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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Call the Allegheny General Hospital Department of Social Work Services at (412) 359-4765 for more information on advance directives.
Safety in your care delivery is enhanced by your involvement as a partner in the healthcare process.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, you will receive services from physicians during your stay at Allegheny General. These physicians will bill you or your insurance carrier separately for services provided. Besides your attending physician, you may receive bills from a radiologist (if you have X-rays), cardiologist (if you have an EKG), surgeon and anesthesiologist (if you have surgery), and any consulting physicians.
Voluntary blood donation is vital to our hospital, which uses more than 50,000 blood products annually. Allegheny General depends on Central Blood Bank of Pittsburgh for blood products. You can schedule a blood donation at any of the following locations:
Bloodless medicine refers to medical care that does not involve the use of blood or blood products. You may seek bloodless medical care for yourself or your child for such reasons as a deeply religious personal belief.
Because of increased awareness of the risks associated with blood transfusions and a shortage of blood and blood products, researchers have developed medical and surgical interventions that reduce or eliminate the need for transfusions. These innovations range from simple changes in medical practice, such as avoiding excessive pre-operative blood sampling, to complex technology that recycles blood that is shed during surgery. Because of its complexity, bloodless medicine relies on a healthcare team that includes doctors, nurses, laboratory staff and support staff specifically trained to care for and respect a patient’s right to non-blood medical management. Allegheny General offers some of the latest technology to meet the challenges of bloodless medicine and surgery.
A BMS Coordinator is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer your questions and discuss your concerns regarding Allegheny General’s bloodless medicine care. The Coordinator can be reached toll-free at 1-877-284-2100 or can be paged through the hospital operator at (412) 359-3131.
The coordination of your care and discharge planning are interdisciplinary processes, which include you, your family/significant other, your doctor and other clinical staff who participate in the delivery of your care. Shortly after your admission to the hospital, your bedside nurse will perform an initial assessment which includes a discussion of your past medical history, your current health status, your wellness needs and your needs for discharge planning. A Clinical Case Manager will review this information and may visit you to discuss your care needs and discharge planning if indicated or requested.
If you have any questions regarding your hospital stay and/or discharge planning, you are encouraged to discuss these concerns with your doctor. Additionally, you may ask your bedside nurse to refer you to a Clinical Case Manager or call Case Management directly at (412) 359-3434.
Patient payments may be made at the Cashier’s Office, located on the first floor in the Main Lobby of the Snyder Pavilion. In addition, valuables may be kept at the Cashier’s Office during your stay.
The Financial Cashier Office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Payments may be made to the Parking Office cashier window anytime, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
Each day, a Patient Hostess from the Food and Nutrition Services Department will visit you to collect your food selections. Lunch selections will be gathered in the morning, while dinner and the following day’s breakfast selections will be collected in the afternoon. You should inform your nurse or physician of any dietary restrictions you may have. The Food and Nutrition Services Department also will make every effort to offer foods that conform to your religious preference.
Food and Nutrition Services provides guest trays to patients’ family members. Guest trays are available for all meals by request for $4.50 a meal. To request a guest tray, please call the Dietary Office at (412) 359-3632 between 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM or simply inform your nurse of the items you would like to have brought to your room. The staff will provide a listing of available menu options for the day, and the tray will be delivered to the patient’s room during the next scheduled meal period. The guest tray charge will appear on the final patient bill.
The staff provides 4-inch cakes to patients on their birthdays or anniversaries. Please ask your nurse to order a cake at least 24 hours before your special day.
For your convenience, on the day of discharge, family or friends picking up patients are directed to park in the second entrance on Sandusky Street, which is marked “Outpatient Entrance.” They will be directed to parking accommodations and receive a parking ticket.
Upon returning to the garage with your patient, please stop at the Cashier/Information Desk in the Outpatient Lobby where, upon presenting your discharge papers, you will have the parking ticket validated. Service associates and attendants are available at all times to provide directions and assistance.
Many of our patients and families ask how they can make a donation to Allegheny General Hospital. You may make a gift to create a lasting memorial to a loved one or to honor a deserving employee, physician or department.
There are many ways to give to Allegheny General Hospital through the Office of Fund Development. For more information about donating, please call the office at (412) 359-5110, or you can make your donation online by clicking here.
Allegheny General has a Code of Ethics and related policies and procedures to address ethical issues. These policies and procedures are available on request to all patients and family members. The patient or family member may directly consult the Ethics Committee regarding ethical questions related to treatment decisions.
