Preparing for Surgery - FAQs
Once your surgery is scheduled, a UM BWMC staff member will call to pre-register you by phone. You can also pre-register online.
Contact the pre-registration department at 410-787-4437 if you have any questions.
What information is needed to pre-register?
Please have the following information to pre-register by phone or online:
- Your full legal name and address, including county
- Home phone number, daytime number, and cell phone number
- Religion and marital status
- Social Security Number
- Insurance holder's name, home address and phone number, as well as their work address and work phone number
- Name of insurance company, mailing address, policy and group number
- Your 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)
Why do I receive multiple phone calls about the procedure?
Because surgery involves many specialists working together, you may receive several calls from different UM BWMC departments before and after your procedure.
- Registration: Accurate information about you, your procedure and your insurance company provides the opportunity to address any questions about pre-registration.
- Clinical staff: We may need to give you important clinical information and instructions on your procedure, testing and medications. We may also need more information on your health history.
- Follow-up calls: After your procedure, we may make follow-up calls to check on your recovery and to schedule further appointments if needed.
- Your physician: At times, the private physician's office that is performing the testing, procedure or surgery may call you.
Insurance and Billing
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 I don't have insurance?
When you speak to the registration staff for pre-registration, please let them know that you will need help in making payment arrangements.
What if I have an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)?
You will need to call the HMO once the procedure has been scheduled to arrange for pre-admission lab studies that must be completed. Contact your primary care physician to find out where the testing may be done.
How will I billed for services?
After the procedure, you may receive separate bills from the anesthesiologist, the hospital, cardiology, radiology and pathology departments and, if applicable, the surgical assistant. Please contact your insurance carrier to see if there are specific requirements regarding participation status.
When do I pay the 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 you would like to apply for financial assistance through the medical center, please call 410-787-4517 for an application.
What is Pre-Admission Screening?
A pre-surgical RN will contact you to review your medical history, including current medications and allergies, answer any questions and give further instructions for the day before and the day of the procedure. If you need to contact a pre-surgical RN, please call 410-787-4303 from the hours of 7:30 am to 5 pm, 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. It gives physicians time to evaluate test results and resolve any problems before the surgery or procedure. Testing may include chest X-ray, EKG and/or blood tests. Testing should be completed 7 to 14 days before the procedure or surgery.
Pre-Admission testing is completed through the HMO, primary care physician or in the pre-surgical testing department. The testing at UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center can take place only when the insurance carrier permits. 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 you come for testing.
Day of the Surgery
What should I bring to the hospital?
Please bring your insurance card(s), co-payment, if applicable, and non-skid slippers. If you are spending the night, also bring a bathrobe and grooming supplies. Please leave all valuables at home, for example jewelry and money. The person who brings you to the hospital can hold on to your wallet or purse when you are in surgery.
Can I eat, drink or chew gum before surgery?
No, unless given specific instructions otherwise by the pre-screening nurse.
When should the patient arrive?
The day before your procedure, please call 410-787-4610 after 2 pm to confirm the time of the procedure and the time and location where you should report for admission. If the procedure is on Monday, call the Friday before.
Where should I go when reporting for surgery or a procedure?
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.
Will I be able to drive home?
No. A responsible adult must be present to drive you home after the procedure and should stay with you for the first 24 hours.
How can I arrange for in-home nursing help?
Please tell the pre-surgical nurse if you will need in-home nursing services. Following surgery, the surgeon may order support services as needed. You will need to check if your insurance carrier covers in-home services.