Patient Guide

Howard Memorial Hospital created this online patient guide to help walk you through your visit as well as to assist with any questions you might have about your stay with us.

HMH Patient Guide

Your Arrival

Persons who are checking in to Howard Memorial Hospital for either outpatient or inpatient services should use the hospital’s main entrance. Registration representatives are available from 7 am – 5 pm. After hours, you may check in with an emergency department representative.

Information We Will Need from You

You will need to arrive 20 minutes before your appointment for an admission interview. The information we will gather is important for the accuracy of your medical record as well as billing the appropriate insurance plan. Please give us your full legal name (not nickname), date of birth, mailing address, and telephone number. We will need to make a copy of your driver's license and your Medicare, Medicaid or insurance cards. We also will request your social security number and any other special authorizations required by your insurance carrier. You will be asked to give accident information if your visit is covered by a liability or worker's compensation insurance. You will be asked if you have an advance directive or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. If you do, please bring it with you to registration if one is not already on file in the HMH medical records department. 


Visitors are always welcome at HMH. Family and friends may visit patients at any time, but please respect the visitation guidelines of the special care units (critical care, emergency, recovery room and surgery), as well as the special restrictions posted on patient room doors. Also, it is important that visitors respect the patient's need for rest during recovery. When a patient needs extra care, we may set limits on who may visit and for how long. Visitation may be restricted throughout the hospital at certain times such as flu season.

 Visitation Tips:

• To find a patient's room assignment, ask someone at the nurses' station.

• Always knock before entering the patient's room.

• Avoid visiting before 10 am when patients may be busy with daily treatment activities or with their doctors.

• After 8 pm, we request a quiet environment. Visitors should enter through the emergency department entrance, as outside doors will be locked.

• Do not visit if you have a cold or other contagious conditions.

• Many people are allergic to the material in ordinary latex balloons. Mylar balloons are a safer alternative.

• For the health and safety of your children, please check with the nurse in charge of the unit before bringing children under 12 years old to the patient care areas of the hospital.

Cafeteria, Pink Avenue Gift Shop, and Vending Machines

Cafeteria: Visitors are welcome to dine in the cafeteria. It is located just past the main lobby on the right and is open from 6 am – 7:30 pm. The dining hall is always open and has coffee, tea and soft drinks. Meal times are as follows:

Breakfast: 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Pink Avenue Gift Shop: The gift shop is open Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. A wonderful assortment of gifts, specialty items and fresh snacks are available. 

Soft drink and snack machines are available just off the main corridor and in the dining area. 

Patient Billing Services

HMH recognizes its responsibility to render necessary acute hospital care to all persons in need of such care, regardless of race, creed, or economic circumstances. However, we also have a responsibility to the community of maintaining a financially viable institution. This responsibility can only be accomplished through the payment of all accounts in a timely manner. Our patient counselors are here to verify your insurance coverage and to assist the nurse case manager with your pre-authorization requirements. They can help you to understand your potential financial responsibility for hospital services. 

General Billing Procedures

Your bill represents the charges for the services you received during your hospital visit. For inpatient care, the daily rate includes bed occupancy, meals and nursing care. In addition to the daily rate, your bill reflects charges for laboratory tests, x-rays, medications, use of the operating room and any other tests, procedures or supplies your doctor may have ordered. You will receive a letter that will show the balance due after your insurance has paid. An itemized statement is available upon request. Our office hours are 8 am - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. 

Doctor Bills

The hospital will not bill for emergency room doctors. Patients will receive separate bills from the private doctors, surgeons, assistant surgeons as well as consulting physicians, such as radiologists (x-ray) and pathologists (laboratory). If there are any questions about these bills, the patient should contact the doctor from whom the bill has been sent. 

Insurance Coverage

The hospital participates with Medicare, Medicaid, Champus/Tricare and Worker's Compensation. We accept employee group health and private insurance coverage if we receive complete billing information. For inpatient, surgical and selected outpatient therapies, procedures and testing, we will verify that the insurance is in effect at the time of service. The patient or his guarantor is responsible for complying with the insurance company's requirements, which may include obtaining referral, pre-certification, second opinions and/or ensuring that the hospital belongs to the particular network of managed care providers. HMH will file your primary and any secondary insurance claims. If your insurance company has not paid in a timely manner, we will send you a letter requesting your help in solving problems that have caused the delays.

