Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
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patient information

For your convenience, patient information is organized as frequently-asked questions under two headings: overnight stays and emergency department.


Frequently asked questions about overnight stays:

Frequently asked questions about the emergency department:


What are the admitting procedures and patient guidelines?

Admitting procedure
If you are coming to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital to be admitted as an inpatient, check in at patient intake/admitting in the hospital's main lobby. The area is open 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. During all other hours, patients should use the emergency department registration area.

Be sure to bring your:

  • Social security number
  • Insurance card (including insurer's name and address, and your policy number)
  • Pre-certification number from health plan
  • Physician referral form, if required
  • Cash, checks or a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) to pay for co-payment/services not covered by your insurance
  • List of current medications and allergies

Please note:
If you are covered by traditional insurance or a managed care plan (HMO or PPO) provided through an employer:

  • Please bring the employer's name, address and telephone number. If you are covered through your spouse's insurance policy, know your spouse's date of birth and social security number.

If you are covered by Medicare:

  • Please bring your Medicare card. Medicare also requires the date of your spouse's retirement, if applicable.

If you are covered by Medicaid:

  • Please bring your Medicaid card

If you have an advance directive:

  • Please bring a copy

Medications-All medications taken while in the hospital are prescribed by your doctor, dispensed by the hospital pharmacy and administered by a nurse. Patients are not permitted to administer their own drugs or keep personal medications at their bedsides.

Cell phone policy-For the safety of our patients, cell and digital phones must be turned off upon entering the hospital. Pay phones are conveniently located near the hospital's entrances on the first and ground floors and on each floor of the hospital.

Smoking policy-As of January 1, 2005, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital became a totally smoke-free environment. Smoking is prohibited on the entire campus including parking lots.

Special needs-If you have special needs for a wheelchair or other assistive devices or for an interpreter for spoken or sign language, call patient relations at ext. 6011.

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What should I bring with me?

Clothing and valuables
We recommend you bring sleeping clothes and toiletries, but leave unnecessary clothing and valuables at home while you are a patient. As an alternative, valuables may be placed in the hospital safe. To arrange for their safekeeping, call the hospital's public safety department at ext. 5123 to arrange for a pick-up. The hospital cannot assume responsibility for valuables left in your room.

Because the hospital uses special electrical equipment, personal electrical devices are not permitted in patient rooms. This includes your personal television, radio, electric blanket, fan, curling iron, hair dryer, electric razor or computer.

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What are the food service options?

A proper diet is important for recovery. The diet selected for each patient is in accordance with his or her physician's orders. For patient convenience, menu choices will be taken daily by hospital staff. Should you wish to speak to a dietitian or if you have questions about your meals, call food and nutrition services at ext. 21.6130. Guest trays for family members or visitors are available at an additional cost.

 

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What are the amenities and conveniences such as television, phone and ATM?

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital offers semi-private and limited private room accommodations. Inpatient room services include the following:

In-room telephones-Toll Free Chicago is a service designed especially for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital patients' convenience and cost savings. For $4 a day, patients can dial directly to all six Chicago area codes toll free.

To activate Toll Free Chicago, dial "36." You will hear a greeting and instructions for activating the service. Simply press "1" at the prompt and you will be connected to Toll Free Chicago. The charges will be automatically billed to your home phone number and will show up on your next telephone bill. Charges will start the day of activation and continue until you are discharged. You do not need to do anything if you change rooms. The system automatically follows you through your hospital stay. Once activated, all you have to do is dial 36+1+area code+phone number. If you dial a number outside the free zone, you automatically will be transferred to an AT&T or Ameritech operator.

Television-Televisions are provided free-of-charge to hospitalized patients. Carevision (Channel 12) is a television alternative at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital offering high-quality programs of therapeutic value. The daily schedule includes spiritual programs, presentations on coping, fine arts programming, children's shows and programs for older adults. Soothing music is available 24 hours a day on Channel 18. Lutheran General Hospital patients have access to these television channels:

2  WBBM (CBS)

23  Newborn Channel (English)

4  WFLD - 32

24 Newborn Channel (Spanish)

5  WMAQ (NBC)

25 Cabel News Network (CNN)

6

26 CNN Headline News

7 WGN

27 The Weather Channel

11 WTTW (PBS)

29 Cartoon Network

12 Carevision

30 Turner Broadcasting System (TBS)

13 WCIU

31 Discovery Channel

16 Patient Education

32 The Learning Channel (TLC)

17 WSNS - 44

33 USA Network

34-36 Music Channels

Flowers and mail-Delivery of flowers and mail are made to patients as soon as they are received. Questions about any delivery should be directed to ext. 21.6105. Volunteers deliver letters and packages for patients each morning. Letters and parcels that arrive after you are discharged will be forwarded to your home. Stamps and stationery may be purchased in the gift shop.

