Open Accessibility Menu

Patient Rights, Responsibilities & Health Care Decision Making

The following is an explanation of your rights while in this facility. If you have concerns about any of these rights, please call the Patient Grievance Hotline at 855-763-4531. Thank you.

It is the right of a patient at Gunnison Valley Hospital to:

  1. Receive professional and considerate care that is respectful of your cultural, personal values and beliefs. This right exists regardless of sex, race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or payor source.
  2. Know the identity, professional status, and experience of physicians, nurses and others involved in your care. It is your right to discuss your care when it involves student nurses or medical students.
  3. Participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
  4. Receive relevant, current, and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  5. Receive an explanation of any proposed procedure, drug or treatment. The explanation should include risks and benefits in terms you understand. The explanation should also include discussion of alternative procedures or treatments and the potential risks and benefits of those alternatives.
  6. Give your informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment, prior to the initiation of the procedure or treatment, except in the event of the procedure or treatment, except in the event of a life threatening emergency.
  7. Request or refuse any procedure, drug, or treatment and to be informed of the potential consequences of such refusal.
  8. Withdraw your consent at any time or discontinue any treatment, drug, or procedure.
  9. Be informed of any teaching program, research, or experimental or educational project relating to your care and to consent or decline to participate in those studies.
  10. Receive supportive care including appropriate management of pain, and support of your psychological, emotional and spiritual needs.
  11. Request and receive assistance in obtaining spiritual counseling when desired.
  12. Request consultation through your caregiver or the Chief Medical Officer regarding ethical issues involved in your care.
  13. Expect reasonable continuity of care and to be informed by physicians and other caregivers of available patient care options when hospital care is no longer necessary.
  14. Have your privacy respected to the extent possible and to expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care will be treated as confidential by the hospital.
  15. Have the right to receive visitors of your choice.
  16. Participate in and receive explanation of any decision to restrict your communications, such as phone calls, mail, or visitors
  17. Have a representative or family member of your choice notified promptly of your hospital admission up your request.
  18. Be informed of any hospital policies, procedures, rules or regulations applicable to your care.
  19. Have and provide to the hospital an advance directive (such as a living will, durable medical power of attorney, or CPR directive) concerning treatment or designating a legal authorized decision maker on your behalf.
  20. Voice complaints regarding your care and to have those complaints addressed without fear of recrimination or penalty to you.*
  21. View your medical record if desired.
  22. Have safe care in a secure environment, free from abuse and/or harassment.
  23. Receive assistance in obtaining an estimate of the amount which you are likely to owe the hospital, based upon your preliminary admission diagnosis.
  24. Be informed, prior to the initiation of care or treatment of the hospital’s general billing procedures.
  25. Examine your bill and receive an explanation of the charges, regardless of the source of payment for your care.
  26. Request assistance or an interpreter in effective communication when language barriers exist.
  27. Have the hospital’s support in accessing protective services and obtaining information about local protective facilities and agencies.

If you are unable to exercise these rights, your guardian or legally authorized agent or representative may exercise on your behalf any of the rights listed above.

In certain circumstances, Federal or State laws or regulations may impose certain limitations on your ability, or that of your guardian or legally authorized agent or representative, to exercise any of the rights listed above.

*If an individual or family has a concern about care or safety at Gunnison Valley Hospital or any of its satellite services, he or she is encouraged to call the Patient Grievance Hotline at 855-763-4531.

If the concern is not being satisfactorily resolved at the facility level, a formal complaint can be filed with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) by calling toll free 800-886-7689 x2627 or by contacting the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) at 800-886-7675.

You may also contact The Joint Commission regarding your concern. For more information about The Joint Commission and its standards for ambulatory care, visit their website at The Joint Commission customer service number is 877-223-6866.

Medicare beneficiaries who have concerns about the quality of their care may contact KEPRO, the Quality Improvement Organization in Colorado, at 844-430-9504.

