Patient Rights & Responsibilities

We want to encourage you, as a patient at Essentia Health, to speak openly with your health care team, take part in your treatment choices, and promote your own safety by being well informed and involved in your care. Because we want you to think of yourself as a partner in your care, we want you to know your rights as well as your responsibilities during your stay at our facilities. We invite you and your family to join us as active members of your care team.

Essentia Health is committed to providing safe, quality, compassionate health care. In accordance with this commitment, we believe that patients are entitled to the following rights and have been given a copy, Patients Rights & Responsibilities [PDF].

Patient Responsibilities

Rights alone do not guarantee the achievement of our objectives to provide safe, quality, compassionate care. Each patient has a responsibility to:

  • Follow the treatment plan prescribed. It is your responsibility to advise the people treating you whether or not you think you can, or want to, follow a certain treatment plan. You accept the consequences for outcomes if you do not follow instructions for your care;
  • Report changes in your health to the people treating you;
  • Be honest and direct with the people caring for you. You are the center of the healthcare team. Tell them exactly how you feel about the things that are happening to you;
  • Understand your health problems and treatment plans to your satisfaction. Understanding your health problems is important to the success of the treatment plan. If you do not understand them, ask the doctor and other caregivers. You should also recognize the impact of your lifestyle on your health.
  • Provide Essentia Health with a copy of your Advance Directive/ Living Will and/or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.
  • Follow Essentia Health’s policies affecting patient care and conduct.
  • Provide necessary insurance information and work with Essentia Health in making arrangements for payment of your bill if necessary.
  • Respect all persons and property, and consider the privacy and rights of others when you have visitors or are using the television, radio or telephone. When you want to know, please ask. If you have something to say, please speak up. If a concern arises, please let us know immediately. Thank you for placing your trust in us.

When you want to know, please ask. If you have something to say, please speak up. If a concern arises, please let us know immediately.

Thank you for placing your trust in us.

Care Decisions/Informed Consent

Patients have the right to be informed about and to participate in decision making related to their care.

Patients have the right to obtain from their physician complete, current information concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, in terms patients can be reasonably expected to understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to patients, the information should be made available to an appropriate person on their behalf. Families are encouraged to participate in decisions regarding care when such participation is appropriate.

Patients have the right to receive from their physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment to include risks related to not receiving proposed care, treatment and services. Where medically significant alternatives for care or treatment exist, or when patients request information concerning medical alternatives, patients have the right to such information. Patients also have the right to know the name of the person responsible for the procedures and/or treatment.

Except in emergencies, patients may not be transferred to another facility without being given a full explanation for the transfer, without provision being made for continuing care, and without acceptance by the receiving institution.

Nondiscrimination

Patients will not be denied appropriate care because of age, color, creed, culture, disability (physical or mental), ethnicity, familial status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, language, local Human Rights Commission activity, national origin, military service, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or public assistance status.

Privacy, Respectful Care & Security

Patients have the right to considerate and respectful care, including privacy, security, safety and freedom from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and harassment.

All patients have the right to consideration of privacy during their medical care and the right to physical privacy to the extent consistent with their care needs. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. Paper and electronic medical records and other patient documents will be used in a manner which will preserve the identity of the individual patient from display to persons not authorized to have such information.

Patients have the right to know the identity and professional status of all staff members and physicians providing services. Patients have the right to be treated in an environment that provides for their security and safety.

Advance Directives/Ethical Issues

Advance Directives for medical care such as Health Care Directives, Living Wills or the designation of a surrogate decision maker or agent are respected to the extent provided by law. These documents state your wishes about treatment or name someone to decide for you if you are unable to do so. Patients may receive information about advance directives if they make such a request.

Ethical questions that may arise concerning various treatment options may be first explored with the physician involved with the case and, if necessary, may be taken to the Bioethics Committee. This may be done by staff, providers, patients or their families by speaking to the appropriate manager.

If you have a complaint or grievance regarding an Advance Directive, follow the Grievance Procedure included in this booklet.

Refusal of Treatment

Patients have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. Patients have the right to refuse to participate in research investigation or clinical trials without limitation.

Cultural and Religious Practices

Essentia Health respects and accommodates the cultural and religious practices or ceremonies of patients and their families unless such practices would be in direct conflict with the ethics or values of Essentia Health.

Confidential Records and Information

Patients have the right to expect that all communication and records pertaining to their care be treated confidentially and that requests for access to their records will be met within a reasonable period of time. You may review your medical records, request amendment to, and obtain information on disclosure of your health information, in accordance with law and regulation.

Pain Management

Pain can be a common part of the patient experience. Patients have the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain. Patients’ right to pain management is respected and supported.

Special Communication Needs: Hearing, Sight & Language

Patients have the right to communication that they can understand. If patients are hearing impaired, Essentia Health will provide, at no cost, a qualified language interpreter and/or auxiliary aids to offer patients effective access to our health care services. Patients should inform staff when the appointment is made if they wish an interpreter, auxiliary aid or telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD). Please call (218) 786-4101 for additional information on sign language interpreter services.

