Preparing for Surgery - FAQs

How can I pre-register for my procedure?

After the physician has scheduled the surgery or procedure, a UM 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 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
  • Religion
  • 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:

  1. To find out if pre-authorization, pre-certification or a referral form is required.
  2. 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.

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 410-787-4303 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 UM 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 UM 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?

After parking, report to the information desk in the main lobby of UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where you will receive a visitor wristband and be directed to the Admitting Department on the main level. In Admitting, your patient demographics and insurance information will be verified. Authorization for services from the insurance company will then be obtained to ensure that you and your insurance company will be billed accurately.

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.

Why do I receive multiple phone calls from different departments at UM BWMC?

UM BWMC patients should expect several calls from different UM BWMC departments depending on the type of their visit:

  • Calls about registration: Pre-scheduled patients may receive calls for several reasons. The amount and accuracy of information received from the scheduling physician may or may not prove to be sufficient for patient identification, safety, insurance and payment criteria. Speaking directly with the patient versus the physician's office, family member or friend helps to insure the security, confidentiality and accuracy of our patient's financial and health care information. An additional call may be required if there are financial obligations to be discussed with the patient. This provides the opportunity for any concerns or questions to be directed if further assistance is needed by the patient to meet these obligations.
  • Calls from clinical staff: Pre-scheduled patients may receive calls from clinical staff for several reasons. Important clinical information and instructions may need to be communicated prior to any procedure or testing at UM BWMC. This may include instructions surrounding test results from other facilities that have been completed, medications that may need to be discontinued or changed, testing that may need to be performed due to previous test results. Discussions may also be required regarding previous health history as it relates to the scheduled visit or procedure.
  • Follow-up calls: After a patient's procedure or stay in the hospital,our staff may make follow-up calls to determine the patient's health status. Additionally, further appointments may need to be scheduled for continued health care concerns or follow-up.
  • Calls from a physician: At times the private physician's office that is performing the testing, procedure or surgery may call the patient. This could be confused as being a call from a UM BWMC department.