You are responsible for seeing that your insurance company pays us correctly and in a timely manner. Once your insurance has paid, we will send you a statement requesting the remaining balance in full in 30 days. A discount is available on this payment for promptly settling your account. If you cannot make payment in full, please call your account representative to work on arrangements for payment. If you need to make corrections to your insurance information, please call patient accounts immediately when you receive your bill, and we will be able to re-file your claim. You may request an itemized statement of your charges. 

If you are without insurance coverage

Our patient representatives will assist you in exploring all possible resources for medical assistance within the community, including welfare and other State and Federal agencies. HMH will accept monthly payments after all other alternative methods of payment have been exhausted. Monthly payments are set according to the current board-approved payment schedule. Personal financial information may be required to set appropriate payment arrangements. 

Patient Rights

When you are admitted to the hospital, you will be given a copy of the HMH Patient Bill of Rights with your admission papers. It is very important that you understand this information. If you have any questions or need further explanation, please ask. 

Privacy Practices (HIPAA)

When you come to the hospital for tests/procedures or admission, you will be given a copy of the HMH Privacy Practices (HIPAA) information. It is very important that you understand this information. If you have any questions or need further explanation, please ask. 

No Smoking Policy

HMH is a smoke-free facility. Visitors and guests may not smoke or use any other form of tobacco product while on the HMH campus.  This includes the use of electronic cigarettes. 

Minors (age 17 and under)

Parents who want a caregiver to bring their children to HMH for treatment or who want children of driving age to present for tests on their own must make prior arrangements with us to authorize consent for treatment and billing. In the event of a potentially life threatening emergency, minors will receive treatment as directed by the physician.

When Your Child is a Patient

We ask that all children under 12 years of age be accompanied at all times by a parent or an adult who has the parent's written consent to authorize treatment for the child. 

Important Medical Information

Hand washing is the number one method of germ control. The importance of good hand washing cannot be stressed enough. It is especially important during a hospital visit that you utilize good hand washing to prevent the spread of infection. 

Infection control is a very important aspect of care within our facility. It is our goal to protect patients as well as families and visitors. There may be occasions when you see an isolation notice on a patient room door. It will have specific instructions available so that you will know exactly how to prepare yourself before entering the patient's room. Any questions that you have will be answered as completely as possible, understanding that patient confidentiality is our number one priority. 

Advance directives allow an individual to make decisions regarding life support and other terminal care. Not only does this give the individual the opportunity to make his/her own decisions, it removes those difficult decisions from having to be made by a loved one. We will gladly discuss further details regarding advance directives with patients and family members as well as provide the appropriate forms for you to complete. 

Communication Information to Persons with Language Needs

Persons who need language translations shall have:

• Hospital personnel who are bilingual

• If hospital personnel are not available, the Pacific Interpreters service at 800-264-1545 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Student Teaching

Because we understand the importance of education in the medical field, we are proud to be affiliated with local educational institutions in providing a clinical environment in which students can work and learn. You may have contact with practical nursing students, registered nursing students or medical (physician) students. A licensed professional supervises students at all times. 

Patient Opinion Survey

It is our goal to achieve patient and family satisfaction. During your inpatient and/or outpatient visit at HMH, you may be asked your opinion of the services and care you have received. You may also be asked for your suggestion on areas that we may need to improve. Please give us your honest input and suggestions so that we may continue to work to improve the services that we provide. 

Customer Relations

Our goal is to provide quality patient care as well as customer satisfaction. Every employee at HMH is involved in this process. We will ask for your feedback, input and suggestions regarding what we could do to make your stay more pleasant and better meet your individual needs. 

Patient Education

We believe in the importance of educating our patients and their families. We provide written information and/or videos regarding individual diagnosis, complications and preventative care. It is our goal to provide as much education as possible in order to improve our patient's quality of life. 

Going Home

Upon discharge, patients will receive a copy of their discharge instructions, which will include medication dosages and times and any other treatments or instructions. Our discharge planner will assist you with any medical equipment needed in the home or with any type of home health follow-up.