Patient Responsibilities

It is your responsibility to:

  1. Provide accurate information about past illnesses, hospitalization, medications, and other health matters that may affect your care.
  2. Participate in your health care planning and decision making.
  3. Ask questions of hospital personnel if instructions and procedures are not understood.
  4. Be considerate of other patients by respecting their need for quiet and order, and to see that your visitors are considerate as well.
  5. Provide necessary information for insurance processing.
  6. Be respectful of the property of others and of the hospital.
  7. Help physicians and allied medical personnel by following their instructions and medical orders to assist them in their efforts to help you return to good health.
  8. Be ultimately financially responsible for payment of your bill.


If you do smoke and are interested in quitting, we encourage you to contact QUITLINE at 1-800-639-QUIT (7848) or for free smoking cessation confidential counseling.

Advance Directives Policy

Gunnison Valley Hospital recognizes that individuals have the right to make health care decisions. They have the right to accept or refuse treatment and the right to formulate advance directives. We recognize our responsibility to inform patients of these rights.

All adult patients will be asked if they have an advance directive, and the answer will be entered in the medical record. If a patient has an advance directive, a copy of that directive will be requested for the patient’s medical record. We do not condition the provision of care or otherwise discriminate against an individual based on whether or not the individual has an advance directive.

If you would like further information, have questions, or would like an Advance Directive Document, please contact Patient Financial Services at (970) 642-8408 or Case Management at (970) 641-7209.

Regarding Healthcare Decisions

Federal law now directs that at any time you are admitted to a hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funds, you must be told about the state’s laws concerning your right to make health care decisions. This requirement applies to all adult patients no matter what the medical condition.
Health care decisions are very important and require careful thought. You may wish to consult with your doctor, your family, your friends, and your attorney.

You have the right to consent to (accept) or refuse any medical care or treatment unless care has been ordered by a court. In an emergency, your consent is assumed if you do not or cannot indicate a contrary decision.
You, your legal guardian, your legal agent, or a proxy decision-maker selected in accordance with Colorado law can make health care decisions for you. Colorado has no law automatically allowing the family member closest to you to be a “surrogate” or proxy decision maker for you.

Because a situation may arise in which you are not conscious or able to make specific health care decisions for yourself, you may want to make your health care wishes and decisions known in advance. You can do this by executing documents called advance medical directives; there are basically three types:

Living Will: A living will is a witnessed legal document that tells the doctor you don’t want to be put on a life support machine when it won’t help you get any better. This advanced directive is voluntarily executed by a person according to the law. A living will goes into effect when you are very sick and not able to communicate your wishes yourself (lack of capacity) AND when you are certified by the examining doctor to have a terminal condition or be in a persistent vegetative state. You can cancel your Living Will at any time. You can do so orally, in writing or by destroying the document. If you cancel your Living Will, tell your family, your doctor and anyone who has a copy of it that is has been canceled. Please bring a copy of your Living Will with you to the hospital. It will become part of your medical record.

Durable Medical Power of Attorney: A durable medical power of attorney is a legal document authorizing another person who is at least 18 years old to make health care decisions for you if you become temporarily or permanently unable to make them yourself. The person you name becomes your agent for this specific purpose only. A durable medical power of attorney can authorize any type of health care decisions and is not limited to those situations involving a terminal condition. The document may give broad authority or specific directions. Such a document should be notarized. There is no specific form provided by the Colorado Patient Autonomy Act. The durable medical power of attorney legal document must be in the medical record for these decisions to be exercised.

CPR Directive: A CPR Directive is a document telling ambulance or other emergency medical personnel, your doctor, or any health care facility to which you may be admitted not to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation – that is, not to take measures to support or restore your heart or breathing functions in the event those functions become difficult or stop. A CPR directive requires a doctor’s signature; forms approved by the Colorado Board of Health are available thorough physicians’ offices.

Proxy Decision Makers

If you execute no advance directive, appoint no legal agent, have no guardian, and are unable to communicate your wishes, medical decisions may be made for you by a person called a proxy decision-maker who is selected by agreement of a group of “interested persons,” usually consisting of your available family members. If the group cannot agree on a proxy decision-maker for you, any one of the interested persons may petition a court to appoint a guardian.

In Summary

No Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, or a CPR Directive will take away your right to make your own health care decisions so long as you are not able to do so. If you have drawn up one or more of these advance directives, it is your responsibility to make them available for inclusion in your medical record.