Refuse treatment, except as otherwise provided by law, and to leave against medical advice, understanding that you will be requested to sign a form to that effect
- Receive treatment for any emergency medical condition that will get worse if not treated
- Give or withhold informed consent before starting a procedure or treatment
- Give or withhold consent for the hospital to use recordings, films or other images of you for purposes other than your care
- Know if medical treatment is for research or clinical trial, and to either consent or refuse
- Have your family and/or support individual(s) involved in care, treatment and services when appropriate.
- Support individuals are determined by the patient (or representative, where appropriate).
- Bring any person of your choosing to the patient accessible areas of the health care facility or provider’s office to accompany you while you’re receiving inpatient or outpatient treatment or consulting with your health care provider, unless doing so would risk your safety or health, other patients, or staff of the facility or office, or cannot be reasonably accommodated by the facility or provider.
- Receive the visitors whom you (or your representative, where appropriate) designate, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. You also have the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
- Expect the facility to provide a safe environment free of neglect, exploitation or abuse
- Be free from restraint and seclusion which are not medically necessary
- An environment that supports your dignity and a positive self-image through access to telephone and mail services as well as access to your personal belongings and clothing, unless medically contraindicated
- Assist in planning your discharge and home care needs
- Confidentiality of your medical record and the right to access information from it when complete
- Information regarding any professional relationships among individuals, by name, who are treating you
- Review your medical record and to approve or refuse the release or disclosure of its contents to any health care practitioner and/or facility
- Select another person to make health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so
- Make advance directives, such as a living will, health care proxy or plan for organ donation
- Know, on request and prior to treatment, whether Medicare assignment is accepted
- Receive on request and prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care and an itemized bill with charges explained when requested
- Request to view a list of the hospital's standard charges
- Receive information and counseling on available financial resources on request
- Have complaints reviewed by the hospital and be informed about the complaint process
- Receive information about patient advocacy groups and protective services upon request
As a patient, you have the responsibility to:
- Give your health care provider correct and complete information about your present medical condition, past illnesses, vision, speech, hearing or cognitive impairments, hospitalizations, medications and other health matters
- Report changes in your condition
- Tell your health provider if you understand the plan of treatment and what is expected of you, including pain relief options
- Follow the treatment plan recommended by your health care provider and accept responsibility for your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow instructions
- Advise your doctor or health care provider of any dissatisfaction you have in regard to the quality of your care
- Inform your physician or health care provider if you have an advance directive or have a designated person to make health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so
- Provide the name and telephone number of the person you would want contacted in the event of an emergency
- Meet your health care financial obligations promptly
- Follow rules and regulations on patient care and conduct
- Keep appointments or notify the health care provider or facility if you cannot
We recognize the special needs of the dying patient.
In this special case, in addition to the rights mentioned before, you have the right to:
- Expect care by staff members who are aware of and able to recognize the unique and individual needs of the dying patient
- Expect support provided for the social, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and family, recognizing differences in individuals' values, beliefs and life philosophies
- Expect appropriate care for primary and secondary signs and symptoms that would respond to treatment, even though these symptoms may be unrelated to the "terminal" condition
- Expect appropriate support for the patient and family in the grief process
Any physician and/or surgeon providing services to you including, but not limited to, radiologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists and emergency room physicians, are independent contractors and are not employees of the hospital. You will receive a separate bill for their professional services.
BayCare Health System complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex or religion.
ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al (844) 343-1685 (TTY 711).
Kreyòl Ayisyen (French Creole)
ATANSYON: Si w pale Kreyòl Ayisyen, gen sèvis èd pou lang ki disponib gratis pou ou. Rele (844) 343-1685 (TTY 711).
Concerns and Complaints
If we should ever fall short of your expectations, we would appreciate hearing from you. You have the right to voice concerns at any time, including complaints related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please contact us at the appropriate hospital below:
Bartow Regional Medical Center............(863) 519-1694
BayCare Alliant Hospital.........................(727) 736-9999
Mease Countryside Hospital...................(727) 725-6222
Mease Dunedin Hospital.........................(727) 734-6365
Morton Plant Hospital..............................(727) 462-7101
Morton Plant North Bay Hospital.............(727) 843-4500
St. Anthony's Hospital..............................(727) 825-1071
St. Joseph's Hospitals..............................(813) 554-8306
South Florida Baptist Hospital..................(813) 757-8440
Winter Haven Hospital..............................(863) 293-1121, Ext. 1784
Persons with hearing and speech disabilities can reach the above numbers through TDD and other specialized equipment by calling the Florida Relay Service at 711.
You may also register a complaint with the following agencies:
Agency for Health Care Administration
Consumer Assistance Unit
2727 Mahan Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman:
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities
4891 E. Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85712
Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Service
Quality and performance data is available electronically at BayCare.org through our Quality Report Card.