Newspapers-Newspapers are delivered daily. If you miss the delivery, call ext. 21.6129 after 10:30 a.m., except Sundays and holidays, to receive a paper. Books and magazines are delivered to patients several times weekly. Call ext. 6105 to request a book or other reading materials.

Musicare-This free patient-care service enables you to use the soothing, healing energies of music as part of your treatment and recovery. Patients select music according to individual tastes and preferences. Cassette tapes, tape players and individual headphones are available. For more information, call Musicare, ext. 21.7155.

SPIRIT program-If you would like to recognize a hospital staff member or team of associates for outstanding service, SPIRIT recognition forms are available. Compassion, equality, excellence, partnership and stewardship are qualities that are part of the hospital's mission, values and philosophy. Ask your nurse or contact the service league at 847.723.6105 for the forms.

Automatic teller machine (ATM)-An automatic teller machine is conveniently located between the public safety department and the gift shop in the first floor main lobby of the hospital.

Concierge services-For information about restaurants and hotels in the area, contact the hospital's west information desk at ext. 21.4672. Taxi and limousine service also are available.

Lost and found-Lost and found items are directed to the public safety department in the main lobby. Call 847.723.5123 for more information.

Notary public-The services of a notary are available to patients free of charge. For information, call patient relations at ext. 6011 or the on-call nursing supervisor.

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Where do I park?

Parking and valet services
Lutheran General Center for Advanced Care Garage-
This 535-space, four-level patient-and-visitor garage is at the southwest corner of Dempster Street and Luther Lane, next to the Advocate Lutheran General Center for Advanced Care. The garage entrance is located on Luther Lane. Parking is available at no cost. Free round-trip shuttle service is available to and from the hospital and the Center for Advanced Care. Marked shuttle stops are located at the hospital, Parkside Center and Center for Advanced Care.

Main Garage-The entrance to the main garage is located on the front driveway of the hospital. Free round-trip shuttle service is available from the garage to the Center for Advanced Care. Marked shuttle stops are located at the hospital, Parkside Center and Center for Advanced Care. Parking is free.

Yacktman Pavilion-This 55-space surface lot is located behind the Yacktman Pavilion on the east side of the Lutheran General campus. This free parking area is staffed by an attendant and reserved for Yacktman Pavilion patients. If this lot is full, you will be directed to a nearby parking area.

Emergency Department Lot-Located south of the hospital's emergency department (ED) adjacent to the back drive, this restricted lot has (number) free parking spaces reserved for emergency patients and ED visitors.

Nesset Center Lot-This 248-space lot, located in front of the Nesset Pavilion, 1775 Ballard Road, is reserved for Nesset patients and staff. Parking is free.

Valet parking-Valet parking is available in front of the hospital from 6am to 8:30pm Monday through Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday. The fee is $3 a day.

Handicapped parking-Handicapped parking is available in the valet area and in all patient and visitor parking areas for no charge.

Wheelchair assistance-Wheelchair assistance is available at the main entrance of the hospital, the Parkside Center, the emergency department, the Center for Advanced Care, and the south entrance of the Yacktman Pavilion. Call guest services at 847.723.5624 to make arrangements.

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What types of spiritual care services are available?

Chapel-The A.D. Johnson Memorial Chapel is located on the first floor near the front of the hospital at east entrance. It is open day and night for personal meditation and prayer. Regularly scheduled services include:

  • Community prayer is offered at 8:45 a.m. every Tuesday and Friday.
  • Roman Catholic Masses are held at 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3:30 p.m. Sundays in Johnson Auditorium (ground floor of the Parkside Center). Special holiday services also are scheduled throughout the year.
  • Time has been reserved from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Fridays for Muslim Jum'ah Prayer in the A.D. Johnson Chapel.

Chaplains-Mission and Spiritual Care staff chaplains are available for emotional and spiritual support and understanding 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To contact a chaplain, call 847.723.6395. In addition, a chaplain can be paged by calling the hospital operator.

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What services are available for people with special needs?

Deaf services-A qualified sign language interpreter will be provided at no charge for patients. TTY devices and closed-captioned TVs also are available. Ask your nurse to contact patient relations at ext. 6011. For volume-enhanced telephones, ask your nurse to contact support operations at ext. 6400.

