An essential guide for preparing for your hospital visit
About This Topic
This topic will answer vital questions about your visit to Torrance Memorial Medical Center, including:
- Where, when and how to preregister and receive necessary pretests
- What documents are needed to preregister
- How to make financial arrangements
- Whether you may eat or drink before your procedure
- Where to check in on the day of your procedure.
In recognition that second-hand tobacco smoke causes cancer, smoking is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor areas of the medical center and its related buildings, except in designated outside smoking areas.
How do I prepare for my hospital visit?
Your physician has scheduled you to have surgery, a test or another type of inpatient or outpatient service at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. It is our goal to ensure that you have preregistered and completed all necessary pretests in advance, so when you arrive on the day of your procedure, you can check in quickly and smoothly.
If you have any questions, please call the preregistration representative at 310-517-4754.
What is preregistration?
The preregistration process consists of two steps:
||Preregistration: Answering questions necessary to complete paperwork associated with your visit to the hospital
||Pretesting: Having any laboratory tests, X-rays or other health screenings needed before your scheduled procedure.
How soon should I preregister?
You can preregister as soon as an appointment has been scheduled with the department where you will be receiving service (but no later than the day before your appointment). Your physician may do this for you or instruct you to schedule an appointment directly. If you are unsure whether an appointment has been scheduled for you, call your physician's office, or the preregistration representative and we will help you.
For your convenience, you may preregister by telephone 310-517-4754 or in person at the preregistration office located off the main lobby, first floor, main hospital. If pretesting is required however, you will need to visit the hospital and preregister at that time. Preregistration office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
What documents or information do I need to preregister?
At the time of preregistering, please have with you the following documents:
- Any forms or handouts given to you at the doctor's office, including physician orders and test results
- All insurance cards, certifications and claim forms
- Special forms of identification, such as driver's license, employee I.D., and ADVANTAGE program I.D.
The entire preregistration process will require between 30 minutes and one hour to complete, depending on what pretests you need.
How do I know what pretests I need?
During preregistration, a nurse may ask you some questions about your health and ensure that any orders from your physician have been obtained. The nurse will discuss the need for pretesting at this time. Whether you need pretests will depend on the procedure you are having and your health history. For example, an anesthesiologist may want you to have an EKG test before surgery even though the test was not ordered by the surgeon. Pretests may be completed during your preregistration visit, scheduled for another time before your procedure or performed at another testing site determined by your insurance coverage. Whenever possible, it is preferable to have pretests done before the day of your procedure to avoid delays or cancellations.
How do I register for a return visit?
If you are scheduled to return for ongoing treatment for the same condition, please let us know at the time of preregistration. We will indicate this on your account. Then, after your first visit, you may report directly to the department where you are receiving service. This account will remain active for as long as you continue your visits to the hospital on a regular basis.
How am I billed for services?
At the time of preregistration, a billing account is set up in your name. All hospital charges will be made on one bill, including itemized charges for laboratory tests, radiology (X-rays) and pharmacy items. You will receive a bill from us within 10 days of leaving the hospital.
How do I know what my insurance will cover?
All insurance plans are private contracts between patients and their insurance companies. As a courtesy, we will attempt to verify your coverage and secure payment from your insurance company, but financial responsibility for payment of the hospital bill is yours.
Please review your insurance plan carefully, as many plans require pre-admission authorization from your insurance company and/or second opinions. You are responsible for meeting these requirements to maintain your coverage.
Will I be required to pay a deposit?
When you arrive at the hospital to check in for service, please be prepared to pay the difference, if any, between your verified insurance benefits and the estimated charges for your services. Your actual charges may be more or less than the estimated charges. If they are less, you will a receive a refund.
If you do not have hospital insurance, you will be asked to pay the estimated charges for your service when you register. You may pay by cash, personal check, debit card, MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover.
Your deposit does not include your physician's charges or those of additional consulting physicians, including the anesthesiologist.
If you have any questions regarding the medical center's financial policies, your ability to pay or related concerns, call the preregistration representative.
Before Your Procedure
May I eat or drink before my procedure?
Many procedures require that you do not eat or drink several hours prior. This will be discussed with you during preregistration.
What may I bring to the hospital?
- Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home, except for cash, checkbook or credit card needed to pay your hospital deposit
- Wear comfortable clothing, low-heeled shoes and, if you are having surgery, wear no makeup. If you are having eye surgery, do not wear shirts or blouses that pull over the head
- If you use a hearing aid, bring it with you
- You may be asked to remove glasses or contact lenses before your procedure, so bring a case
- Bring a list of all prescription medication that you are currently taking.
What time do I check in?
If you are having surgery, you are generally asked to check in two hours prior to your procedure. This will depend, however, on whether all of your pretests have been completed. During preregistration, ask what time to arrive on the day of your surgical procedure. If you are having a nonsurgical procedure, please check in 15 to 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment or at the time designated by your physician.
Where do I check in for my scheduled procedure?
Depending upon the nature of the service you will be receiving, you should check in at one of the following places (which will be indicated during preregistration).
Main Lobby Registration -- (Main Lobby, first floor, east side of hospital)
Outpatient Center Registration -- (Outpatient Center, first floor, west side of hospital)
Main Lobby Registration -- (Main Lobby, first floor, east side of hospital)
--Most other outpatient services
Graziadio Radiology Center --(First floor, adjacent Emergency Department)
Where should I check in if I have not preregistered?
All patients who have not preregistered prior to the day of their procedure should check in as indicated depending on the procedure. If you are unsure, call the preregistration office at 310-517-4754.
Where do I park?
If you are checking in at the Main Lobby Registration, park in the East Parking structure or the West Parking structure off of Medical Center Drive. For your convenience, drivers may drop off patients in front of the hospital and then park in either parking structure.
If you are checking in at the West Wing Registration, take Medical Center Drive to enter the campus and park in the West Parking structure across from the West Wing. For your convenience, drivers may drop off patients in the turn-around on the south side of the West Wing and then proceed to the parking structure.
If you are checking in at the Graziadio Radiology Center, park in the East Parking structure.
Can I drive after my procedure?
Please make transportation arrangements in advance of your visit. Depending on your procedure, you may not be able to drive. If you are unsure, ask the preregistration representative or nurse. For your convenience, Torrance Memorial offers a van transportation service. For information, call 310-517-4764.
How do I check out of the hospital?
You will receive aftercare instructions concerning activity, diet and medications from your doctor and nurse. If you experience any difficulty after returning home, call your physician or the Torrance Memorial nurse at (310) 784-4887.
For those exiting from the Outpatient Center, drivers may pick up patients from the turn-around on the south side of the building.
For those exiting from the Graziadio Radiology Center, drivers may pick up patients from the patient pick-up area.
Torrance Memorial Medical Center treats all people equally without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap. The section 504 coordinator can be reached at ext. 2070.