Patient Rights & Responsibilities

In order to get the most out of your stay at St.Vincent Williamsport Hospital, we encourage you to become familiar with your rights and responsibilities as a patient.


Ascension Health is the parent organization of St.Vincent Health. We champion the dignity and worth of each individual. The philosophy statement of St.Vincent Williamsport Hospital affirms:

"We believe that the dignity and rights of each person must be protected and promoted with the utmost care, from the moment of conception throughout life to death."

Through recognizing the dignity and vulnerability of a person as a patient, we developed patient rights and responsibilities. A further explanation of these rights and responsibilities is available from either your nurse or patient representative.

List of Patient / Client Rights

It is your right as our patient or client to:

  • Request and receive medically appropriate treatment and services within the hospital's capacity and mission. We are a Catholic Institution that operates under the philosophy and mission of the Daughters of Charity and the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • Receive care that respects your individual cultural, spiritual and social values, regardless of race, color, creed, nationality, age, gender, disability or source of payment.
  • Receive respectful, considerate, compassionate care that manages your pain as well as possible, and promotes your dignity, privacy, safety and comfort.
  • Receive physical and spiritual support during times of illness and through the dying process. To be as free from pain and in as much control of your environment as possible.
  • Expect that efforts will be made to provide you with the best of care during and after your hospitalization, including appropriate arrangements for durable medical equipment, home care or other alternatives to hospitalization.
  • Be informed — in understandable language — of the nature of your illness and treatment options, including potential risks, benefits, alternatives and costs. To participate fully in your healthcare decisions.
  • Know the identity of your caregiver. To request a second opinion or change physicians.
  • Accept or refuse recommended tests or treatments, to the extent the law permits. To refuse to sign a consent form if there is anything you don't understand or agree to. To change your mind about any procedure to which you have consented. To be informed of the medical consequences of refusing tests or treatments.
  • Be informed of any proposed research or experimental treatment that may be considered in your care, and to consent or refuse to participate in this treatment.
  • Formulate Advance Directives. To expect that your advance directives will be honored when ethically possible.
  • Expect that appropriate decision-makers will be sought in case you lack decision-making ability and have no Advance Directive.
  • Access a hospital ethicist or ethics committee if you have ethical issues concerning your care. Ask your care provider to contact either the chaplain or a hospital ethicist.
  • Participate in the resolution of those issues.
  • Be assured that medical and personal information will be handled in a confidential manner. To have access to the information in your medical record. It's up to you whether we release any information at all, other than that required by your physicians and insurance company. Your caregivers can explain this option.
  • Be informed of the procedure you can follow to lodge complaints with your health care provider about the care that is, or is not, furnished and about a lack of respect for property (to lodge complaints with St.Vincent Health, call 338-3391).
  • Know about the disposition of such complaints.
  • Voice your grievances without fear of discrimination or reprisal for having done so.
  • Be advised of the telephone number, address and hours of operation of the state's health care hotline, which receives questions and complaints about health care providers, including questions about implementation of advance directive requirements.

    The hours are 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and the phone number is 1-800-227-6334.

    The address is:
    Indiana State Department of Health
    2 North Meridian Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • Request and receive information regarding your bill, including payments, insurance status and explanation of charges. To receive information regarding financial assistance and help in determining financial needs.

Your Rights While You are a Medicare Hospital Patient

As a Medicare hospital patient, you have the right to:

  • Receive all the hospital care that is necessary for the proper diagnosis and treatment of your illness or injury. According to federal law, your discharge date must be determined solely by your medical needs, not by "Diagnosis-Related Groups" (DRGs) or Medicare payments.
  • Be fully informed about decisions affecting your Medicare coverage and payment for your hospital stay and for any post-hospital services.
  • Request a review by a Peer Review Organization of any written Notice of Non-Coverage that you receive from the hospital stating that Medicare will no longer pay for hospital care. Peer Review Organizations (PROs) are groups of doctors who are paid by the federal government to review medical necessity, appropriateness and quality of hospital treatment furnished to Medicare patients.

Peer Review Organization Contact

The phone number and address of the PRO in your area is:

Health Care Excel
Post Office Box # 3713
2901 Ohio Blvd.
Terre Haute, Indiana 47803
(812) 234-1499 or 1-800-288-1499

List of Patient / Client Responsibilities

To help us meet your healthcare needs and provide you with appropriate care, your responsibilities asour patient or client are to:

  • Provide all necessary personal and family health information.
  • Participate as best you can in making decisions about your medical treatment and carry out the plan of care agreed upon by you and your caregivers.
  • Ask questions of your physician or other caregivers when you do not understand any information or instructions.
  • Inform your physician or other care providers if you do not understand your diagnosis or treatment or if you desire a transfer of care to another physician, caregiver or facility.
  • Be considerate of others receiving or providing care.
  • Observe facility policies and procedures, including those on smoking, noise and visitors.
  • Accept your financial obligations associated with your care, and request financial assistance if needed.
  • Be reasonable in requests for medical treatment and other services.
  • Advise your caregivers of any dissatisfaction you may have.

For more information on these rights and responsibilities, ask any staff member.