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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Advance Care Plan?
An Advance Care Plan (also known as Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare) is a document that designates someone to make medical decisions for you should you be unable to do so. The form and information booklet for the Advance Care Plan is on our website or can be provided to you at your pre-op class.

Do I have to have an Advance Care Plan in order to have surgery?
No. However, if you have designated a Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare decision-making, we are asking that you bring in a copy of this document on your day of surgery, so we can make it a part of your medical record.

Where do I go after my hospital stay?
You have two options: you may go home, provided you have 24-hour assistance from someone for the first week after surgery. Otherwise, you can go to an extended care facility (also known as sub-acute rehab) until you are able to function well enough to be at home alone.

How do I make arrangements to go to an extended care facility?
Lists of these facilities are on our website or provided to you at your pre-op class. You should plan on finding 2-3 facilities that you would like to go to. It is usually helpful to visit these ahead of time or talk to others who have been through rehab there. You may tell your choices to your nurse at your pre-op appointment or the social worker on your first day after surgery. In most cases, you will not be able to reserve a spot ahead of time, though some facilities will “pencil” you in. Once you are admitted to the hospital, your social worker will make the appropriate referral to the facilities you have chosen.

Does my insurance cover my extended care stay?
If Medicare is your primary insurance, it will pay for your first 20 days of sub-acute rehab 100%. After that, Medicare will cover 80% of the cost, up to a total of 100 days. Secondary insurances often cover the other 20% that Medicare does not pay. If your primary insurance is a private insurance (Blue Cross, Priority Health, HAP), call the 1-800 number on the back of your card. Ask if you have a skilled nursing benefit and which facilities your insurance covers in your area.

How do I get the equipment I need (walker, bedside commode, etc?)
If your plan is to go directly home from the hospital, our case manager will meet with you after surgery to go over what equipment you may need at home. She will then verify your insurance coverage and order the equipment. Your equipment can be delivered to your hospital room before you leave. If you are going to an extended care facility, their discharge planner will meet with you to go over any equipment needs you have. They will order your equipment just prior to your discharge home from the facility.

How do I get home or to my extended care facility from the hospital?
You have two options. If your physical therapist says you are moving well enough, a family member or friend can pick you up from the hospital on your day of discharge. If your physical therapist feels you are not moving well enough, or you feel that you will be unable to get into a car, the social worker can arrange for a wheelchair van to pick you up and take you home or to the extended care facility. The wheelchair van company requires payment at time of service, as this is not covered by insurance. Local rates (within 10 miles of the hospital) are $30-40, and rates further out go up according to mileage. Your social worker can give you the exact cost prior to discharge so you know what you will be expected to pay. The wheelchair van company accepts cash, personal checks, or credit card (MasterCard or Visa only).

When is my discharge date from the hospital?
You should plan on staying 3 nights in the hospital, with discharge planned for the 4th morning of your stay unless otherwise informed by your surgeon. For example, if your surgery is on Monday, you would plan to be discharged on Thursday. The hospital has an 11 am discharge time, so please make arrangements to have a family member or friend available to pick you up by 11 am on your day of discharge. If you have elected to use the wheelchair van service or are going to an extended care facility, the social worker will let you know your discharge time, which is dictated by when transport is available, when the facility is able to admit you, etc.