Planning Ahead

Pre-Certification and Paperwork

Non-Emergency Stay: Before your hospital stay, determine if your health insurer or employer requires your hospitalization to be pre-certified. If so, work with your doctor to obtain the approval before you are admitted.

Bring your health insurance card and pre-certification forms with you to the hospital, unless the forms instruct you otherwise. 

Emergency Stay: If you are hospitalized in an emergency, you or a family member should contact your health insurer within 24 hours. Bring your health insurance card with you to the hospital. 


Check with your doctor about tests you may need before admission, when they should be completed, where they should be done, and if you should follow any special instructions before testing.

When you go for your tests, take along a list of your medications, your insurance information and any documents from your doctor.

Advance Directive: Living Will or Power of Attorney

If you have an Advance Directive, provide a copy to the hospital, your doctor and a family member before receiving medical care.

An Advance Directive is a written instruction recognized under state law by which patients communicate their healthcare preferences if they become incapacitated. It can be a Living Will, in which the patient specifies choices for medical treatment, or a Durable Power of Attorney, in which another person is designated to make healthcare decisions on a patient’s behalf if he or she cannot.

Learn more about Advance Directives by calling our Social Services staff at 717-972-4936 or go here Office of Aging.

What to Bring: Overnight Stay

•  toiletries
•  nightclothes
•  sweater
•  robe
•  slippers
•  eyeglasses or contacts
•  dentures
•  medications list

And if You’re Having a Baby, Don't Forget

•  baby clothes
•  diapers
•  car seat

What NOT to Bring: Overnight Stay

•  more than $5
•  valuables or jewelry
•  medications
•  personal computers
•  radios
•  cellular phones (they can interfere with patient monitoring equipment)

What to Bring: Outpatient Surgery

•  picture/Military ID
•  insurance cards
•  physician’s orders and/or prescription
•  know your current personal information (address, phone number, etc.)
•  bring your co-pay or deductible
•  insurance referral and/or pre-certification approval number
•  know your primary care physician information

What NOT to Bring: Outpatient Surgery

•  more than $5
•  valuables or jewelry
•  medications
•  personal computers
•  radios
•  cell phones (they can interfere with patient monitoring equipment)

Preparing for Your Visit

• find out where you should park
• know where you should register
• review the visiting hours 

Make the following arrangements for special needs before your stay:

•  private room
•  restricted diet
•  hearing or vision impaired
•  foreign language translation

Preparing to Go Home

Ask your doctor whether you will need any assistance while recovering. Many options are available for short-term care at home, including nursing therapy, assistance with meal preparation or house cleaning, transportation or help with personal hygiene. 

Talk with our Social Services staff at 717-972-4936, or call Holy Spirit Home Health Care, our affiliated home health services provider, at 717-972-4663.