 Ethics consultation service-The ethics consultation service assists clinicians, patients and their families to resolve ethical situations that may arise. An ethics consultation may help to determine if an ethical issue is present, clarify patient preferences and goals, explore alternatives and resolve conflicts. The patient and anyone involved in his or her care, including the family, surrogate or medical personnel may request an ethics consultation. Call ext. 7847 to contact the ethics consultation service or have your nurse page the ethics consultant directly.

Fitness center-The Advocate Lutheran General Fitness Center offers a variety of services to meet patients' health and fitness needs. Daily passes are available for family members and visitors to utilize the facilities. If you have questions about these programs, call ext. 6138.

Financial information-For questions about your insurance coverage, call ext. 5000 from your room or 847.723.5000 from outside the hospital.

Translators-If English is not your primary language and you need a language translator, ask your nurse to contact patient relations at ext. 6011 or the nursing supervisor.

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What are advance directives such as a living will or do not resuscitate order?

We recognize and respect your right to make health care decisions. In order to make such decisions, you have a right to be adequately informed about your medical condition, treatment alternatives, likely risks and benefits of the alternatives and possible consequences of each.

If you become unable to communicate your wishes regarding medical treatment, your doctor will try to determine what you would want if you could express yourself. Your doctor may rely on previous conversations he or she had with you regarding health care decisions. Your doctor also may rely on family members and close friends who talked to you about your wishes concerning health care.

You may choose to formally express your wishes, while you are able, in one of several advance directives (a Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care). These are written instructions that guide the actions of the medical staff, family and friends, if necessary. You may also choose to designate an agent, someone to make decisions for you when you become unable to do so. For more information regarding advance directives and their completion, contact:

  • Mission and spiritual care department (first floor East)-ext. 6395
  • Social work services department (first floor - South Building)-ext. 5475 

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What are my rights and responsibilities as a patient?

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What if I have questions about my insurance or bill?

General payment policies
All patients are financially responsible for services received at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. To assist you, we will bill your insurance company for you.

  • Please come to the hospital prepared to provide complete billing information required by your insurance company. This would include insurance cards, policy numbers, insurance billing address, claims forms, authorizations, referrals, etc. You are also required to authorize an appropriate release of information and assign payment of insurance benefits to the hospital.
  • If your medical coverage involves more than one insurance company, the hospital will bill the additional companies. Please come prepared to provide the additional insurance information as listed above.
  • If you do not present insurance information when you come to the hospital, your account will be classified as self pay, making you completely responsible for payment of your bill. You also may be asked for payment at the time of service.

Based on the insurance information provided, insurance benefits will be verified, services will be precertified, and the patient's/guarantor's financial responsibility will be estimated. (The specific outpatient insurance benefits that will be verified will depend on the type of services planned.)

If patients have less than full medical coverage, a deposit equal to the estimated non-covered portion of the services may be required upon admission/registration. Charges in excess of the estimate may be paid upon discharge. Payment of any outstanding self-pay balances for previous services also would be required. Payment may be made by cash, check or credit card. (Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover are accepted.)

Emergency treatment is never withheld based on a patient's inability to pay. If payment cannot be made in accordance with these guidelines, contact the patient accounts department at 847.723.2154. If you are admitted, you may be visited by a financial counselor to establish financial arrangements.

Financial assistance is available for victims of violent crime through provisions of the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act. Further information may be obtained by calling the hospital's financial counselors at 847.723.6163 or 847.723.6536.

Medicare
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital will bill Medicare for its Medicare patients. Medicare Part A will be billed for hospital admissions and Medicare Part B will be billed for outpatient services. If you are scheduled for outpatient services, be sure the order you have from your doctor specifies the exact test that you are to have and the medical reason for it. If you have tests that Medicare does not cover, you will be asked to sign a Medicare notice of non-coverage to signify that you have been informed and accept financial responsibility.

Payment procedure
Even though you may have health insurance, with the exception of approved Medicare, Medicaid and HMO services, the patient/guarantor is primarily responsible for payment of the hospital bill. You will receive a monthly statement notifying you of your account balance.

You are responsible for the payment of all balances due on your account within 90 days of your discharge date or date of service, regardless of whether your insurance has paid. If you have not received notice of payment from your insurance company or from the hospital, contact your insurance carrier to expedite payment.

Any amount not paid by your insurance company after 60 days will be due from you within the following 30 days.

Extended payment options
If you cannot pay your entire balance due, the hospital offers the following options to assist you:

  • Credit card payment option-Equal monthly installments ($75 minimum per month) can be charged to your credit card provided the full balance will be paid in six months or less from the date of service.
  • Check debiting option-Equal monthly installments ($75 minimum per month) can be electronically deducted from your personal checking account, resulting in full payment of the account within six months from the date of service.

