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Patient Rights & Privacy

Insurance questions

Contact your insurance company or health plan administrator. If you are covered by Medicare, you will receive a letter, "Important Message from Medicare," within 24 hours of your hospitalization. An information booklet on Medicare coverage is available from our Social Services department, (831) 625-4910. For more information read our insurance and billing FAQs.

Financial responsibility

You are responsible for any costs not covered by your healthcare plan or insurance - such as a deductible, co-payment, etc.

Doctor charges will be billed separately.

Hospital services not routinely covered by insurance include:

  • long-distance phone calls
  • guest meals
  • take-home medications
  • childcare services

For additional information, call the financial counselor in Patient Business Services, (831) 625-4910.

International patients

If you are visiting from outside the United States, our Patient Business Services staff will attempt to verify your insurance coverage. If we cannot do so, you will be responsible for your hospital bill. Payment should be made in U.S. dollars.

The Social Services staff can also help arrange temporary lodging and transportation at your expense.


You will be asked if you agree to arbitration when you are admitted to the hospital. Arbitration is an alternate way to resolve disputes between you, your doctor, and the hospital. Arbitration provides a fair, fast, and less-expensive way to handle claims than going to court. A detailed brochure is available from Patient Business Services or your nurse.


You or your representative (friend, family member, or other person designated by you) may wish to participate in a discussion of ethical issues related to your care. This can be accomplished through the hospital's Bioethics Committee. All issues of this nature are held in strict confidence. Contact your physician(s), nursing manager, or Nursing Administration for help with this process.

Your medical record

You have a right to have your medical information kept confidential. We want you to know we take this responsibility seriously.

Only members of our healthcare team who need the information to perform their duties and people to whom you have specifically granted permission have access to your medical record.

You may review your medical record, except in certain situations.

Please call the Health Information Management department, (831) 625-4577.

Notice of privacy practices

Contact with the news media

Sometimes the circumstances that bring a patient or his or her family to the hospital generate interest from the media and the public.

Rest assured, our first responsibility is to you and your family.

Upon admission, each patient is given the opportunity to grant or deny the hospital permission to release information, including the patient's name and a one-word description of your condition.

If you choose not to have information released, a hospital representative will help you understand the impact of that decision on family and friends. We will do our utmost to protect your privacy.

The hospital's ability to protect your privacy and that of all our patients depends on you immediately notifying the Communication and Marketing department if you have been in contact with the media (a reporter, photographer, or TV crew). Photographers and TV cameras are not allowed on hospital property without clearance from the Communication and Marketing department, which can be reached at (831) 625-4505.

CPR - yes or no?

Anyone in the hospital will receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if their heart and/or breathing stops. If you do not want CPR or "other heroic measures" performed, your doctor must write a "Do Not Resuscitate" order on your medical record as well as other choices you've made about your care.

You should discuss these topics with your doctor when you are admitted to the hospital to ensure that your wishes are known ahead of time. You may always reconsider and change your mind.

Advance healthcare directives

The Patient Self-Determination Act and the Healthcare Decision Law require hospitals to ask all admitted patients whether they have completed an advance directive - also called a Power of Attorney for Healthcare - where you can appoint another person to be your healthcare "agent." This document communicates your wishes regarding treatment in the event you are unable to speak for yourself. A Power of Attorney for Health Care does not, however, replace the need to discuss your healthcare wishes with your physician.

If you are unconscious or cannot otherwise make healthcare decisions for yourself, the person you have appointed to be your "agent" has legal authority to do so. Your agent must follow your wishes regarding your treatment. You may change any portion of the Power of Attorney for Healthcare by telling your physician about your new decisions or wishes.

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