About Your Stay at Allegheny General Hospital

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At Allegheny General Hospital, we supplement our outstanding clinical care with patient care services designed to make the patient's stay and transition home more comfortable.

Account assistance program

If you or your family member lacks the means to pay all or part of the hospital bill, please inform your admissions representative during the registration process. The representative can provide you with information regarding the Account Assistance Program.

Financial counselors are also available to explain and assist you and your family with our Account Assistance application process, along with other payment options. If you are not able to complete an Account Assistance Application during the admissions process, you may apply after your discharge by calling Billing Inquiry at (412) 442-2500.

Advance directives

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive is a set of written directions that an individual develops while he or she is able to make decisions regarding his or her care. These directions are intended for use only if the patient becomes unable to participate in the decision-making process. If you have an advance directive, it is necessary that you provide a copy to the nurse to place in your medical record.

If you do not have an advance directive, your healthcare team can use this opportunity to provide you with information about preparing one, if you desire.

Why is an advance directive important?

Many patients admitted to a hospital are seriously ill or critically injured and unable to make their healthcare wishes known. In these cases, it is important for the physician to be familiar with the patient’s wishes concerning life-saving and life-sustaining treatment. An advance directive, such as a living will or durable power of attorney, can provide this information for a patient who is unable to express his or her wishes or participate in decisions about their care. An advance directive also can be helpful to families. With the patient’s wishes clearly expressed, loved ones often do not need to make difficult decisions regarding the patient’s medical care.

What kind of information is contained in an advance directive?

A living will should specify what life-saving or life-sustaining treatments the patient wants, as well as those he or she does not want and under what circumstances treatment should be withheld. For example, a patient may specify that artificial ventilation should be used if the chances of recovery are good. The patient also may specify that artificially ventilation should not be used if there is little or no chance of recovery.

What is the physician’s involvement in developing an advance directive?

Because the doctor will carry out the patient’s wishes regarding medical care, he or she should be actively involved in helping the patient develop an advance directive. A firm understanding of the patient's wishes will help the physician to clearly provide information, give professional advice and effectively communicate the risks and benefits of various treatment options.

Does an advance directive replace the physician’s judgment?

An advance directive is not designed to replace the physician’s judgment; rather, it is designed to help your doctor make treatment recommendations and decisions in a manner consistent with the patient’s wishes.

If a patient is critically ill and cannot participate in the decision making process regarding his or her own medical care, how does the family know what treatments the patient would want? 

If the family members know that the patient has developed an advance directive, it is their responsibility to provide a copy of the document to the doctor for inclusion in the patient’s medical record. If the patient has not executed an advance directive or if the family is uncertain, the family should discuss concerns about life-sustaining treatment with the physician, who can explain the risks, benefits and likely outcome of each treatment.

Who can provide more information and brochures about advance directives?

Call the Allegheny General Hospital Department of Social Work Services at (412) 359-4765 for more information on advance directives.

Assisting in your healthcare

Safety in your care delivery is enhanced by your involvement as a partner in the healthcare process.

Ask Questions

Consider bringing a family member, friend or caregiver with you during your admission. They may make you more comfortable, and can remind you of questions that need to be asked, as well as remember any instructions you may receive. Feel free to ask as many questions as necessary to understand and actively participate in the direction of your care.

Talk with Members of Your Healthcare Team

Your team includes a number of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, case managers, therapists, pharmacists, technicians and others. In a teaching hospital such as Allegheny General, residents and medical students are also members of your healthcare team. Every person on your team plays an active role in your care. Feel free to ask them questions about your care and express your values and preferences. All members of your healthcare team wear name badges to identify who they are and their job title.

Identify yourself

While in the hospital, you may travel to many departments throughout your stay, and you may be seen by many different doctors, nurses or other practitioners. As a partner in your healthcare, you should identify who you are and why you are there. When undergoing a particular procedure (such as surgery or an X-ray), please feel comfortable confirming the site of the procedure.

Understand your medical condition

An important part of assisting your healthcare provider is understanding your medical condition. If you don’t understand your condition, prescribed medical tests and/or treatments, please discuss them with your healthcare provider. Feel free to ask what may have caused the condition, how long it will last and how to get more information. If you don’t understand a medical test, such as a blood test or X-ray, ask your doctor or nurse to explain why it is important. Additionally, ask the doctor to explain the results and what they mean. The patient and family are responsible for outcomes if they do not follow the care, service or treatment plan.

Know your medications

When being admitted to the hospital, bring a list of all medications you are currently taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements, as well as the amount of each you take and any side effects or reactions you have experienced from them. In the hospital, you may begin taking medications that are different from those you were taking prior to your admission. It is important to understand what medications you are taking while you are in the hospital and why you are taking them. You should also know what they look like, what dosage they are, what times you are to take them, as well as their potential side effects. You should ask questions about your medications if they are unfamiliar to you.


Once you leave the hospital, you may be taking one or more new medications or different dosages of the medications you were taking prior to your hospital stay. It is important to understand the name, dosage, frequency and side effects of each medicine your doctor prescribes. In addition, you may want to discard your old medications to reduce your risk of taking the wrong one or wrong dosage. Please address any questions or concerns with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Understand any instructions you are given

When you leave the hospital, you will be given a list of instructions to follow. Following these instructions is important. Make sure the information is understandable to you and/or your caregiver.

Automated teller machines

Automated Teller Machines are located near the entrance to Cafe Allegheny on the second floor of the Snyder Pavilion (inpatient hospital) and on the first floor near the James Street Parking Garage elevators. A change machine is located on the second floor of Snyder Pavilion by the vending machines.



Charges for your Allegheny General hospitalization depend on the length of stay and services rendered. A daily room charge is assessed for room and board services. Laboratory tests, radiology procedures, physical therapy, operating rooms and other services, as well as any special supplies, result in additional charges.

A complete hospital bill may not be available when you are discharged. An informational statement will be forwarded to you when the final bill is complete.

Allegheny General will submit a claim to your insurance carrier. Your carrier usually will provide you with an explanation of benefits (EOB) that shows amounts paid to the hospital. If your account is not paid in full, you may be billed for the outstanding balance.

If you have questions regarding hospital bills during your stay, please contact your admissions representative. If you have questions after you are discharged, please call Hospital Billing at (412) 442-2500 or toll-free at 1-800-547-0540.


In addition to hospital services,