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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

When you are a patient, student or client of Brook Lane you have a right to:

  • Receive considerate, respectful, and compassionate care;
  • Be provided care in a safe environment free from all forms of abuse and neglect, including verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse;
  • Have a medical screening exam and be provided stabilizing treatment for emergency medical conditions;
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion unless needed for safety;
  • Be told the names and jobs of the health care team members involved in the patient’s care if staff safety is not a concern;
  • Have respect shown for the patient’s personal values, beliefs and wishes;
  • Be treated without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, religion, language, or ability to pay;
  • Be provided a list of protective and advocacy services when needed;
  • Receive information about the patient’s hospital and physician charges and ask for an estimate of hospital charges before care is provided and as long as patient care is not impeded;
  • Receive information in a manner that is understandable by the patient, which may include:  sign and foreign language interpreters; alternative formats, including large print; braille; audio recordings, and computer files; and vision, speech, hearing and other temporary aids as needed without charge;
  • Receive information from the patient’s doctor or other health care practitioners about the patient’s diagnosis, prognosis, test results, outcomes of care, and unanticipated outcomes of care.
  • Access the patient’s medical records in accordance with HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices;
  • Be involved in the patient’s plan of care;
  • Be screened, assessed and treated for pain;
  • Refuse treatment;
  • In accordance with hospital visitation policies, a patient may choose an individual to remain with the patient for emotional support during the patient’s hospital stay. The patient may choose the individuals who may visit as well as change the individual visitor at any time during the stay;
  • Appoint an individual of the patient’s choice to make health care decisions for the patient, if the patient is unable to do so;
  • Make or change an advance directive;
  • Give informed consent before any nonemergency care is provided, including the benefits and risks of the care, alternatives to the care, and the benefits and risks of the alternatives to the care;
  • Agree or refuse to take part in medical research studies, without the agreement or refusal affecting the patient’s care;
  • Allow or refuse to allow pictures of the patient for purposes other than the patient’s care;
  • Expect privacy and confidentiality in care discussions and treatments;
  • Be provided a copy of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Notice of Privacy Practices; and file a complaint about care and have the complaint reviewed without the complaint affecting the patient’s care.

Your responsibilities as a patient are:

  • To treat your doctors, health care providers, other patients and visitors with dignity and respect;
  • To participate in treatment recommendations and understand possible outcomes for not following recommendations;
  • To ask questions when prescribed treatment is unclear;
  • To follow facility guidelines for safety and voice any concerns for your safety or care.

If you need additional information about your rights or want to file a complaint, you may contact our Patient Advocate, Yolanda Smith, at 301-733-0331 x1728 or For more details about your Patient Advocate, please visit our Patient Advocacy page. 

The patient advocate can improve your experience by:

  • Advocating for patients’ rights;
  • Serving as a point of contact for Brook Lane complaints;
  • Providing feedback from the patients to Brook Lane;
  • Serving as a resource for ethical issues and advance directives;
  • Acting as a liaison with the Ethics Committee.

In addition to filing a complaint with our patient advocate, you also have the right to file a complaint with the following:

The Office of Health Care Quality
7120 Samuel Morse Drive, Second Floor
Columbia, MD 21046
410-402-8015 or 877-402-8218


 The Joint Commission
 Online Form  or

 Mail:      Office of Quality and Patient Safety
                The Joint Commission
                One Renaissance Blvd
                Overbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Patient Complaint Process

This procedure is instituted as part of the Patient Rights, Performance Improvement, and Risk Management approach to improving patient care by providing the patient, guardian or family members with appropriate channels for communicating about Brook Lane’s services and by providing feedback to those involved. Any complaint by a patient, family member or guardian can be filed without fear of retaliation or interference in the patient's care. A complaint may be filed any time, but must be filed within three (3) years after the incident occurred. No information regarding a patient complaint will be discussed with anyone other than the patient or staff without written authorization from the patient or his/her designee.

Inpatient Services

All complaints regarding inpatient services should be presented to the Inpatient Nursing Supervisor. The Inpatient Nursing Supervisor will work on behalf of the patient to resolve complaints at the lowest administrative level possible.