Allegheny General operates a comprehensive Fire Safety Program throughout the hospital using sophisticated fire-detection and suppression equipment. This program requires that all hospital employees participate in an ongoing educational program on how to deal effectively with fire-related emergencies. Fire stations are only a few blocks away from the hospital and respond quickly to any potential fire. Allegheny General also maintains an internal Emergency Response Team that is trained to respond to fire emergencies.
Periodic fire drills are conducted to monitor the hospital staff’s ability to react appropriately to fire emergencies. Should you hear the fire alarm followed by a recorded message, please do not worry; it is probably a staff fire drill. Hospital staff members are required to close the door leading into your patient room during all fire drills.
If you smell smoke or an unusual odor, please notify any of the hospital staff. If you see smoke or fire, please do the following:
In an actual fire emergency, patients are instructed to stay in their rooms with the doors closed to keep out fire and smoke. In the unlikely event of a fire that produces excessive smoke, towels or other linen soaked with water and placed at the foot of the door leading to the corridor will help prevent smoke from entering patient rooms. Because the hospital is equipped with an engineered smoke-control system, windows must always remain closed. You will receive additional instructions on what to do in a fire emergency from a member of the hospital staff, Emergency Response Team or the fire bureau/department.
Flowers, mylar balloons and packages will be delivered directly to your room. Flowers and/or plants are not permitted on the critical care unit because they present a potential hazard to patients with lowered resistance to infection. Flowers or plants for patients on these units will be returned to the florist, who will contact the sender.
Latex and rubber balloons are not permitted in any area of Allegheny General’s campus because of the associated risks involving children and severe allergic reactions to latex. If these types of balloons are delivered for a patient, they will be returned to the florist, who will contact the sender.
If you have questions about what gifts are allowed to be delivered to your room, please ask your nurse or doctor.
Cafe Allegheny, AGH's cafeteria, is located on the second floor of Snyder Pavilion.
The Grand Grounds Coffee Cart is located in the main lobby on the first floor of Snyder Pavilion, near the Allegheny General Hospital Gift Shop.
The Allegheny General Hospital Gift Shop is located in the main lobby on the first floor of Snyder Pavilion.
The Cancer Center Gift Shop is located on the second floor of the Allegheny Cancer Center near the James Street Parking Garage entrance and Allegheny Cancer Center Cafe.
For hours of operation or more information about the dining facilities at Allegheny General Hospital, please visit our lodging and dining information page.
Snack and soda vending machines are located on most floors in the Snyder Pavilion, as well as in the Emergency Department waiting area, trauma waiting area and outside the SICU waiting room. A food vending machine, microwave oven, snack machine and soda machine are located at the entrance to Cafe Allegheny. All of these machines are accessible 24 hours a day.
The Gift Shop at Allegheny General Hospital offers a variety of gifts, flowers, novelty items, mylar balloons, jewelry, greeting cards, magazines, snacks, beverages and more. Need fresh flowers or a helium balloon bouquet delivered to a patient or employee? Call the friendly staff at the Gift Shop at (412) 359-3168 and they will assist with your selection and deliver it within the hour.
Located on the first floor of the main lobby in the Snyder Pavilion, the Gift Shop is open 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday and 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and Sunday.
Similar but condensed merchandise can also be found in our Cancer Center Gift Shop, located on the second floor of the Cancer Center, open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM.
Please let your nurse know if you have a hearing impairment. The services listed below are available to our hearing-impaired patients, free of charge. Please let your nurse know if you need any of these services during your hospital stay.
Personal amplifiers - Personal amplifiers are generic amplification devices that can be used by individuals with a mild to severe hearing impairment to improve communication.
Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDD) - A TDD is a telephone system that allows a deaf individual to communicate by telephone by typing a message and receiving information in the same way.
Closed-caption television decoder - A decoder displays captions of the television soundtrack on the viewer’s television screen.
Sign language interpreter - Certified sign language interpreters can be scheduled to help with communication between deaf patients and medical staff.
If any additional services are required to help you with effective communication during your stay, please discuss with your nurse and request a Social Work Services consultation.
Allegheny Home Care provides comprehensive home-health services for patients requiring care after discharge. Home Care personnel can provide medical services and supplies and arrange for health equipment to be delivered to your home. Your doctor can order these services for you. For more information about Home Care, call (412) 665-3555.
Forbes Hospice provides end-of-life care for patients from all of our hospitals, with the mission of preserving dignity in the last stages of life through state-of-the-art care for patients and families and supporting education and research to advance the delivery of care for the terminally ill.
