Patients’ Rights Helpline


StateWide has a toll-free number to assist patients and their families with their rights. This valuable service was established forty years ago when hospital payment policies began seeing patients discharged quicker and sicker to maximize reimbursement.

  • We provide consultation to helpline callers on appealing discharges or complaining to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) or the NYS Department of Health (DoH)
  • We monitor trends in patients’ rights to help suggest policy and program changes to improve the systems.
  • We advocate for Consumer Education: Help older persons and family members and aging network professionals stay informed about health care issues, care quality, and patients’ rights through monthly Telephone Teach ins by knowledgeable experts and through presentation to community groups.

Medicare Patients in Hospitals: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Medicare requires hospital to provide important written notices to beneficiaries when they are in the hospital.

One notice is the “Important Message from Medicare” which must be given upon admission to the hospital, in the guidebook “Your Rights as a Hospital Patient in NYS.”

The other notices concern discharge protections that may be requested by the patients BEFORE discharge, called the Hospital Issue Notice of non-coverage (HINN) or if you are in an HMO, the Notice of Discharge and Medicare Appeal Rights (NODMAR).

REMEMBER: GET IT IN WRITING while in the hospital!

Patients covered by original Medicare (not HMOs or Medicare Advantage/Medicare + Choice plans) should ask for the HINN. HINN explains the two protections you may use if a patient is being asked to leave too soon or has problems with the discharge plan.

The two protections are:

  1. two additional days without financial liability, whether or not an appeal is requested;
  2. the right to also have a fast review/appeal done by a Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) without financial liability before the patient leaves the hospital. In New York the QIO is LIVANTA.

Patients in HMOs or Medicare Advantage Plans (formerly Medicare + Choice plans)

  • Should ask for the Notice of Discharge and Medicare Appeal Rights (NODMAR) if they believe they are being asked to leave the hospital too soon or have problems with their discharge plan.
  • They have the right to a fast review/appeal before leaving the hospital. [they do not get two additional days.] To get the fast review, they must call LIVANTA not their HMO or managed care plan.
  • For all fast discharge appeals call LIVANTA at 866-815-5440. By noon of the next working day after getting a notice in writing, whether in regular Medicare or in an HMO.
  • Remember: a fast review/appeal is done BEFORE the patient leaves the hospital!
  • Call LIVANTA for information or other complaints 866-815-5440.
  • In New York, all hospital patients have discharge appeal rights regardless of who pays.

Virtual Resident Family Action Council Meetings

    Teach ins (Virtual)

    Our Teach ins are targeted at our members and other individuals and organizations across the state that are interested in helping keep seniors independent and help them obtain needed services.

    Hospital Patients’ Rights Toolkit

    The Toolkit includes brochures on:

    Observation Status

    Improving Patient Safety – Information from our Partners

    Better Together Campaign of the Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care offers a self assessment tool to help hospitals improve and change their policies to create a patient and family-centered culture where families are recognized as essential to patients’ health and well-being, and where they are respected as allies for quality and safety.

    They produced a report to encourage hospitals in NYS to expand the use of patient and family advisory councils to improve care “Strategically Advancing Patient and Family Advisory Councils in New York State Hospitals”

    Take Charge: 5 Steps to Safer Health Care. This is a national initiative developed by PULSE  and promoted by the Joint Commission to help educate and empower patients and caregivers to improve patient safety.   Watch a short video and view the 5 Steps of the campaign.

    Here is a link to information about he 5 steps to help take charge of you health care safety!

    Community Voices for Health System Accountability (CVHSA).  An alliance of NY consumer advocacy organizations working to raise the voices of communities impacted by major changes such as mergers, down sizing, and closings of hospital systems. Facebook; Twitter

    We want to hear from you!

    New York StateWide Senior Action Council was one of the consumer advocacy groups that participated in developing the guide and supported making its distribution a legal requirement in New York. Let us know what you think about this guidebook and about your hospital experiences. Contact us if you would like to have someone speak to your group about patients’ rights.

    Call for more information, help with a problem or to share your experiences with StateWide’s Hospitals Patients’ Rights Advocacy Project.  Toll-free HELPLINE: 800-333-4374

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