Patient Rights/Privacy

Q: What are my rights as a patient?
A: As a patient you have rights and responsibilities relative to your medical care, and you have rights to privacy.

Q: What do I do if I have patient safety and/or quality of care concerns at Aspen Valley Hospital?
A: You are encouraged to contact the Patient Safety Officer at 970.544.1551. If your concern is not resolved at this level, you are encouraged to contact the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations at 800.994.6610 or You may also file your concern with:

State of Colorado, Health Facilities Division
4300 Cherry Creek Drive, South
Denver, CO 80246
(303) 692-2827
(800) 886-7689, extension 2827
(303) 691-7700 (for hearing impaired)

Q: What is HIPAA?
A: In 1996 Congress enacted a significant piece of healthcare legislation: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA was designed to accomplish several goals. The most significant for healthcare consumers are:
  • To improve the portability and continuation of health insurance coverage for employees.
  • To protect the privacy and security of personal health information.
  • To simplify and standardize electronic healthcare transactions.
The first goal makes it easier for employees to maintain continuous health insurance coverage when they change employers. HIPAA strengthens the "portability" of insurance from one job to the next. The second goal provides federal mandates for the privacy of patients' health information and sanctions breaches in confidentiality. The third goal focuses on the privacy and standardization of electronic exchanges of information. Electronic data transmission is a very common practice among healthcare providers, insurers, medical billing companies, public health agencies, and employers.

For most consumers, HIPAA's privacy provision is the crucial component. It limits the use and release of personal health information, and it restricts disclosure of most health information to the minimum needed for the intended purpose.

An additional resource available to you is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website.

Q: What rights do I have as a patient as outlined in HIPAA?
A: As a patient, you have the right to:
  • View your medical record and get copies of it
  • Request changes to your record
  • Find out how your information has been used
  • Decide not to be included in our patient directory
  • Decide whether we can send information about products and services to you
  • Ask us to limit the ways we use your information
  • File a complaint if you feel your privacy rights have been violated
  • Tell us the preferred way to contact you to ensure your privacy

Q: What is protected health information?
A: Protected health information is any information about your or your health. For example, your name, address, phone number, medical history, and list of medications are all protected health information. We keep this information private, sharing it only with those who need it to do their jobs.

Q: How does AVH and its affiliates use protected health information?
A: We use this information to treat you and bill your insurance company or other payer for the services you receive. We also may use it to train healthcare professionals, improve the care we provide, or carry out other activities necessary for running a first-rate healthcare organization.

Q: Do I have a say in how my information is used?
A: Yes. We are required to get your permission before sharing your information for reasons not related to your care or the management of this organization. In addition, you may request that we restrict the ways we use your information.

Q: Where can I find out about my rights?
A: Patient Rights and Responsibilities provides the answers to all your questions about how we use and share your health information and what rights you have as a patient. You'll receive a copy the first time you receive services from our organization. We'll ask you to sign an acknowledgement that you received it. You may see the notice posted throughout the facility. You can also request a copy at any time.

Q: Will anyone know I'm at AVH?
A: That's up to you. We have a facility directory that lists patients' names, room numbers, and general conditions (such as good, fair, serious, or critical. This helps visitors or callers get in touch with you more easily. We also may provide this information and information about your religious affiliation to members of the local clergy. However, if you'd prefer, we can leave all or part of your information out of the directory.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns?
A: While many members of our staff can answer questions, our Privacy Official is best qualified. His name is Steven Knowles and he can be reached at 970.5441551 or by email at

Q: What can I do if I have a complaint about my (or my loved one’s) care that has not been resolved through communication with appropriate personnel?
A: You may file a formal grievance in writing, by telephone, by fax, or in person. Information needed from you includes the following:

Telephone number
Your relationship to the patient, if you are not the patient
Detailed description of the issue or problem
Specific names of staff involved, dates, places, or other details that will help with
the investigation of your concern
Outcome(s) you would like to see as a result of this process

To file your grievance by telephone, call 970.544.1186. To file your grievance by fax, call 970.544.1585. To file your grievance in writing, send it to;
0401 Castle Creek Road
Aspen, CO 81611
attention Nettie Kremer, or by email.

You will be contacted by a representative of the hospital within one business day of receipt of this information.

Q: Does Aspen Valley Hospital have any special protections under Colorado Law because it is a district hospital?
A: Yes, as a governmental entity, Aspen Valley Hospital has some protections. You can find out their protections and your rights by clicking on the following link: Colorado Governmental Immunity Act Notice.

Q: If I feel I've been discriminated against, what is my recourse?
A: AVH has a policy against discrimination against patients and does not deny care on the grounds of race, color, national origin, disability, or age. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you may follow the Grievance Procedure.

0401 Castle Creek Road
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact AVH