If patients are sight impaired, appropriate services, information and auxiliary aids will be provided. Patients should notify the registration staff when the appointment is made.

If patients of family members speak a language other than English, Essentia Health is willing to make every attempt to locate an interpreter. Patients may request an interpreter through registration or clinical staff. Language translation services are provided through Clarity Interpretation Services by calling (218) 340-6526.

(Spanish) ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al (218) 340-6526.

(German) ACHTUNG: Wenn Sie Deutsch sprechen, stehen Ihnen kostenlos sprachliche Hilfsdienstleistungen zur Verfügung. Rufnummer: (218) 340-6526.

(Hmong) LUS CEEV: Yog tias koj hais lus Hmoob, cov kev pab txog lus, muaj kev pab dawb rau koj. Hu rau (218) 340-6526.

Billing Process

Patients have a right to receive a statement of their account if a payment is due from them. Patients with questions about their bill are encouraged to call Business Services – Patient Accounts.

Health Coverage

The Affordable Care Act, signed into law March 2010, puts American consumers in charge of their health coverage and care by:

Stopping insurance companies from limiting the care you need – which will help children (and eventually all Americans) with pre-existing conditions gain coverage and keep it.

Removing insurance company barriers between you and your doctor – which will protect all Americans’ choice of doctors and end lifetime limits on the care you may receive.

For questions about your benefits and/or how these protections may apply to your health insurance plan contact your Plan Administrator.

To learn more about the new benefits and cost savings available to you under the Affordable Care Act, please visit HealthCare.gov. This website will help you make informed decisions about health care coverage by offering easy-to-understand information about what health plans are available in your state; how much they cost; what they cover, and lots more information tailored to your specific needs.

Visitors

Patients may designate persons who are permitted to visit during their stay at an Essentia Health facility including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. Essentia Health will not deny visitation on the basis of age, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

Patients also have the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.

Relationship With Other Health Services

Patients or their designated representative have the right to receive information upon request about Essentia Health’s relationship with outside providers to which patients may be referred.

Grievance Procedure

You have the right to submit a grievance without fear of discrimination or reprisal if you feel the services you receive compromised your safety or did meet accepted quality of care standards. Please contact Essentia Health Patient Relations or one of the agencies listed below:

Essentia Health Patient Relations
Director of Patient Relations
503 East Third Street
Duluth, MN 55805
Phone: 218-786-3827
Email: Candice.Moore@EssentiaHealth.org

In Minnesota

Office of Health Facility Complaints Intake Unit
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 300
P.O. Box 64970
St. Paul, MN 55164-0970
Phone: 651-201-4201 or 800-369-7994

Minnesota Board of Medical Practice
2829 University Ave. SE, Suite 500
Minneapolis, MN 55414-3246
Phone: 612-617-2130 or 800-657-3709

In Wisconsin

Bureau of Quality Assurance Intake Unit
P.O. Box 2969
Madison, WI 53701-2969
Phone: 608-266-8481 or 800-642-6552

Wisconsin Medical Examining Board
1400 East Washington Ave.
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708-8935
Phone: 608-266-2811 or 877-617-1565

In North Dakota

North Dakota Department of Health
Division of Health Facilities
600 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismark, ND 58505-0200
Phone: 701-328-2352

North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners
418 E. Broadway Ave., Suite 12
Bismark, ND 58501-4086
Phone: 701-328-6500

In Idaho:

Idaho Department of Health Intake Unit
Division of Health
450 West State Street, 4th Fl.
Boise, ID 83720-0036
Phone: 208-334-5993

Idaho State Board of Medicine
1755 N. Westgate Drive
Suite 140
Boise, ID 83704
Phone: 208-327-7000

State Quality Improvement Organizations:

In Minnesota

Kepro
Phone: 1-855-408-8557
TTY: 1-855-843-4776
Fax: 1-844-834-7130

In Wisconsin

Kepro
Phone: 1-855-408-8557
TTY: 1-855-843-4776
Fax: 1-844-834-7130

In North Dakota

Kepro
Phone: 1-844-430-9504
TTY: 1-855-843-4776
Fax: 1-844-878-7921

In Idaho

Lavanta
Phone: 1-877-588-1123
TTY: 1-855-887-6668
Fax: 1-855-694-2929

If you believe that Essentia Health has failed to provide necessary services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, you can file via a grievance in person or by mail, phone, fax, or email with Essentia Patient Relations, or by filing a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, or by mail or phone at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue
SW Room 509F
HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
Phone: 1-800-868-1019, 800-537-7697 (TDD)

Complaint forms are available at HHS.gov.

Office of Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman
Medicare.gov

Concerns Regarding Patient Care And Safety Not Addressed/Resolved
The Joint Commission (TJC)
Office of Quality Monitoring
Phone: 800-994-6610
Website: Jointcommission.org
Email: complaint@jointcommission.org