Patient discharge time is 12:00 p.m. daily and is directed by your physicians written order.

Social Work and Discharge Planning

Assistance is available to help patients and families deal with emotional, social and financial difficulties while in the hospital and during the transition home. If you require post-acute care in a rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility, our social workers and case managers coordinate that care with your insurance provider. If a transfer to one of these facilities is necessary, a social worker or case manager will talk with you and your family about local facilities and ask you for your preferences. If the facility you’ve selected cannot accept you, you will be asked to select an alternate facility.

To contact a social worker, dial 8025 from your room telephone between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. If someone is not immediately available, please leave a message. They will contact you as soon as possible.

Discharge Procedure

A family member or friend should be prepared to pick you up on your day of discharge. Before leaving your hospital room, check all drawers and the closet for any personal belongings. Upon discharge, you will be escorted from your room to a hospital exit.

Hospital Equipment

Certain equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers and respiratory treatment machines, will be provided for your use, free of charge during your stay. This equipment is hospital property and should not be removed from the building.

Valuables and Medications

Remember to pick up any valuables that were held for you by security. You will need your receipt. Patient valuables can be picked up 24 hours a day by dialing “0” for the operator. Ask your nurse for assistance with retrieving any medications you brought from home, which will be securely kept in the unit's medication cart or the Pharmacy Department.

Financial Planning

Your insurance coverage will be verified prior to your discharge. If a deposit is required, a financial counselor will contact you. For patients who face financial hardship, we will help them in applying for medical assistance. Eligibility for medical assistance can usually be determined within 48 hours of admission. Medical assistance counselors are available between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, by dialing 8682 or 8116 from your room telephone. These counselors can also meet with you.

Payment

You may make deposits or pay for personal services by cash, check, money order or credit card. A 2-percent discount on hospital charges is applied if payment is received upon admission or at the time of discharge. Payment may be made at the Cashier’s Office on the second floor of the North Building or at the registration desk in the Emergency Department after hours. If you have any questions regarding your bill, please call the Patient Billing Questions Department at 301-552-8093 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Some physicians, such as radiologists, anesthesiologists, hospitalists, intensivists, pathologists and emergency physicians, are independent contractors and are not employees or agents of the hospital. Doctors Community Hospital is not liable for their actions. Additionally, it is important for you to know that these physicians bill separately for their services.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available for all patients who receive urgent or emergency services, except cosmetic care, and do not have health insurance, including Medicaid. Free care is provided for patients whose gross family income is at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. A 25-percent discount will be applied to qualified patients whose gross family income is 200 percent to 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

A Medical Hardship Program is available for patients whose gross family income is between 200 and 500 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, when hospital debt exceeds 25 percent of the family gross income. Debts for other providers, physicians or account balances for patient deductibles, coinsurances and co-payments will be excluded from this program.

Financial assistance applications may be obtained at the Emergency or Outpatient Registration Departments or by calling the Business Office at 301-552-8186.

Upon request, an application will be mailed. To qualify, the applicant must also provide proof of family income and expenses.