Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Fenway Health

Notice of Patient Rights & Responsibilities  |   Updated August 6, 2018

Patient Rights

Fenway Health respects the rights of the patient and recognizes each patient as an individual with unique health needs.  The organization also respects each patient’s personal dignity and provides considerate and respectful care based upon the patient’s individual needs. The following statement describes your Rights and Responsibilities as a patient of Fenway Health and provides instruction on what to do if you have concerns about your care.

Every patient shall have the right:
  • to receive care that meets the highest standards of Fenway Health, regardless of your race, religion, national origin, any disability or handicap, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, military service, or the source of payment for your care;
  • to know the name and specialty of the doctors and other health care providers who are responsible for your care or the coordination of your care;
  • to the confidentiality of all records and communications to the extent provided by law;
  • to have all reasonable request responded to promptly and adequately within the capacity of the health center;
  • upon request, to obtain an explanation of the relationship, if any, of Fenway to any other institution to the extent the relationship relates to your care or treatment;
  • to receive any rules or regulations which apply to your conduct as a patient;
  • to, upon request, receive information about the availability of financial assistance, including sliding-fee scales and free care for those who qualify;
  • to, upon request, inspect your medical records and to receive a copy in accordance with law and regulation. Any fee for the copy will be determined by the rate of copying expenses;
  • to refuse to be examined, observed, or treated by students or any other Fenway staff without jeopardizing access to psychiatric, psychological, or other medical care and attention;
  • to refuse to serve as a research subject and to refuse any care or examination when the primary purpose is educational or informational rather than therapeutic;
  • to privacy during medical treatment or other rendering of care within the capacity of Fenway to provide it;
  • to prompt lifesaving treatment in an emergency without discrimination due to economic status or source of payment and without delaying treatment for purposes of prior discussion of the source of payment unless such delay can be imposed without material risk to your health;
  • to informed consent to the extent provided by law;
  • to, upon request, receive a copy of an itemized bill or other statement of charges submitted to any third party by Fenway for your care;
  • to complete information on all alternative treatments which are medically viable in the case of a patient suffering from any form of breast cancer;
  • to receive written information about emergency contraception and to be offered and provided emergency contraception, if you are a female rape victim of childbearing age;
  • to have cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs and preferences respected;
  • to have access to interpreters at no cost;
  • to have your pain appropriately evaluated and managed;
  • to be involved in all aspects of care, and to have your family, or when appropriate, the patient’s legally appointed guardian or health care agent, participate in care decisions;
  • to be involved in resolving conflicts about care decisions, treatment, or services;
  • to, upon request, receive a copy of the Massachusetts General Laws of Patients’ Rights: Chapter 111, Section 70E.


Rights of Mammography Patients

Every mammography patient at Fenway Health shall:
  • be treated with dignity and respect;
  • be informed, at the time of scheduling their appointment, that they should either arrange for their most recent prior mammogram (original film) to be sent to the facility before the appointment, or bring it to the facility at the time of the appointment;
  • not be denied service or otherwise discriminated against solely because the patient is self-referred and without a referring physician;
  • be provided with an opportunity, upon request, to discuss any radiation safety concerns with the responsible physician and/or the mammography radiologic technologist before undergoing a mammography examination;
  • be informed, upon request, of the proposed or actual glandular dose of radiation;
  • receive, directly or through their referring physician, a written statement describing the test results and, if results suggest other than routine mammographic follow-up, the next steps for the patient to pursue promptly after undergoing a mammogram at the facility;
  • be informed of their right to discuss the results of the mammogram with the responsible or interpreting physician or the patient’s referring physician;
  • be entitled to inspect and copy their patient medical record, upon request, during normal business hours at the facility;
  • be entitled, upon request, to receive on loan the original mammogram or a copy of the original mammogram, for a reasonable copying fee; and,
  • be provided with the name, address and telephone number of the Radiation Control Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as the agency to which complaints can be made.

Patient Responsibilities

To ensure we are able to provide you with the best care possible, we ask that patients accept the following responsibilities:

Patients have the responsibility:
  • to 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;
  • to work together with your care providers on the plan for your care;
  • to follow the treatment plan recommended by the care provider, and to ask questions if you need clarification or do not understand the health instructions;
  • to assume responsibility for your actions in the event that the you do not follow the established plan of care;
  • to notify us at least 24 hours in advance for a Medical or Dental appointment and 48 hours in advance for a Behavioral Health appointment than you need to cancel;
  • to provide accurate and complete financial information and work with the health center to ensure that financial obligations related to your care are met. Notify the health center promptly if there is a hardship so that we may assist you as needed.
  • to 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 doctor and nurse assess your pain;
  • to show respect and consideration for the staff, property, and other patients and visitors of Fenway Health. Yelling, verbal threats, or physical harm to staff or property is not allowed. With the exception of law enforcement officers, weapons are prohibited at all Fenway locations.
  • to understand that the supervision of children atFenway locations is the responsibility of the parents/guardians they are accompanied by.


Concerns Regarding Care or Services

As a patient 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 you are receiving, you are encouraged to speak to the people directly involved in your care. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, or if you would like the help of someone not immediately involved, the Director of Patient Services is available to help resolve the problem. You may reach the Director of Patient Services by calling 617.927.6178. Concerns may also be submitted online by visiting or

If you find the above avenues unsatisfactory, 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

You may inform The Joint Commission of Patient Safety concerns in the following ways:

At using the “Report a Patient Safety Event” link on the homepage of the website.

By Mail
The Office of Quality and Patient Safety
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

By Fax

Ansin Building
1340 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215



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