Your Patient Rights

Your Rights and Patient Responsibilities

As a patient at Valley Baptist Health System, you should be aware of your patient rights as determined by law. We respect your rights and are focused on providing considerate, respectful care. The hospital and medical staff at Valley Baptist have adopted the following list of patient rights:

You have a right to:

  • Considerate and respectful care, and be made comfortable. You have the right to respect for your personal values and beliefs and preferences. You have the right to have a family member or representative of your choice and your own doctor notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Know the name of the licensed health care practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care and the names and professional relationships of other doctor and providers who will see you.
  • You have the right to know if the hospital has physician owners or investors; you have the right to be informed if the hospital is physician-owned in order to assist you in making an informed decision about your care. Valley Baptist Health System is not physician-owned.
  • Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
  • You or your Representative (as allowed under state law) has the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. This includes, at a minimum, the right to: participate in the development and implementation of your inpatient treatment/care plan, outpatient treatment/care plan, participate in the development and implementation of your discharge plan and participate in the development and implementation of your pain management plan.
  • You or your Representative (as allowed under state law) has the right to make informed decisions regarding your care. This includes the right to be informed of your health status, being involved in care planning and treatment and being able to request or refuse treatment. This right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.
  • Make decisions regarding medical care and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, alternate courses of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
  • Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or service. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of your doctor, to the extent permitted by law.
  • Be advised if the hospital/licensed health care practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure propose to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects. Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, pain relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve the pain, including opiate medication, if you suffer from severe chronic intractable pain. The doctor may refuse to prescribe opiate medication, but if so, must inform you that there are doctors who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic pain with methods that include the use of opiates.
  • Formulate advance directives. This including designating a decision maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with these directives. All patients’ rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
  • Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used in semi-private rooms.
  • Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
  • Receive care in a safe setting, free from verbal or physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access protective services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
  • Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments as well as identity of the persons providing the care.
  • Be informed by the doctor, or a delegate of the doctor, of continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital. You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided with this information also.
  • Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
  • You have the right, subject to your consent, to receive the visitors whom you designate, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member or a friend, and it’s your right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time. Where appropriate, this right may be exercised by on the patient’s behalf by the patient’s support person. Visitation rights may be subject to clinically necessary or reasonable restrictions and/or limitations (e.g., infection control, need for roommate privacy, etc.). Such restrictions or limitations, and their rationale, should be explained in hospital policy.
  • The hospitals’ visitation policy shall be implemented in a non-discriminatory manner.
  • The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of the health facility staff or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
  • Have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration will comply with federal law and be disclosed in the hospital policy on visitation. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household and any support person pursuant to federal law.
  • The hospital supports your right to request and have a chaperone present during certain sensitive physical examinations and treatments. Sensitive physical examinations and treatments are typically those that involve the reproductive and sexual organs, those that may be perceived as potentially threatening to your sense of privacy or modesty, or those that may induce feelings of vulnerability or embarrassment. Health care providers should be aware that your cultural and religious beliefs might necessitate the presence of a chaperone or same gender provider.
  • As part of an individualized plan of care, the decision to use a chaperone during a sensitive physical examination or treatment should be made by you following discussion with the health care provider performing the exam. The chaperone may be another health care provider of the same gender as you or a friend or family member, depending on your preference.
  • Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless of the source of payment.
  • Exercise these rights without regard to sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, education, background, economic status, or the source of payment for care.
  • File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with one of our hospitals, you may do so by writing or calling:

    Valley Baptist Medical Center Brownsville, Attn: Administration,
    1040 West Jefferson,
    Brownsville, TX 78520,
    (956) 698-5400

    Valley Baptist Medical Center Harlingen, Attn: Administration,
    2101 Pease Street,
    Harlingen, TX 78550,
    (956) 389-1100

  • The grievance committee will review each grievance and provide you with a written response within seven days. The written response will contain the name of a person to contact at the hospital, the steps taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process and the date of completion of the grievance process. Concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization (PRO).
  • File a complaint with the Texas Department of State Health Services regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. The state Department of State Health Services’ phone number and address is:
  • Health Facility Compliance Group (MC 1979),
    Texas Department of State Health Services,
    P.O. Box 149347,
    Austin, TX 78714-9347
    Phone: (888) 973-0022

  • File a complaint with Joint Commission regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. The Joint Commission’s phone number and address is:
  • The Joint Commission,
    One Renaissance Boulevard
    Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
    Phone: (800) 994-6610