Patient Rights and Responsibilities

City of Hope Atlanta recognizes that no two cancer patients, and no two cancers, are exactly the same. City of Hope Atlanta patients and their caregivers are involved in and are empowered to make informed decisions about their care.

This Statement of Patient Rights and Responsibilities sets forth the basic rights and protections afforded to City of Hope Atlanta patients by federal and state law, and the responsibilities of patients to help City of Hope Atlanta provide safe, high-quality care.

Patient Rights

Right to Respect and Autonomy

You have a right to be treated with dignity, and to treatment that supports and respects your choices, strengths, individuality, and abilities.

You have a right to respectful and considerate care rendered by competent staff.

You have a right to have your cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences be respected.

You have a right not to be discriminated against based on race, ethnicity/national origin, language, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, diagnosis, socioeconomic status, genetic information, or source of payment.

You have a right to clear communication of information, and if you do not speak English or have special communication needs, you have a right to access an interpreter and translation or telecommunications services in accordance with law.

You have a right to personal protected health information, and privacy, security and confidential of your information.

You have a right to receive care in a safe setting, to be free from all forms of abuse, harassment and corporal punishment, and to be free from restraint and seclusion imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff or that is otherwise not medically necessary. You have a right to safe implementation of restraint or seclusion by trained staff.

You have a right to the confidentiality of your clinical records, except as otherwise provided by law.

You have a right to have visitors and to decide whether you would like visitors during your stay, as long as they do not interfere with treatment or otherwise decided by your physician. Visitors may include, but are not limited to, spouse, domestic partner (including same-sex domestic partner), family members and friends. You may restrict visitors and withdraw or deny consent to the presence of visitors at any time.

You have a right to voice your concerns to medical staff or administration without fear of reprisal or discrimination.

Right to Receive Information and Make Decisions

You have a right to make informed decisions regarding your health care, including the receipt of information on the risks, benefits, side effects and alternatives of medications and treatments. This right applies to your designated representative or to the parent and/or guardian of patients who are minors.

You have a right to refuse care, including medications, treatment or procedures offered by the hospital, to the extent permitted by law, and to receive information on the consequences of such refusal. This right extends to leaving the hospital against the advice of your physician, to the extent provided by law.

You have a right to participate in your plan of care, discharge plan and pain management plan, including being able to consent to or refuse treatment. There may be circumstances (such as medical emergencies, if you are determined to not be competent in accordance with law or if you are found to be medically incapable of understanding the proposed plan of care) in which your right to participate in your plan of care may be limited. In these circumstances, your designated representative or a legally designated person will exercise your rights.

You have a right to access information contained in your medical records within a reasonable time frame.

You have a right to know the name of the licensed health care provider acting within the scope of his/her professional licensure, who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care.

You have a right to access protective and advocacy services, as might be needed.

You have a right to receive assistance from a family member, representative or other individual in understanding, protecting, or exercising your rights. You may identify a personal representative to act as a decision-maker for you when you are unable.

You have a right to formulate an advance directive and to have practitioners who provide care at the hospital comply with the directive. Such advance directives may include appointment of a surrogate to make health care decisions on your behalf. If applicable, you are responsible for providing a copy of your advance directive to the hospital or your caregiver. You are not required to formulate or have an advance directive in place in order to receive care.

You have a right to have a family member, or your representative of choice and your physician be notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.

You have a right to seek a consultation from a specialist or other physician at your request and cost.

You have a right to request an explanation of your medical bill.

Patient Responsibilities

To effectively partner with you in providing high quality care, City of Hope Atlanta asks that you (or, where appropriate, your designated representative) fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Provide timely, complete, and accurate information about current and past state of health, including past illnesses, hospitalizations, and medications you are taking or have taken, to facilitate the provision of care, treatment, and services.
  • Promptly alert City of Hope Atlanta staff to any change in your condition.
  • Provide accurate, up-to-date information on your address, telephone numbers, identification numbers and insurance and payment information.
  • Alert City of Hope Atlanta staff if you feel there is a problem with your care.
  • Meet all financial obligations you have agreed to with City of Hope Atlanta.
  • Be open in communicating with City of Hope Atlanta staff about your pain and pain control options.
  • Ask questions about your care and acknowledging when you do not understand the treatment course or care decisions.
  • Follow your treatment plan as developed with your care team and accept responsibility for the health outcome(s) if you choose not to follow your treatment plan.
  • Respect clinical policies to keep appointments or cancel in advance.
  • Assure that financial obligations related to your healthcare are fulfilled as soon as possible.
  • Follow instructions, policies, rules, and regulations in place to support quality care and a safe environment for all individuals in the hospital.
  • Assist City of Hope Atlanta in providing a safe environment for patients, visitors, and staff, and speak up if you perceive unsafe conditions or practices.
  • Treat staff members with courtesy and respect, using civil language and conduct.
  • Show respect and consideration for your care providers, other City of Hope Atlanta patients and visitors by being mindful of noise and disturbances, refraining from smoking and respecting each other's property.
  • Understand that as an equal opportunity employer, City of Hope Atlanta reserves the right to assign a competent care provider with skills that match your clinical needs. Our practice is that staff and their work environment remain free from all forms of retaliation.
  • Honor our check-out time on the day you are discharged.
  • Arrange appropriate care after medical discharge.

Reporting a Patient's Right Concern

If you should experience a problem with a member of staff or difficulty in using our services, there are several courses of action that you may elect to take.

If the problem is related to your healthcare, please attempt to discuss you concerns with the practitioner with whom you have been working.

You are encouraged to bring any serious concern or complaint to the attention of a manager or department director. Please call the appropriate contact below and we will work to address and resolve the issue through Patient Relations:

  • City of Hope Atlanta, 770-400-6358
  • City of Hope Chicago, 847-746-6586
  • City of Hope Phoenix, 623-207-3520

If you would like to file a grievance or complaint concerning your treatment or in relation to any of your rights, please contact the City of Hope Compliance Department at 800-234-7139.

You may also contact our accrediting organization:

The Joint Commission Office of
Quality Monitoring One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Phone: (800) 994-6610
email: complaint@jointcommission.org

If you are a patient in Arizona:

You may file a grievance or complaint with:
Arizona Medical Board
1740 W Adams St., Suite 4000
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(480) 551-2700
Online: https://www.azmd.gov/Regulation/Regulation

If you are a patient in Illinois:

You may file a grievance or complaint by completing the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Healthcare Facilities Complaint Form with:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Office of Health Care Regulation
Central Complaint Registry
525 W. Jefferson St., Ground Floor
Springfield, IL 62761-001
(800) 252-4343
Fax: 217-524-8885
Online: https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/health-care-regulation/complaints

If you are a patient in Georgia:

You may file a grievance or complaint with:

Georgia Department of Community Health Healthcare Facility Regulation Division
2 Peachtree Street, Suite 33-250
Atlanta, GA 30303-3142
(800) 878-6442
Online: https://dch.georgia.gov/hfr-file-complaint

You may also file a complaint with the Georgia Composite Medical Board concerning any physician, staff, office or treatment received. Your complaint requires you to provide the physician or practice name, the address and the specific nature of the complaint. Complaints or grievances may be reported to the Board at the following address or telephone number:

Georgia Composite Medical Board Attention: Complaints Unit
Number 2 Peachtree Street, NW 36th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 656-3913