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Patient Rights, Responsibilities, & Privacy

At South County Hospital, your care is guided by the values of caring, respect, integrity, partnership, excellence, and stewardship. Our policy is to treat all patients with dignity, respect and courtesy.

Patients or their designated representatives are involved in decisions regarding the care that we deliver to the extent that this is practical and possible. We also seek to inform you about options to care and the risks associated with the care you seek. We always seek to understand and respect your objectives for care.

The Hospital shall ensure, through all reasonable means, that members of the Medical Staff and other health care providers and employees of the Hospital are aware of patient rights and responsibilities and their role in supporting those patient rights.

We hope the mutual understanding of these rights and responsibilities will contribute to the best possible patient care and satisfaction. By state law, the following information is posted in all public areas of the hospital.

As a patient of South County Hospital, you have the right to:

• Safe and respectful care that is considerate and dignified.
• Information and treatment without discrimination based on age, race, color, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, language, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, or sources of payment.
• Personal privacy and confidentiality of protected health information.
• Complete and current information, provided in a manner that meets your needs, about your condition, treatment and prognosis for recovery, if that information can be ascertained, and participate in decisions regarding the plan of care and outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.
• Refuse treatment in accordance with law and SCH policy.
• Regular assessment of your pain.
• Give or refuse informed consent to participate in human subject research as required by law.
• Designate an individual to make decisions on your behalf.
• Complete and place an advance directive (a durable power of attorney for health care and/or living will) into your medical record.
• Access protective services such as guardianship and advocacy services, conservatorship, and child or adult protective services.
• Expect reasonable safety practices and a safe environment.
• The name of any individuals or institutions responsible for, or rendering care and treatment to you.
• Freedom from restraints and seclusion that are not medically necessary or that are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
• Examine the health care facility’s rules and regulations that govern your treatment.
• Access to visitors of your choosing, including the presence of someone you choose to give emotional support, telephone calls and mail unless it interferes with your care.
• Designate an individual(s) who is a non-family member(s) to be considered as immediate family for the purpose of granting extended visitation rights, verbally or in writing at any time throughout your admission. You may add or delete individuals from your medial record list at any time by notifying any member of the health care team.
• A reasonable response if your health care provider requests medical services for you or you request additional services.
• Upon your request and at your expense, have a consult with a specialist holding expertise in a particular field of care.
• Ask for pastoral and spiritual care.
• Be informed by your physician about the reasons for and alternatives to being transferred to another facility before it occurs.
• Receive information about hospice care.
• Request a discharge planning evaluation by the Case Management department.
• Be informed of the right to participate in the procuring and donation of organs and other tissues. The Hospital shall assist in collaboration with the organ procurement organization.
• Examine and obtain a copy of your medical records, at no charge in certain cases.
• Review your bill and be given an explanation of the charges, regardless of the source of payment; be provided with a summarized medical bill within 30 days of discharge, and an itemized bill upon request.
• Timely and reasonable notice prior to termination of your eligibility for reimbursement by a third-party payer.
• Receive a good faith estimate of your cost of medical care, in advance of receiving that care whenever possible
• We invite patients and families to support our not-for-profit mission of advancing health and wellness for our communities. If you would prefer not to be contacted by our philanthropy team, please call 401-788-1992 or email

Patients have the responsibility to:

• Give full and complete information regarding your condition, current medications, previous known health problems and health history, allergies, symptomatology and other healthcare-related matters, to enable providers to render appropriate care and treatment.
• Report to providers that you clearly understand their proposed plan of treatment, or ask for clarification.
• Follow the treatment plan as coordinated by your providers.
• Take responsibility for your decision(s) upon refusal to undergo treatment or to follow your provider’s instructions and directions.
• Not take any drugs unless they are prescribed by your provider and administered by staff.
• Treat staff and providers with respect, and use civil language. Threats, violence, disrespectful communication, or harassment of other patients, visitors, staff, or providers for any reason will not be tolerated.
• Be considerate of other patients and their visitors, particularly respecting privacy, and keeping noise at a reasonable level. It is suggested that each patient have no more than two visitors at a single time; if visitors are disturbing to any patient, they may be asked to leave.
• Keep all appointments and provide advance notice if unable to keep an appointment.
• Inform staff of any prepared advance directives (“Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care” and/or “Living Will”) and provide a copy to the facility.
• Provide complete insurance information.
• Insure that the financial obligations resulting from health care are fulfilled as promptly and fully as possible.
• Take responsibility for personal items; it is suggested that patients leave valuables at home or send them home with family.
• Follow all other SCH rules and regulations as may be applicable.

No Surprises Act (effective January 1, 2022)
What are the new Consumer Protections?

For consumers who get coverage through their employer (including a federal, state, or local government), through the Health Insurance Marketplace® or directly through an individual health plan, beginning January 2022, the No Surprises Act rules will:

  • The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) are amending the prior 2023 guidance to increase the administrative fee for the Federal independent dispute resolution (IDR) process from $50 to $350 per party for disputes initiated during the calendar year beginning January 1, 2023, due to supplemental data analysis and increasing expenditures in carrying out the Federal IDR process since the development of the prior 2023 guidance.

  • Ban surprise billing for emergency services. Emergency services, even if they’re provided out-of-network, must be covered at an in-network rate without requiring prior authorization.

  • Ban balance billing and out-of-network cost-sharing (like out-of-network co-insurance or copayments) for emergency and certain non-emergency services. In these situations, the consumer’s cost for the service cannot be higher than if these services were provided by an in-network provider, and any coinsurance or deductible must be based on in-network provider rates.

  • Ban out-of-network charges and balance billing for ancillary care (like an anesthesiologist or assistant surgeon) by out-of-network providers at an in-network facility.

  • Ban certain other out-of-network charges and balance billing without advance notice. Health care providers and facilities must provide consumers with a plain-language consumer notice explaining that patient consent is required to get care on an out-of-network basis before that provider can bill the consumer.
  • For consumers who don’t have insurance, these rules make sure they’ll know how much their health care will cost before they get it, and might help them if they get a bill that’s larger than expected.

The rules don’t apply to people with coverage through programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Indian Health Services, Veterans Affairs Health Care, or TRICARE because these programs have other protections against high medical bills.

Use the following links for more information about Consumer Protections under the No Surprises Act on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid website:

Understanding Costs in Advance >
Payment Disagreements >