Patient rights and responsibilities: Care that supports you and your family

UW Health partners with our patients to provide remarkable care.


Your rights and responsibilities

You will receive care and treatment without discrimination or being treated differently based on age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, filing of a prior civil rights complaint. gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status or protected veteran status, national origin, newborn status, parental or familial status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of payment, or any other characteristic protected by local, state, or federal ordinance, law or regulation.

UW Health patients' rights

  • Treatment without discrimination

  • Respect, confidentiality and personal dignity

  • Information you can understand

  • Participation in decisions about your care

  • Care that supports you and your family

  • Access to your billing and medical records

  • A method to file a complaints

Visitation should not be denied on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age or disability.

UW Health patients' responsibilities

Just as we have responsibilities to you, you also have responsibilities to UW Health:

  • You are responsible for following UW Health rules and regulations.

  • Your medical team expects that you will provide accurate and complete information about your health and health care.

  • Please ask the physicians and nursing staff for more information if you do not understand your illness or treatment.

  • We ask that you work actively with your caregivers to implement your treatment plan.

  • We ask that you respect the rights of other patients, families, visitors and staff.

  • We ask you to be considerate of any other patients, and to see that your visitors are considerate as well, particularly in regard to noise and the number of visitors, which may be annoying to other patients.

  • We expect you to keep appointments, or to telephone well in advance when you are unable to keep an appointment.

  • We expect you to maintain the treatment recommended by your doctors after leaving any UW Health location and to notify them of any changes in your condition after discharge.

  • We expect you to inform UW Health as soon as possible if you believe any of your rights have been or may be violated.

  • You have the right to receive emergency treatment even if you cannot pay.

  • You will not be transferred to another facility, except in some emergencies, unless you are told the reason for the transfer and another hospital has agreed to accept you as a patient and provide continuing medical care for you.

Illinois Medical Patient Rights Act

Rights of Women with Regard to Pregnancy and Childbirth

Public Act 101-0445 • HB0002 Enrolled • LRB101 03317 RPS 48325 b
AN ACT concerning health.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:

Section 5. The Medical Patient Rights Act is amended by adding Section 3.4 as follows:
(410 ILCS 50/3.4 new)

Sec. 3.4. Rights of women; pregnancy and childbirth.

(a) In addition to any other right provided under this Act, every woman has the following rights with regard to pregnancy and childbirth:

  1. The right to receive health care before, during, and after pregnancy and childbirth.

  2. The right to receive care for her and her infant that is consistent with generally accepted medical standards.

  3. The right to choose a certified nurse midwife or physician as her maternity care professional.

  4. The right to choose her birth setting from the full range of birthing options available in her community.

  5. The right to leave her maternity care professional and select another if she becomes dissatisfied with her care, except as otherwise provided by law.

  6. The right to receive information about the names of those health care professionals involved in her care.

  7. The right to privacy and confidentiality of records, except as provided by law.

  8. The right to receive information concerning her condition and proposed treatment, including methods of relieving pain.

  9. The right to accept or refuse any treatment, to the extent medically possible.

  10. The right to be informed if her caregivers wish to enroll her or her infant in a research study in accordance with Section 3.1 of this Act.

  11. The right to access her medical records in accordance with Section 8-2001 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

  12. The right to receive information in a language in which she can communicate in accordance with federal law.

  13. The right to receive emotional and physical support during labor and birth.

  14. The right to freedom of movement during labor and to give birth in the position of her choice, within generally accepted medical standards.

  15. The right to contact with her newborn, except where necessary care must be provided to the mother or infant.

  16. The right to receive information about breastfeeding.

  17. The right to decide collaboratively with caregivers when she and her baby will leave the birth site for home, based on their conditions and circumstances.

  18. The right to be treated with respect at all times before, during, and after pregnancy by her health care professionals.

  19. The right of each patient, regardless of source of payment, to examine and receive a reasonable explanation of her total bill for services rendered by her maternity care professional or health care provider, including itemized charges for specific services received. Each maternity care professional or health care provider shall be responsible only for a reasonable explanation of those specific services provided by the maternity care professional or health care provider.

UW Health is available to address any questions or concerns you have associated with the care you have received. We encourage you to report all concerns you have related to care, service or patient safety.

  • You can file a complaint about your care or services received to the Patient Relations Department. Complaints will be reviewed promptly and resolved within seven to 15 business days when possible.

  • You may also file a complaint with the following organizations:

    • State of Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
      Division of Quality Assurance, Bureau of Health Services
      P.O. Box 2969
      Madison, WI 53701-2969

    • Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Healthcare Regulation
      525 W. Jefferson St., 5th floor
      Springfield, IL 62761-0001
      (217) 782-2913

    • The Joint Commission, Office of Quality Monitoring
      One Renaissance Blvd.
      Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
      Fax: (630) 792-5636

  • If you are a Medicare patient and have a quality-of-care complaint or think you are being discharged from the hospital too soon, you can file an appeal for either Wisconsin or Illinois at:

  • You can file a formal service delivery discrimination complaint at:

    • Wisconsin Department of Health Services
      Civil Rights Compliance
      Attn: Attorney Pamela McGillivray
      1 West Wilson St., Room 651
      P.O. Box 7850
      Madison, WI 53707-7850
      (608) 266-1258 or (608) 267-1434
      TTY: 1-800-947-3529

    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
      Director, Office for Civil Rights
      Room 509F, HHH Bldg
      200 Independence Ave. S.W.
      Washington, D.C. 20201
      (202) 619-0403
      TTY/TDD: (202) 619-3257

    • Office for Civil Rights
      U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
      233 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 240
      Chicago, IL 60601
      Customer Response Center
      Fax: (202) 619-3818
      TDD: 1-800-537-7697

    • Illinois Department of Public Health
      525 W. Jefferson Street, Ground floor
      Springfield, IL 62761-0001
      Fax: (312) 793-0802
      TTY: 1-800-547-0466

  • You can file a laboratory test complaint at:

    • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Central Office
      Division of Laboratory Services (CLIA)
      1-877-267-2323, ext. 63531

    • College of American Pathologists (CAP)

Patient rights and responsibilities

Information for hospitalized patients

Need help?

Contact us

For more information or to discuss any aspect of your rights and responsibilities as a patient, please contact Patient Relations.

In Illinois

In Wisconsin