Patients' Bill of Rights for Diagnostic & Treatment Centers (Clinics)

As a patient in a Clinic in New York State, you have the right, consistent with law, to:

  1. Receive service(s) without regard to age, race, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, sex, gender identity, national origin or sponsor;
  2. Be treated with consideration, respect and dignity including privacy in treatment;
  3. Be informed of the services available at the center;
  4. Be informed of the provisions for off-hour emergency coverage;
  5. Be informed of and receive an estimate of the charges for services, view a list of the health plans and the hospitals that the center participates with; eligibility for third-party reimbursements and, when applicable, the availability of free or reduced cost care;
  6. Receive an itemized copy of his/her account statement, upon request;
  7. Obtain from his/her health care practitioner, or the health care practitioner’s delegate, complete and current information concerning his/her diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms the patient can be reasonably expected to understand;
  8. Receive from his/her physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any nonemergency procedure or treatment or both. An informed consent shall include, as a minimum, the provision of information concerning the specific procedure or treatment or both, the reasonably foreseeable risks involved, and alternatives for care or treatment, if any, as a reasonable medical practitioner under similar circumstances would disclose in a manner permitting the patient to make a knowledgeable decision;
  9. Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be fully informed of the medical consequences of his/her action;
  10. Refuse to participate in experimental research;
  11. Voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to the center’s staff, the operator and the New York State Department of Health without fear of reprisal;
  12. Express complaints about the care and services provided and to have the center investigate such complaints. The center is responsible for providing the patient or his/her designee with a written response within 30 days if requested by the patient indicating the findings of the investigation. The center is also responsible for notifying the patient or his/her designee that if the patient is not satisfied by the center response, the patient may complain to the New York State Department of Health;
  13. Privacy and confidentiality of all information and records pertaining to the patient’s treatment;
  14. Approve or refuse the release or disclosure of the contents of his/her medical record to any health-care practitioner and/or health-care facility except as required by law or third-party payment contract;
  15. Access to his/her medical record per Section 18 of the Public Health Law, and Subpart 50-3. For additional information link to: http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/1449/section_1.htm#access;Access to Your Medical Records and Do I Have the Right to See My Medical Records?
  16. Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors;
  17. When applicable, make known your wishes in regard to anatomical gifts. Persons sixteen years of age or older may document their consent to donate their organs, eyes and/or tissues, upon their death, by enrolling in the NYS Donate Life Registry or by documenting their authorization for organ and/or tissue donation in writing in a number of ways (such as health care proxy, will, donor card, or other signed paper). The health care proxy is available from the center;
  18. View a list of the health plans and the hospitals that the center participates with; and
  19. Receive an estimate of the amount that you will be billed after services are rendered.