Patient Rights

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

As a patient, family member or legally responsible party of a patient at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, we want you to be aware of the rights and responsibilities you have under Federal and Maine State law.  We are committed to honoring your rights, and want you to know that by taking an active role in your healthcare, you can help MCMH caregivers meet your needs.

As an MCMH patient you have the right to receive care without discrimination due to age, sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, income, education, national origin, ancestry, marital status, culture, language, disability, gender identity, or who has responsibility for payment.  As an MCMH patient, you have the right to safe, respectful, and dignified care.  While you are here, you will receive hospital services and care that are medically needed and capable of being provided by MCMH in accordance with the MCMH stated mission, and in accordance with applicable law and regulations.
You have the right to:
  • Have a family member or another person that you choose as a support person to be with you;
  • Receive information in a way that you can understand.This includes free interpretation and translation services, in the language you prefer to discuss or read about your healthcare. This also includes help if you have vision, speech, hearing or cognitive impairments;
  • Designate a person, if needed, to act on your behalf to assert and protect your patient rights.
You have the right to:
  • Receive information about your current health, care, outcomes, recovery, ongoing healthcare needs, and future health status in terms that you and your family understand;
  • Be informed about care options including the risks and benefits, other care options, what could happen without care, and the outcome(s) of any medical care provided, including any outcomes that were not expected;
  • Be actively involved in all aspects of your care and take part in decisions about your care;
  • Make choices about your care based on your spiritual and personal values;
  • Request care;
  • Refuse any care, therapy, drug, or procedure against the medical advice of a doctor.Please note:There may be times that care must be provided based on the law;
  • Expect MCMH to obtain your permission before taking photos, recording or filming you, if the purpose is for something other than patient identification, care, diagnosis, therapy or by law;
  • Decide to take part or not take part in research or donor programs that may be suggested by your doctor.
You have the right to:
  • Decide if you want visitors while you are at MCMH.  Please note:  Staff nurses may need to limit visitors to better care for you or other patients;
  • Visitation rights include the right to receive visitors including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member or a friend;
  • Designate the persons who can/cannot visit you during your stay;
  • Designate a support person who may determine who can visit you if you become incapacitated;
  • Decide if you do not want staff to acknowledge whether you are a patient at MCMH.
You have the right to:
  • Create advance directives and/or living wills.You have the right to have MCMH staff comply with your directives;
  • Ask about and discuss the ethics of your care, including the resolution of any conflicts that might arise such as, deciding against, withholding, or withdrawing life-sustaining care.MCMH has an Ethics Committee here to help in those situations.
You have the right to:
  • Receive a medical exam to determine treatment/follow up;
  • Participate in the care that you receive at MCMH;
  • Receive instructions at discharge on follow-up care and participate in decisions about your plan of care after you leave MCMH;
  • Receive prompt and safe transfer to the care of another hospital when MCMH is not able to meet your request or need for service and the receiving hospital has agreed to accept you and has a bed for you;
  • Know why transfer to another facility may be required and learn about other options for care.
You have the right to:
  • Expect emergency care to be implemented without unnecessary delay;
  • Receive care in a safe setting free from abuse, harassment, neglect or exploitation;
  • Receive kind, respectful, safe, quality care delivered by skilled and competent staff;
  • Be told the names of doctors and nurses providing care to you and the names and roles of other healthcare staff that are caring for you;
  • Request a consultation from other providers
  • Receive assessment and management of your pain, including the right to request or reject any or all options to relieve or treat your pain;

Receive care free from restraints or seclusion unless necessary to provide medical, surgical, or behavioral care;
Receive efficient and quality care with high professional standards that are continually maintained and monitored.
You have the right to:
  • Limit who knows about your stay at MCMH;
  • Be interviewed, examined, and discuss your care in places designated to protect your privacy;
  • Be advised why certain people are present and to ask others to leave during sensitive talks or procedures;
  • Expect all communications and records related to care, including who is paying for your care, treated as private and confidential;
  • Receive written notice (also verbal) explaining how your personal health information will be used and shared with other healthcare professionals involved in your care;
  • Review and request copies of your medical record unless restricted for medical or legal reasons.
You have the right to:
  • Review, obtain, request and receive a detailed explanation of your hospital charges and bills;
  • Receive information and counseling on ways to help pay your bill.MCMH has trained financial counselors.
  • Request information about any business or financial arrangements that may impact your care.
You and your family/guardian have the right to:
  • Tell MCMH staff about your concerns or complaints regarding your care. This will not affect your care;
  • Ask for a review of quality of care concerns, coverage decisions, and concerns about your discharge plan;
  • Expect a timely and understandable response to your complaint, concern or grievance from MCMH.Complaints or grievances may be made in writing, by phone, or in person. The hospital has a duty to respond to these complaints or grievances in a manner that you can understand.To share your concerns with MCMH, please contact our Customer Service Department at 664-5348
  • The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is also available to assist you with questions or concerns about your hospital care. You may reach DHHS at:Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, 41 Anthony Ave #11 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0011, (800) 791-4080
You may also contact The Joint Commission, MCMH's accreditation organization at:
The Joint Commission – Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL  60181
(800) 994-6610 or

Feel free to ask questions about any of these rights that you do not understand.  If you have questions about these rights, please discuss them with your doctor, nurse or the MCMH Customer Service Department.  You will receive a personal response.

As a patient, family member, or legally responsible party, you have the right to know all hospital rules and what we expect of you during your hospital stay.
As a patient, family member, or legally responsible party, we ask that you:
  • Provide accurate and complete information about the patient's current healthcare problems, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health.
  • Report any condition that puts you at risk (for example, allergies or hearing problems).
  • Report unexpected changes in the patient's condition to the healthcare professionals.
  • Provide a copy of your Advance Directive, Living Will, and Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare.
  • Tell us who, if any, visitors the patient wants during the stay.
As a patient, family member, or guardian, we ask that you:
  • Recognize and respect the rights of other patients, families, and staff.Threats, violence, or harassment of other patients and MCMH staff will not be tolerated.
  • Comply with MCMH's "no tobacco" policy. If you have concerns about this, please speak with your nurse.
  • Refrain from conducting any illegal activity on MCMH property. If such activity occurs, MCMH will report it to the Ellsworth Police Department.
As a patient, family member, or legally responsible party, we ask that you:
  • Become an active, involved, and informed member of the healthcare team.
  • Ask questions if you are concerned about your health or safety or you do not understand.
  • Remind all caregivers to wash their hands before taking care of you.
  • Be informed about which medications you are taking and why you are taking them.
  • Ask all hospital staff to identify themselves.
As a patient:
  • You are responsible for your actions if you refuse care or do not follow care instructions.
As a patient:
  • You are responsible for paying for the healthcare that you received as promptly as possible.
As a patient:
  • You are expected to follow the care plans suggested by the healthcare professionals caring for you while at MCMH.  You should work with your healthcare team to develop a plan that you will be able to follow while at MCMH and after you leave.