Forbes Hospice provides hospice and palliative home care for Allegheny, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Forbes Hospice nurses provide comfort, care and support in conjunction with counselors, chaplains and home health aides, and are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A hospice inpatient nursing unit is available for those who aren’t able to be cared for at home.
If you are currently in the hospital and have questions about Forbes Hospice, please contact the clinical case manager assigned to your care. If you are no longer in the hospital, please call 1-800-381-8080 for more information.
Short-term inpatient hospice care is also available at Allegheny General Hospital. Please ask your case manager about this service.
To protect our youngest patients, AGH implemented the Infant/Child Abduction Program.
Inpatient pediatric units are equipped with electronic monitoring devices and all visitors to these units are required to obtain ID badges daily to gain entry. During normal visiting hours, ID badges can be obtained at the Information Desk, located on the first floor in the Main Lobby of the Snyder Pavilion. After 8:30 p.m., ID badges are distributed by the Security Department, also located on the first floor of the Snyder Pavilion.
Parents will be provided with written and verbal information on infant/child security upon admission to any Pediatric Units. Parents should remain alert and report any unusual behavior to their doctor or nurse or contact the Security Department at (412) 359-3193.
The Integrative Medicine Program is dedicated to integrating the best conventional and natural healing practices to strengthen the health and well-being of the patients it serves.
The program is respectful of the emotional, social, spiritual and physical dimensions of health and illness. The Integrative Medicine Program intends to further advance the acceptance of this new blend of medicine in the medical and scientific communities. By blending together the very best from modern medicine along with self-healing strategies and wisdom from ancient practices, our hope is to help you live a more peaceful and healthier life.
Some of the Integrative Medicine Program's services include:
For more information about the Integrated Medicine Program at Allegheny General Hospital, call (412) 359-8951.
Pathology and laboratory medicine play an essential role in patient care. Our laboratory takes pride in offering the highest quality services to both inpatients and outpatients.
The laboratory offers a network of community-based Patient Service Centers for patient specimen collection, including sites on the North Side and in Wexford, West Mifflin, Gibsonia and Kennedy Township. We transmit results to AGH physicians via our laboratory information system to efficiently provide rapid results required for your care. For directions to and hours of operation for these centers, call Laboratory Client Services at (412) 359-3542.
The AGH Laboratory Outreach Program meets the needs of patients in the community by serving each of our hospitals, as well as area medical offices and nursing homes. Quality is maintained through the extensive use of quality control samples, proficiency testing and other quality monitors combined with professional oversight and review.
In this time of rapid change in our healthcare delivery system, we stand ready to assist you by providing diagnostic laboratory services of excellent quality with most results available within 24 hours.
Volunteers circulate a used book/magazine cart throughout the nursing units and waiting rooms for your reading enjoyment. If you miss the cart, you may call the Volunteer Services Office at (412) 359-3067.
Books can be returned directly to the cart. If you do not see the volunteer before you are discharged, return all books to the Volunteer Services Office on the first floor of the South Tower, near the James Street Parking Garage information desk.
There are a variety of hotels located near Allegheny General Hospital, as well as apartments available for weekly or monthly rental. For a complete listing of these lodging options, please visit our Lodging and Dining page.
For traveling throughout the city and neighboring communities, the following companies offer public transportation options for you and your loved ones:
Mail is delivered once a day, Monday through Friday, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Friends and relatives should use the following format when sending any mail to your room:
Your full name
Allegheny General Hospital
320 E. North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
To send mail, give cards and letters to the nurse on your unit, who will place them in the mail drop.
Family and friends can also send an eCard (an electronic greeting card) to any AGH patient. Choose from Get Well, Thinking of You, New Baby or Holiday greeting covers and then include your personal message. Ecards are printed and personally delivered by volunteers Monday through Friday within 24 hours of receipt, except holidays. The patient eCard service is provided free of charge.
To request copies of your medical records after discharge, you can call the Medical Records Correspondence Section at (412) 359-4234. They will send you an authorization for release of medical information that you will need to complete and return. Medical Records will then send the copies to the facility or person specified on the authorization form.
There is no fee for release of information to physicians or healthcare facilities for continuation of patient care; however, there is a fee associated with copies for personal use. Medical Records can discuss these fees with you when you call to request the release of your records.
A notary public is available for patients and families by appointment. If you require a notary public’s service for medical or discharge purposes only, please call (412) 359-4765 to arrange an appointment through the Social Work Services Department.
