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Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Phone number forPatient Relations

Mass Eye and Ear strives to provide high-quality care to all patients regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran’s status, disability, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local commission, political affiliation or place of residence. The following information summarizes your rights as a patient as outlined in the Massachusetts Patients’ Rights Statute, Chapter 111, Sec.70E, and applies to all patients of the Mass Eye and Ear. To obtain a complete copy, please contact our Patient Relations office at 617-573-3008.

Everyone should expect a safe, caring, and inclusive environment in all our spaces.

Our Patient Code of Conduct helps us to meet this goal. Words or actions that are disrespectful, racist, discriminatory, hostile, or harassing are not welcome.

Read the full Patient Code of Conduct

Summary of Massachusetts Patients’ Rights Statute

Every patient shall have the right to freedom of choice in their selection of Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MEE), except in the case of emergency medical treatment or as otherwise provided for by contract, as long as that physician, the hospital or health service is able to accommodate the patient’s choice.
Each patient, upon reasonable request, shall receive an itemized bill reflecting laboratory charges, pharmaceutical charges, and third party credits and shall be allowed to examine an explanation of said bill regardless of the source of payment. This information shall also be made available to the patient’s attending physician.

Every Massachusetts Eye and Ear patient or his or her legal representative (as allowed under State Law) shall also have the right:

  • to be informed of his or her health status and to participate in the development and implementation of his or her plan of care;
  • to make informed decisions regarding his or her care, to accept or refuse treatment and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal;
  • to formulate advance directives and to have the hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives;
  • to have a family member or representative and his or her own physician notified promptly of the admission;
  • to personal privacy;
  • to receive care in a safe setting;
  • to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment;
  • to be free from seclusion and restraints, of any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff;
  • to respectful care, including consideration of the psychosocial, spiritual and cultural variables that influence the perception of illness;
  • to pain assessment and appropriate pain management;
  • to interpreter services and/or the use of alternative communication techniques to ensure effective communication.

Your Responsibility as a Patient

You are responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and for observing MEE regulations affecting patient care and conduct.

You are responsible for providing accurate and complete information regarding your medical history, for asking questions if you do not understand your care or treatment, for following the plan of care or accepting the consequences if you refuse treatment, and for prompt payment of your MEE bill.
You are responsible for discussing pain relief options with your physician or nurse, and for reporting pain promptly.

If You Have a Complaint

You may register a complaint in writing or in person with our Patient Relations Department. The office is open 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday at 617-573-3008.

You may also register a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health or with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Specific physician complaints may be reported to the Board of Registration in Medicine. The addresses and telephone numbers are listed below.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MEE)
Patient Relations
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02111
617-753-8156 or 1-800-462-5540 (24 Hour Hotline)

Board of Registration in Medicine
178 Albion Street, Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

* In the event a complaint needs to be registered in the evening or on a weekend, contact the nursing supervisor by telephoning the operator at 617-573-3700 and ask to have the nursing supervisor paged.