Patient rights and responsibilities

As a patient of this hospital, or as a family member or guardian of a patient at this hospital, we want you to know the rights you have under federal and Pennsylvania state law. We are committed to honoring your rights, and want you to know that by taking an active role in your health care, you can help your hospital caregivers meet your needs as a patient or family member. That is why we ask that you and your family share with us certain responsibilities. To learn more about your rights and responsibilities, visit

Your privacy and information

You have privacy rights under a federal law that protects your health information. These rights are important for you to know. Federal law sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information.

Who must follow this law?

  • Most doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and many other health care providers and their vendors
  • Health insurance companies, HMOs and most employer group health plans
  • Certain government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare and Medicaid

What information is protected?

  • Information your doctors, nurses and other health care providers put in your medical records
  • Conversations your doctor has with nurses and others regarding your care or treatment
  • Information about you in your health insurer’s computer system
  • Billing information
  • Most other health information about you held by those who must follow this law

You have rights over your health information. Providers and health insurers who are required to follow this law must comply with your right to:

  • Ask to see and get a copy of your health records
  • Have corrections added to your health information
  • Receive a notice that tells you how your health information may be used and shared
  • Decide if you want to give your permission before your health information can be used or shared for certain purposes, such as for marketing
  • Get a report on when and why your health information was shared for certain purposes
  • File a complaint

To make sure that your health information is protected in a way that doesn’t interfere with your health care, your information can be used and shared:

  • For your treatment and care coordination
  • To pay doctors and hospitals for your health care and help run their businesses
  • With your family, relatives, friends or others you identify who are involved with your health care or your health care bills, unless you object
  • To make sure doctors give good care and nursing homes are clean and safe
  • To protect the public’s health, such as by reporting when the flu is in your area
  • To make required reports to the police, such as reporting gunshot wounds

Without your written permission, your provider cannot:

  • Give your health information to your employer
  • Use or share your health information for marketing or advertising purposes
  • Share private notes about your mental health counseling sessions

Adapted from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights

If you believe your health information was used or shared in a way that is not allowed under the privacy law, or if you weren’t able to exercise your rights, you can file a complaint with your provider or health insurer. You can also file a complaint with the U.S. government. Visit for more information.

A separate law provides additional privacy protections to patients of alcohol and drug treatment programs.

For more information, go online to

How do I get copies of my medical records?

Call the Health Information Management department to obtain copies. A small fee is charged for this service.

Notice of nondiscrimination

Main Line Health complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate or exclude people on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation), parental status, political affiliation, military service or relationship status.

Main Line Health provides free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, such as:

  • Qualified sign language interpreters
  • Written information in other formats (large print, audio, accessible electronic formats, other formats)
  • Free language services to people whose primary language is not English, such as:
  • Qualified interpreters
  • Information written in other languages

If you need these services, ask a doctor, nurse or department manager where you are receiving care.

If you or your representative believes that a Main Line Health department has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, sexual preference, gender identity, or gender expression, you or your representative can file a grievance with Patient Guest Relations/Patient Advocacy for the facility in which you received care by calling 484.337.2662. You or your representative can also file by mail by sending your written grievance to Regulatory Department, Gerhard Building, 130 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, or by sending fax to 484.337.2013, or emailing

If you or your representative need help filing a grievance, Patient Guest Relations/Patient Advocacy at any of the Main Line Health hospitals is available to help you. You or your representative can also file 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, available at or by mail at: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, DC 20201, or by phone at 1.800.368.1019, 1.800.537.7697 (TDD). Complaint forms are available at

For patients and caregivers who do not speak English:

ATTENTION: If you speak a language other than English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call: 1-484-337-2662.

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-484-337-2662

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