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Preparing for Surgery
How to Pre-Register?
After the physician has scheduled the surgery or procedure, a Baltimore Washington Medical Center staff member will call to pre-register the patient by phone. The pre-registration department can be reached by calling 410-787-4437 or you can click here (link to portal) to pre-register online.
What information is needed to Pre-Register?
The patient will need to have the following information ready when he/she is called:
- Patient's full legal name and address including county
- Home phone number and daytime number if different than home number
- Marital status
- Social Security Number
- Name of insurance holder, his or her home address and phone number, and his or her work address and work phone number
- Name of insurance company, mailing address, policy and group number
- Patient's employer, address, phone number and occupation
- Name, address and phone number of nearest relative
- Name, address and phone number of someone to notify in case of emergency (this can be the same as the nearest relative)
Is it necessary to contact the insurance company?
Yes, for two reasons:
- To find out if pre-authorization, pre-certification or a referral form is required.
- To find out if a second opinion is needed for surgery.
Failure to make this call may result in a reduction of benefits or possible cancellation of surgery.
What if the patient doesn't have insurance?
Please notify the registration staff when he/she is called for pre-registration that the patient will need help in making payment arrangements.
If the patient is a member of an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), will the registration procedure be different?
No, however, the patient will need to call the HMO once the procedure has been scheduled to arrange for pre-admission lab studies that must be completed. The patient will need to call the primary care physician to find out where the testing may be done.
How will the patient be billed for services?
After the procedure, the patient may receive separate bills from the anesthesiologist, the hospital, cardiology, radiology and pathology departments and if applicable, the surgical assistant. If the insurance carrier has specific requirements regarding participation status, please contact the patient's carrier.
If the patient is admitted for an overnight stay at Baltimore Washington Medical Center he/she may want TV and telephone service. The fees are $10 for TV service and $10 for telephone service. Fees may be collected once the patient has been transported to his/her assigned room or a family member may also stop by the admitting department on the first floor to pay the fee, for one or both services, once a room assignment is made.
What is Pre-Admission Screening?
Pre-admission Screening consists of a telephone interview with a pre-surgical RN. He/she will review medical history, including current medications and allergies, answer any questions, or give further instructions for the day before and the day of the procedure. The pre-surgical RN will contact the patient prior to the procedure date, or if necessary, they can be reached at 410-787-4745 from the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
What is the purpose of Pre-Admission Testing?
Pre-admission testing is a routine preparation for surgery, complex radiology procedures and medical procedures based on the patient's age and medical history. It allows time for the physicians to evaluate test results and resolve any problems before the surgery or procedure. Testing may include chest x-ray, EKG and/or blood tests.
Pre-Admission testing is completed either through the HMO, primary care physician or in the pre-surgical testing department. The testing at Baltimore Washington Medical Center can only take place when the insurance carrier permits.
Testing should be completed seven to 14 days before the procedure or surgery. However, if the doctor requests a "type and screen" or "type and crossmatch" for possible blood transfusion, this must be done at Baltimore Washington Medical Center within 13 days of the surgery. Please bring any papers from the doctor when the patient comes for testing.
When should the patient pay his/her co-payments?
The co-payment is due the day of the procedure. Pre-registration should be able to verify the co-pay amount prior to arrival. If the patient would like to apply for financial assistance through the medical center, please call 410-787-4517 for an application.
Where should the patient go when reporting for surgery or a procedure?
Report to the information desk in the main lobby of Baltimore Washington Medical Center.
When should the patient arrive?
The day before the surgery or procedure, please call 410-787-4610 after 2 p.m. to confirm the time of the procedure, and the time and location the patient should report to for admission. If the procedure is on Monday, call the Friday before.
Can the patient eat, drink or chew gum before surgery?
No, unless given specific instructions otherwise by the pre-screening nurse.
What should the patient bring?
Please bring your insurance card(s), co-payment if applicable, non-skid slippers and leave all other valuables at home. If you are spending the night, also include a bathrobe and grooming articles.
Will the patient be able to drive home?
No. A responsible adult must be present to drive the patient home after the procedure, and should stay with the patient for the first 24 hours.
How can the patient arrange for in-home nursing help?
Please tell the pre-surgical nurse if the patient anticipates a need for in-home nursing services. Following surgery, the surgeon may order support services as needed. The patient may need to check if the insurance carrier covers in-home services.