I have spent over two decades of my life working in senior healthcare administration in New York. During this time, I learned the ins and outs of hospitals and emergency rooms. Now, I use this knowledge to help others better navigate the healthcare system and make healthcare decisions. Here are 10 of my top tips for easing your hospital stay or emergency room visit.

  1. Emergency rooms are busiest Monday afternoons. When possible, avoid this time.
  2. There are two separate hospital bills. You will get one bill from the hospital and another from your doctor.
  3. Your anesthesiologist or NICU doctor might not take your insurance, even if the hospital does. When possible, check with your health insurance company ahead of time to make sure you are covered.
  4. You can stay overnight in the hospital without being admitted. Medicare beneficiaries are covered for some of the services if they are covered by both Part A and B, but not if they only have Medicare Part.
  5. You have a right to see your medical records. You can request your records from the hospital, but you may have to pay fees for physical copies.
  6. You can find out safety and quality information online. Compare Medicare-certified hospitals on the Medicare website.
  7. You can take notes during discharge. Information can get lost during transitions of care and can result in medical errors. We recommend you have a friend, family member or health advisor present during these transitions.
  8. Hospitals lose money if you are readmitted within 30 days. This  incentivizes the hospital to provide quality and sustainable healthcare.
  9. Private pay is not always accepted. It can seem counterintuitive, but some medical facilities are not equipped to handle private pay and will only accept payment from a health insurance company.
  10. Requesting the charge nurse can help get things done. This nurse supervises a team of nurses and facilitate communication between other healthcare providers.
  11. Many hospitals now have VIP and luxury floors. Ask the hospital about this prior to admission.


For more tips, contact the experts at Better Health Advisors.