Professional service billing
The hospital bill does not include charges for physician or surgeon services. For instance, if you received service in the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital's emergency department, heart station, sleep lab, pain clinic, nuclear medicine, neuroscience or respiratory care departments, you will be billed separately for the physician's fee. Also, if your treatment included the services of a radiologist, pathologist and/or anesthesiologist, you will receive a separate bill for the physician professional fee. If you are a managed care, commercial insurance or self-pay patient and received an MRI as an inpatient or as part of an emergency room visit, you will receive a separate bill from Parkside Magnetic Resonance Services, Inc.

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Who do I call with a complaint or concern?

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital's goal is to achieve excellence in every aspect of a patient's stay or a family member's visit. If a patient, family member or visiting friend has a concern, the patient relations department will facilitate the inquiry and coordinate a resolution and appropriate response with the proper hospital staff. The patient relations department is located at the east end of the front lobby and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 847.723.6011.

 

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What is the scope of services in the emergency department?

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is a Level I pediatric and adult trauma center, providing the highest level of emergency services and 24-hour specialty care to a geographic area that reaches from the northwest side of Chicago and O'Hare Airport to Aurora, Rockford and the Wisconsin border.

Skilled in handling the most complex life-threatening injuries and illnesses, all of Lutheran General's emergency physicians are board certified. The hospital's emergency department treats more than 48,000 patients each year, and serves as a resource hospital to the 12 Level II trauma centers in the region.

Lutheran General was one of the first emergency departments, and the only one in the northwest suburbs, designated by the Illinois Department of Emergency Services for Children program as being specially equipped to handle pediatric patients.

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What is the admitting process?

Upon arrival at the emergency department, patients are evaluated by registered nurses (triage personnel) who try to determine the severity of the individual's injury or condition.

  • When beds are available, patients will be brought to a bed and registered there. If no bed is available, patients will be registered in the triage area.
  • During the emergency department's busiest hours, a separate emergency treatment suite is available for pediatric patients. There also is a separate waiting room for pediatric patients and families.

Waiting time-The emergency department staff cares for patients as quickly as possible, but sometimes waiting is unavoidable, especially during busy periods when patients with life-threatening conditions/injuries require lifesaving treatments.

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What are the visiting hours and available services?

Visiting policy

  • For patient safety, privacy and confidentiality, please remain in the treatment room of the patient you are accompanying or return to the emergency department waiting area.
  • Visitors should not wait by the nursing desk or in the emergency department hallways. These areas are congested and must not be obstructed.
  • Due to space constraints, only two visitors can be accommodated per emergency patient.
  • Abusive/loud language or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
  • No weapons are allowed.
  • Do not handle any of the equipment in the treatment rooms.
  • Do not leave children unattended in the waiting area or in the emergency department treatment rooms.

Concierge-Volunteers and registrars are available in the emergency department to serve as a liaison between visitors, the patient and the medical staff. Please direct any questions, comments and concerns you may have to them. They will help you obtain or deliver information to the patient or emergency department personnel.

Smoking-As of January 1, 2005, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital became a totally smoke-free environment. Smoking is prohibited on the entire campus including parking lots.

Cell phones-Due to the special equipment used in emergency care, no cellular phones may be used in the emergency department or emergency department waiting area.

Vending machines-Vending machines and free coffee are available in the emergency department waiting area. If you are a patient, eating or drinking may impact your condition or diagnosis. Please check with the emergency department staff before eating or drinking anything. Dining facilities are available in the hospital's Top Deck cafeteria (10th floor) and the West End Grille (first floor, near the hospital's main entrance).

Physician referral-Since emergency department physicians do not have private medical practices, they can not schedule follow-up appointments with patients they see on an emergency basis. All emergency department patients who do not have a physician will be provided with the name, address and phone number of a physician for follow-up care. Physician referrals also can be obtained by calling HealthAdvisor at 1.800.323.8622 (1.800.3.ADVOCATE).

Parking-It may be difficult to find a parking space near the emergency department. Please let a department member or public safety officer know if help is needed with parking concerns.

Washrooms-Two washrooms are adjacent to the emergency department waiting area. These are accessible for individuals with disabilities. A baby changing area also is available. Let the registrar or volunteer know if you need additional diapering supplies. Patients should check with the emergency room staff before using the washroom facilities as a specimen could be required.

Telephones-Two public telephones are in the emergency department waiting area next to the washrooms and by the vending machines. A free phone also is provided on the wall in the main waiting area for local calls.

Turner Family Room-The Jon Turner Family Room is available to immediate family members of trauma patients in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). The room provides a private, quiet and relaxing atmosphere where family members can gather to rest and support each other as they remain near their loved one in the SICU. The room is available in four-hour increments.

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