Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why won't they tell me about my family member's condition?
A: There are federal regulations called HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) that make it illegal to give out any private health information without a patient's or a legal guardian's consent. Therefore, you will not be given any information unless the patient/guardian has specifically listed you.

Q: Why can't I come into the ER with my family member?
A: The emergency room can be a busy place where much discussion is held regarding the patients. The space is small and patients' private health information may be easily overheard by visitors. For the sake of privacy for our patients, we limit visitors in the ER.

Q: Why might I get a bill from the hospital for medication I take at home?
A: Although you are in the hospital, you may have been admitted as an outpatient or on observation status. This occurs when you do not have a diagnosis that qualifies you for inpatient status according to your insurance company. In order to be inpatient status, you must have a new, severe condition that requires immediate treatment that cannot be provided at home. If you are admitted on observation status, it is often for conditions that need to be watched or monitored for a short period of time, with the expectation that you will go home within 24 to 48 hours. When you are on observation status, your insurance company (including Medicare) will not pay for medications you can take yourself.