California and federal laws give hospital patients many rights. Hospitals must notify patients of these rights by giving patients a handout and/or by putting posters up in the hospital.
CHA has developed a sample handout that hospitals may use to notify patients of their rights under state hospital licensing regulations, the Medicare Conditions of Participation, and The Joint Commission. In addition, CHA publishes a corresponding poster.
California and federal laws give hospital patients many rights.
Hospitals must notify patients of these rights by giving patients
a handout and/or by putting posters up in the hospital.
CHA has developed a sample handout that hospitals may use to
notify patients of their rights under state hospital licensing
regulations, the Medicare Conditions of Participation, and The
Joint Commission. In addition, CHA publishes a corresponding
California hospitals are reminded that mental health patients and
skilled nursing facility patients must be notified of other
rights specific to them. These rights are not included in the
documents noted above. Information about mental health patients
rights may be found in CHA’s Mental Health Law Manual.
California patients also have the right to make an advance health
care directive. CHA publishes advance directive forms (in English
and Spanish) that comply with California law. Hospitals may
distribute these forms to their employees and patients if they
wish. More information regarding hospitals’ requirements to ask
patients about advance directives may be found in chapter 3
of CHA’s Consent Manual.
Finally, Americans have medical privacy rights under the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.
Hospitals must notify patients of these rights, also. CHA has
developed a sample Notice of Privacy Practices form (in English
and Spanish) that hospitals may use to satisfy this legal
requirement. For more information about HIPAA and medical
privacy, see CHA’s California Health
Information Privacy Manual.
The California Department of Public Health has issued All Facilities
Letter 19-01 reminding hospitals of the new law requiring
that they try to coordinate homeless patients’ discharge to
appropriate area shelters or other community-based
services. To help hospitals comply with the law, CHA
has developed a guidebook titled Discharge
Planning for Homeless Patients.
CHA’s latest guidebook, Discharge Planning for Homeless
Patients, explains California’s new homeless patient
discharge planning law and offers insights to help hospitals
prepare to return homeless patients to the community.
The California Court of Appeal last week granted CHA’s request to
publish its opinion in Alexander v. Scripps Memorial Hospital
La Jolla et al. CHA requested that the court publish
the decision because of the important legal issues it addresses,
and because having it published allows attorneys in future cases
to rely on it.
In the case, a patient with incurable stage four pancreatic
cancer was transferred to a hospital from a skilled-nursing
facility (SNF) for evaluation. The transferring physician did not
believe she would return to the SNF, as he believed her death was
imminent. The patient had completed an advance directive and a
Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form
electing to have all measures taken to prolong her life,
including full resuscitation if necessary. All physicians caring
for the patient agreed that cardiac compression would be futile
and cause harm and suffering. The family said they understood her
condition was terminal, but still wanted full resuscitation.