Outpatient Services

All complaints regarding outpatient services should be addressed to the patient's therapist. The therapist will work on behalf of the patient to resolve complaints at the lowest administrative level possible.

Partial Hospitalization

All complaints regarding partial hospitalization services should be addressed with the Director of Partial Hospitalization Programs. The Director will work on behalf of the patient to resolve complaints at the lowest administrative level possible.

Such action will assure a more prompt and personal approach to the complainant's concern. Deliberate action toward problem resolution is essential and time of resolution is critical. Problem resolution activity will begin immediately upon hearing the patient and/or family member complaint. If the complainant is unhappy with the resolution at the level noted above, the complainant should direct his or her query to the Patient Advocate, 301-733-0331 x1728, or the Privacy Officer, 301-733-0331 x1227. The complaint should be presented in person, by telephone or in writing.

The Patient Advocate will investigate the complaint and document the results of the investigation within 3 business days of receiving the complaint. This may include meeting with the patient, staff and any others involved in the complaint. A written outcome letter will be given to the complainant either by email, letter, or in person.

If the complaint is still not resolved to the patient's satisfaction, complainant will be advised that he/she may request that the complaint be reviewed by the Ethics Committee. When the Chair of the Ethics Committee receives the request, a meeting will be scheduled to review the complaint within 10 working days of receiving the request. If necessary, the patient or representative may be asked to attend the review in person. A final report by the Ethics Committee including recommended action and results will be sent to the CEO with copies to the Medical Director, the Risk Manager and the patient.

The complainant may also request the address and phone number for the Department of Health and Human Services to file a complaint regarding violation of patient rights.

Your Rights and Protections Related to Surprise Medical Bills

What is Balance Billing, sometimes referred to as Surprise Medical Billing?

Consumers have new billing protections when getting emergency care, non-emergency care from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, and air ambulance services from out-of-network providers. Through new rules aimed to protect consumers, excessive out-of-pocket costs are restricted, and emergency services must continue to be covered without any prior authorization, regardless of whether or not a provider or facility is in-network.

You are Protected from Balanced Billing

Previously, if consumers had health coverage and received care from an out-of-network provider, their health plan typically would not cover the entire out-of-network cost. This left many consumers with higher costs than if they’d been seen by an in-network provider. This is especially common in an emergency situation, where consumers might not be able to choose the provider. Even if a consumer goes to an in-network hospital, they might receive care from out-of-network providers at that facility.
In the past, in addition to any out-of-network cost sharing you might owe, the out-of-network provider or facility could bill you for the difference between the billed charge and the amount your health plan paid, unless banned by state law. This is called “balance billing.” An unexpected balance bill from an out-of-network provider is also called a surprise medical bill.
When a provider bills you for the balance remaining on the bill that your plan doesn't cover. This amount is the difference between the actual billed amount and the allowed amount. This happens most often when you see an out-of-network provider (non-preferred provider). These balance bill costs are in addition to what you pay out-of-pocket for out-of-network services according to your health plan coverage. An in-network provider (preferred provider) may not balance bill you for covered services.

Maryland-Specific Balance Billing Protections

If you are in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) governed by Maryland law, you may not be balanced billed for services covered by your plan, including ground ambulance services.  If you are in a PPO or EPO governed by Maryland law, hospital-based or on-call physicians paid directly by your PPO or EPO may not balance bill you for services covered under your plan and cannot ask you to waive your balance billing protections. If you use ground ambulance services operated by a local government provider who accepts an assignment of benefits from a plan governed by Maryland law, the provider may not balance bill you. 
You are only responsible for paying your share of the cost, such as co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles that you would pay if the provider or facility was in-network.  Your health plan will pay out-of-network providers and facilities directly. 

If you believe that your Health Plan processed your claim incorrectly you may contact the following:

Maryland Insurance Administration
Life and Health Complaints Unit
200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202

If you believe that you have been wrongly billed you may contact the following:

Maryland Consumer Protection Division
Health Education and Advocacy Unit
Office of the Attorney General
200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

For additional information regarding your rights under federal law visit:

For additional information regarding your rights under Maryland law visit: or 

Brook Lane Health Notice of Privacy Practices

Understanding Your Health Records