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Patient Rights & Privacy

Your Privacy and Confidentiality

We are legally required to protect the privacy of your health information. We call this information “protected health information,” or “PHI” for short. It includes information that can be used to identify you, that we’ve created or received about your past, present, or future health or condition, the provision of healthcare to you, or the payment of healthcare.

We must provide you with this notice about our privacy practices that explains how, when, and why we use and disclose your health information. With some exceptions, we may not use or disclose any more of your health information than is necessary to accomplish the purpose of the use or disclosure. We are legally required to follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice.

Code of Conduct

At Lakeland, we treat all patients with respect, compassion, and dignity and provide care that is both medically necessary and appropriate. In turn, Lakeland associates have the right to be treated the same. As a patient or visitor coming into our facility, we ask you to treat our associates and others professionally and with courtesy and respect. Persons not acting in such a way may be asked to leave the facility. Lakeland has a right to terminate a relationship with any patient whose abusive behavior (including verbal or physical abuse, yelling or threatening physicians, associates, or others) poses a risk to the health and/or safety of our associates, visitors, or patients.

Identification

During your stay at Lakeland, your healthcare team will check in with you regularly. Don’t be surprised if your nurse or physician confirms your identity by asking your name and date of birth and checks your wristband before giving you medication or treatment. It’s for your safety.

Informed Consent/Second Opinions

When you registered for services, you signed a General Consent to Treatment that covers most of the day-to-day care you receive, including blood draws and x-rays. However, before you have a surgery or other type of invasive procedure needing anesthesia or if it is recommended that your receive blood or blood products, you will be asked to sign a separate consent. Before you are asked to sign the consent, your physician will explain the risk and benefits of the recommended procedure, will discuss alternatives with you, and will advise you as to what to expect if you refuse the procedure. If you have any questions, please ask your physician before you consent to the procedure. If you would like to consult with a different provider for a second opinion, please inform your provider of that desire before you sign the consent.

Patient Bill of Rights

At Lakeland, we pledge to treat all of our patients fairly and in accordance with the following principles:

Access to Care

  • You have the right to know the names of your caregivers.
  • You have the right to get a list of your current medications. 
  • You will not be denied appropriate care on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual preference, marital status, handicap, or source of payment. 
  • You are entitled to adequate and appropriate medical care and the right to expect reasonable continuity of care during your hospital stay, including help planning for your discharge. 
  • We will inform you if you need care or services that Lakeland is unable to provide We will then provide you with alternatives, including transfers to other care providers if that is necessary and medically advisable.
  • You have the right to have your pain assessed, managed and controlled. 

Respect and Dignity

  • You have the right to considerate, respectful care which recognizes your individuality and personal dignity.
  • You are entitled to privacy, to the extent possible, in treatment and in caring for your personal needs. 
  • The hospital cannot ask you to perform services unless it is part of your therapy.

Decision Making

  • You and your family, where appropriate, have the right to be informed about and participate in decisions regarding your care.
  • You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise during the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, forgoing or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, and participation in investigational studies or clinical trials.
  • You have the right to refuse treatment and to be informed of the consequences of refusal. 

Privacy and Confidentiality

  • Your medical care and treatment records will be kept strictly confidential and will only be used or disclosed as permitted by law. You may inspect or, for a fee, receive a copy of your records.
  • You may request transfer to another room if another patient or visitors in your room are disturbing you. 
  • Anyone not directly involved in your care must have your permission to be present. 
  • You may meet privately with your family and consult with a specialist, an attorney, or any other person of your choice according to hospital policies.
  • You have the right to access protective services and our care managers can assist you with this.

Grievances

  • You have the right to know if something goes wrong with your care.
  • You are entitled to pursue your rights and may present grievances or recommend changes in policies and services to our staff, or to another person of your choice. You are entitled to information about Lakeland’s policies and procedures on how to start, review, and resolve complaints. 
  • Lakeland encourages you to submit your concerns or complaints directly to them by calling (269) 983-8624. Efforts will be made to resolve your concerns promptly. 
  • Additionally, a “Citizen’s Guide to Filing a Complaint Against a Licensed Health Care Facility” pamphlet is available in the lobbies of Lakeland hospitals. 

Personal Safety

  • You have the right to safe care.
  • You have the right to expect security, personal privacy, and confidentiality while being treated. 
  • You are entitled to be free from mental and physical abuse and chemical and physical restraints. Exceptions to those restraints must be authorized in writing by your doctor for a specified and limited time, or as necessitated by an emergency to protect you from hurting yourself or others.

Information and Communication

  • If you do not speak or understand English, we will provide you with an interpreter.
  • You are entitled to send and receive mail, unopened, on the same day it is received at Lakeland. You may make and receive telephone calls. Any restrictions on your ability to communicate will be made by your doctor, with your participation, and will be fully explained to you. 
  • You or your family, where appropriate, will be informed about the outcomes of care, including any unanticipated outcomes. 
  • You have the right to receive a full explanation of any proposed treatments or procedures including: potential benefits and drawbacks, potential problems related to recuperation, the likelihood of success, the possible results of non-treatment and any significant alternatives.

Insurance and Billing

  • For all non-emergency and elective treatments, tests and procedures, payment must be made at the time of service or you must make arrangements to pre-pay prior to discharge. For your convenience, we accept cash, personal checks and traveler’s checks, Visa, MasterCard or Discover cards. We will work with you to arrange payment for your treatment.
  • If you are a Medicare patient, we ask that you pay the Medicare Part “A” deductible at the time of admission only if you have not yet met the deductible and have no Medicare supplemental insurance. Insurance coverage often has limitations and does not pay in full. You may be responsible for balances such as deductibles, co-pays, and penalties for pre-existing conditions or pre-certifications. 

Ancillary Charges

You may receive separate bills from one or more physician’s office. These bills may cover such expenses as physician services and/or professional interpretation of tests or X-rays. Questions concerning such bills should be directed to your physician’s office.

Financial Arrangements

Lakeland has financial advisors in Patient Access to offer advice on what your insurance policy will cover. Our advisors have been trained in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance company coverage. If your insurance company does not cover all expenses and your bills become excessive, our counselors will work with you to set up a payment plan. When you are admitted to Lakeland and do not have insurance coverage, our counselors provide advice to assist you in qualifying for coverage.

Grievances

You have a right to have your complaint/grievance resolved promptly.
Exercising this right will not compromise your care and can be done in a confidential manner, if you choose. Please call (269) 983-8624 to file a grievance. You can also contact the following state agencies for unresolved concerns:

  • Joint Commission Customer Service, 1 Renaissance, Oak Brook Terrace, IL 60181
  • Michigan Department of Community Health, 201 Townsend St., Capitol View Bldg., 7th Floor, Lansing, MI 48913, Complaint hotline: (800) 882-6006 
  • Michigan’s Quality Improvement Organization MPRO, 22670 Haggerty Rd., Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48335 Phone: (248) 465-7300 
  • Michigan Department of Civil Rights, 499 W. Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 Phone: (269) 925-7044

Family and Friends PINS

During your hospital stay, you will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) on a printed card titled, “Protecting Your Privacy.” We will only provide information about you to those who give us the PIN. The PIN may be shared with close family members and friends. This number is only active during this visit. Please ask us if you have any questions about this process.

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