Patient and Client Rights & Responsibilities | Updated March 16, 2023
Fenway Health respects the rights of all people that enter our doors and participate in our services. Together we are responsible for creating and maintaining a culture of health, respect, integrity, safety, and compassion.
We recognize seeking care is sometimes a scary, painful or vulnerable experience that can trigger all kinds of emotions. We recognize that many individuals have experienced challenges receiving competent, respectful care due to their identity and/or life circumstances. We want to make space for these truths and ensure that all people at Fenway Health feel welcomed, safe, and respected.
The following statement describes your Rights and Responsibilities as a patient or client of Fenway Health and provides instruction on what to do if you have concerns about your care and experience.
Patient and Client Rights
Every patient and client shall have the right:
- to receive care that meets the highest standards of Fenway Health, regardless of your race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital status, physical or mental disability, veteran or military status, pregnancy status, genetic information, or any other protected status or characteristic under applicable law, or the source of payment for your care
- to have cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs and preferences respected
- to privacy during medical care (within the capacity of the health center) including the legal confidentiality of all records and communications
- to have your pain appropriately evaluated and managed
- to be involved in all aspects of care, and, when appropriate, to have your family, legal guardian, or health care agent participate in care decisions
- to legally appropriate informed consent for your care to prompt, lifesaving treatment in an emergency without discrimination due to economic status or source of payment and without delaying treatment to discuss payment unless delaying treatment will not pose a risk to your health
- to decline examination, observation, or treatment by students or any other Fenway staff if it does not jeopardize your access to appropriate care and attention
- to decline to serve as a research subject and to decline any care or examination that is only educational or informational (rather than therapeutic)
- to have access to interpreters at no cost
- to be involved in resolving conflicts about your care
- to know the name and specialty training of the members of your care team
- to have prompt and adequate response to all reasonable requests (within the capacity of the health center)
- to understand the relationships between Fenway and other institutions that participate in your care
- to receive the rules and regulations describing your conduct as a patient
- to receive information about your qualifying options for financial assistance, including sliding fee scales and free care
- to see your medical records and receive a copy according to law and regulation (you could be charged copying expenses)
- to receive a copy of any bill submitted to any third party by Fenway for your care
- to complete information on all effective alternative treatments if you are suffering from breast cancer
- to receive written information about emergency contraception and to be offered and provided emergency contraception, if you have been raped
or had unprotected sex and could become pregnant
- to, upon request, receive a copy of the Massachusetts General Laws of Patients’ Rights: Chapter 111, Section 70E
Patient and Client Responsibilities
To contribute to a safe, healthy, and equitable environment for staff, patients, clients, and visitors, Fenway Health expects patients, clients, and visitors to refrain from behaviors that are disruptive, hostile, or threatening to others. We will address disruptive behaviors quickly and seriously with an intent to maintain courtesy, dignity, and well-being for all.
Fenway Health prohibits the following behaviors:
- Possessing firearms or any weapon, apart from on-duty law enforcement
- Intimidating or harassing staff, other patients, clients, or visitors, including sexual harassment
- Making threats of violence to harm another individual or destroy property through phone calls, letters, voicemail, email, or other forms of written, verbal, non-verbal, or electronic communication
- Physically assaulting staff, patients, clients, or other visitors
- Damaging business equipment or property
- Use of identity-based slurs, derogatory remarks, or gestures, including but not limited to those referencing race, culture, religion, gender expression and/or identity, sexuality, or ability
- Any behavior that is not consistent with our culture of respect and safety.
If you are subjected to any of these behaviors or witness inappropriate behavior, please report to any staff member. Persons exhibiting these behaviors may be subject to removal from the facility and/or discharge from the practice.
To ensure the best care at your visit, we recommend the following:
- Provide us with accurate and complete information regarding your identity, medical history, hospitalizations, medications, and current health concerns. Report any changes in your health to your care providers. This helps your care team work with you to develop a better plan for your care.
- At the start of your appointment, let your provider know all of the issues that you wish to discuss. It can be helpful to create a list. This will help you and your provider budget your time and set priorities. Sometimes you and your provider will decide to schedule another visit to give you the time and quality of care you deserve.
- Ask questions to help you understand the plan of care, treatment, or services recommended by your care provider.
- Ask your care providers what to expect regarding pain and pain management. Discuss pain relief options with your care team and work with your team to develop a pain management plan. Ask for pain relief when pain first begins, and help your care team assess your pain.
- Assume responsibility for your actions if you decide not to follow the established plan of care. Let us know about any difficulties with following the plan of care.
- Be courteous with the use of your cell phone and other electronic devices. When interacting with any of our staff, please put your devices away. Set the ringer to vibrate before storing away.
- Provide accurate financial information and work with staff to ensure financial obligations related to your care are met. Let us know if there is a hardship so we may assist you, as needed. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.
Please contact us if you have a question about your bill:
- Dental bills: 617.927.6127
- Fenway Pharmacy bills: 617.927.6330
- All other billing inquiries: 617.927.6050
- If you need to cancel an appointment, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance for a Medical, Dental, or Optometry appointment and 48 hours (about 2 days) in advance for a Behavioral Health appointment.
- Adults are expected to supervise any children they bring into the health center.
Concerns Regarding Care or Services
As a patient or client at Fenway Health, you have the right to receive information about how you can get assistance with concerns and complaints about the quality of care or service you receive.
Should you have concerns, problems, or complaints about the quality of care or service that receive, we encourage you to speak to the people directly involved in your care. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, or if you would like help, the Patient Relations Specialist may help resolve the problem. You may reach the Patient Relations Specialist by calling 617.927.6178. You may also submit online feedback or concerns by visiting Fenwayhealth.org or SidneyBorum.org and selecting “give us your feedback” on the bottom left of the home page.
If you feel that the options above have not solved the problems, you may contact any of the following agencies if you have concerns about the safety and quality of care provided:
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Floor
Boston MA, 02111
The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Blvd
Oakbrook, IL 60181