The Pain Management Center at Allegheny General Hospital provides comprehensive pain management services for patients throughout western Pennsylvania. The Pain Management Center provides patients with easy access to the medical specialties they need to receive comprehensive pain management treatments. Our clinical services include evaluation and medical management of pain disorders.
These services may be suggested by your doctor either after surgical procedures fail to completely relieve your pain or when conservative treatments fail prior to considering surgery. An appointment with our pain management specialists requires a physician’s referral.
Patients who must park their vehicle in the garage during their hospitalization will receive a discounted rate. Please call the Parking Department at (412) 359-6455 prior to your discharge. Reduced parking is available for family members of patients who have been in the hospital for more than 14 days. Your family members can receive reduced parking at the Cashier’s Office, located in the main lobby on the first floor of Snyder Pavilion.
During your stay at Allegheny General Hospital, you may need help to tap those spiritual and personal resources necessary to maintain your sense of faith, hope and well-being. Through the Pastoral Care Department, chaplains are available to minister to the spiritual and emotional needs you and your family have at this time.
Chaplains are trained counselors who work as part of your healthcare team. They understand that your spiritual and emotional well-being play an important part in your overall health. The chaplain will respect your own faith and will not impose his or her beliefs or religious practices. When you or your family have spiritual concerns or worries, desire the sacraments of your faith, or just need someone to talk to or pray with, feel free to ask your doctor or nurse for the chaplain.
To request pastoral services during the day, you may call directly from your room by dialing extension 4269. On evenings, nights and weekends, ask your nurse to page the chaplain on-call. If you desire a visit from a clergy member of a particular faith or from your own pastor, priest or rabbi, the Pastoral Care Department will assist you in contacting them.
Chaplains are available for pastoral counseling. You or your family may make an appointment in person or by calling Pastoral Care at extension 4269.
Spiritually supportive programming can be found on channel 48 on Allegheny General’s television system.
Our chapel is located on the first floor of Snyder Pavilion near the information desk. It is open at all times for prayer and meditation to people of all faiths. Prayer requests may be written in a book in the front of the chapel. Prayer requests also may be called in to Pastoral Care; these will be acknowledged during worship services.
Please consult the bulletin board posted outside the chapel for the worship service schedule. Congregations in the area also welcome visitors. A list of places of worship, times of services and directions is available at the information desk in the lobby.
If you would like a Bible, rosaries or religious and inspirational literature, please stop by the Weisbrod Memorial Chapel or call the Pastoral Care office at extension 4269. All material on display is free of charge. Tune into channel 14, the Spirituality and Relaxation Channel on the hospital television, for spiritually supportive programming.
The admission process is an important part of your hospitalization at Allegheny General Hospital. Through it, we gather vital information for your medical records and your insurance carrier. We also ask about your carrier’s second surgical opinion or precertification requirements. We then can help you meet those requirements. If your insurance carrier requires precertification, you should call your carrier before admission or within 24 hours of an emergency admission to avoid a financial penalty. After we obtain your insurance information, we verify coverage with your insurance carrier.
Part of Allegheny General’s mission is to provide necessary healthcare services, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Our financial counselors are prepared to help you if you are experiencing financial difficulty. They will attempt to identify any charges that may not be covered by your insurance carrier and arrange an appropriate payment schedule for you. If you do not have insurance or your coverage is limited, our financial counselors can identify other programs that may assist you. (Please refer to the section titled “Account Assistance Program.")
If your hospital admission was scheduled in advance, an admissions representative may already have your insurance information. If your hospital admission was not scheduled in advance, it will be necessary for us to review your demographic and insurance information at the time of admission or as soon thereafter as possible.
If you have not spoken with an admissions representative, please call Patient Access Services at (412) 359-6477. Our representatives will be able to answer any questions regarding your insurance coverage.
Educational materials about a variety of diagnoses, procedures and treatments are available to patients and families. Ask your nurse or physician if there is information available that describes your particular medical condition, diagnosis, treatment or procedure.
A patient representative helps patients seek solutions to problems, identify concerns and address unmet needs. Shortly after admission, a patient representative may visit you. If you have any questions, problems or unmet needs, ask a staff member for help or call your patient representative at (412) 359-3233, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has determined that patients have a right to access their laboratory test results. Allegheny General Hospital Laboratory prefers that patients call their physician to obtain their test results so that the patient and physician have an opportunity to discuss the results.
Patients may, however, request their test results by calling Client Services at (412) 359-3542. Patients will be asked to sign an authorization for release of protected health information, and laboratory policy may restrict the handling of certain tests. Laboratory staff will refer the patient to his or her physician for an interpretation of the test results.