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Phone Service Update

We are experiencing extremely high call volume related to COVID-19 vaccine interest. Please understand that our phone lines must be clear for people with urgent and acute medical care needs. Unfortunately, this means we are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this time. When this changes, we will update this web site. Read more COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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Frequently Asked Questions

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GeneralCancer ServicesSurgical Services
Patient InformationDiagnostic ServicesMothers and Babies
Visitor InformationEmergency ServicesPhysicians
Phone ListingsHeart ServicesWellness Center
Medical RecordsPsychiatric ServicesSupport HCGH / Volunteer
FormsRehab ServicesCareers

General:

  • The Hospital is located at 5755 Cedar Lane in Columbia, MD. Directions and detailed maps may be found here.
  • We do not have an outpatient clinic on our campus. However the Patient First urgent care center located at 5900 Cedar Lane south of Hickory Ridge Road is a highly respected provider of urgent care services. Johns Hopkins has partnered with Patient First since 1994. You may also go to the Physician Directory section of this site or call 410-740-7750 to get a referral to nearly 800 physicians that practice at HCGH. Outpatient services that are offered include emergency care.
  • No one is turned away from HCGH because of inability to pay. We direct patients to the Financial Counselors located in the Admitting Department who will work with you to develop a payment plan, help you apply for Medical Assistance or, if you qualify, arrange for free care.
  • Three Howard Area Transit System (H.A.T.S.) bus routes stop at the Hospital. Call 410-313-1919.
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Patient Information:

  • You should bring your driver's license, or other comparable photo identification, and your insurance card each time you are treated at the hospital.
  • No one is turned away from HCGH because of inability to pay. We direct patients to the Financial Counselors located in the Admitting Department who will work with you to develop a payment plan, help you apply for medical assistance or, if you qualify, arrange for free care.
  • Call the local American Red Cross at 1-800-452-5663 to arrange for such a donation. Any donations can be designated for you or for the Hospital at the time of giving.
  • Yes. From this Web site you can print out and complete, in advance, any of the forms available in our Hospital Forms that are applicable to your visit

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Visitor Information:

  • Gifts are allowed on all units. Flowers are allowed on all units except the Intensive Care Unit. Glass vases are not allowed in the Psychiatric Unit (1 North). A selection of flowers and gifts is available at The Right Touch gift shop located in the hospital's main lobby.  HCGH is a latex-free facility, so no latex balloons are allowed. Mylar balloons are acceptable.
  • ​Please see Visitor Information for details.

  • On most of the nursing units, children under 10 years of age may visit for 15 minutes only. This is to provide a more restful environment for our patients. In the Maternal Child Unit no visitors under 12 years of age are permitted except siblings of the newborn. In the Pediatrics Unit no visitors under the age of 18 months are permitted, and a parent of the patient must be present for anyone to visit.
  • The Maternal Child Unit, where new mothers and their babies are cared for, has strict visitor regulations to protect the health of both the newborn infants and any youngsters less than 12 years of age, who are more vulnerable to infectious disease.
  • We require everyone entering the Hospital to identify themselves and their destination within the hospital to provide a safer environment for our patients, visitors and staff.
  • The Observation Unit (formerly called Short Stay) cares for patients whose condition needs to be monitored for an extended time—up to 23 hours—to determine if it is necessary to admit the patient as an inpatient.
  • Intensive Care Unit patients have no phones in their rooms. Intensive Care Unit nurses will relay information to immediate family members only.
  • Three Howard Area Transit System (H.A.T.S.) bus routes stop at the Hospital. Call 410-313-1919 for a bus schedule.

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Departmental Phone Listings:

  • Call Patient Information at 410-740-7890.  Hospital Department Directory
  • If you are unable to find what you need in our online Physician Directory, you may call our Wellness Center for assistance at 410-740-7750.
  • Call Billing Services at 443-997-0300.
  • Call the HCGH Wellness Center at 410-740-7601 or visit the List of Screenings in the Classes section of this site.

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Medical Records:

  • See the Medical Records listing in the Patient Information section of this site.
  • This is the new name hospitals use to designate the department that holds your medical records.
  • The department is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays.
  • Howard County General Hospital does not issue birth certificates. All birth certificates are issued by the Bureau of Vital Statistics and you must apply to receive a copy and pay a fee. Visit the Vital Chek website or call Maryland Vital Records at 410-764-3038 or 1-800-832-3277.
  • Patient confidentiality prevents the hospital from giving lab results over the phone. With proper identification (photo ID) you may come to the hospital and pick them up, or request that they be sent to your physician and/or health facility.
  • Yes. From this site you can print out and complete, in advance, any of the forms located in the Hospital Forms section that are applicable to your visit.
  • C​ontact the Image Library at 410-740-7924. The image librarian will require your name and date of birth to confirm your identity to locate your exams. Please be prepared with the dates range and/or exams for which you are requesting copies. You will be asked for a date/time you wish to pick up your images. Proper identifications must be presented at the time of pick-up. Upon arrival at the hospital, proceed to the information desk and ask to be directed to the film library. It’s a short distance from the main entrance of the hospital.
  • To inspect your medical records, you can download and complete a Authorization for Release of Health Information form. Clearly specify the dates of service and/or the types of reports needed. This form may also be obtained in the H.I.M. Department or you may request to have the form mailed or faxed to you. You may return the form to the H.I.M. Department via mail, fax, or drop off. Upon receipt of your form, you will be contacted within 7-10 working days to schedule an appointment for the review.
  • Download and complete a Request to Amend My Protected Health Information. Clearly specify the date of service in question, the change to be made, and the reason for the change. This form may also be obtained in the H.I.M. Department or you may request to have the form mailed or faxed to you. You may return the completed form to the H.I.M. Department via mail, fax, or drop off.

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Cancer Services:

What kinds of support services are available for people who have been diagnosed with cancer?

There are many services available for people undergoing cancer treatment and for cancer survivors. The Claudia Mayer /  Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center provides an extensive collection of literature and information on local and regional resources such as wigs, prostheses, and make-up instruction to cancer patients. The list of support groups under the Wellness Center section of this site provides a list of community support groups for cancer patients and survivors. A listing of Howard County General Hospital doctors and specialists providing cancer treatment and services can be found in the Physician Directory section of this site.

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Diagnostic Services

  • Howard County General Hospital offers only limited outpatient diagnostic imaging services.  A full range of imaging services is available at Johns Hopkins Medical Imaging, a freestanding radiology office located at 11055 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.  Please note, medical records for outpatient tests from the Johns Hopkins Imaging office are fully integrated with the hospital’s electronic medical record, and are accessible by hospital-based providers. Please call 443-997-7237 to schedule an appointment at the Johns Hopkins Medical Imaging center or inquire about the services.
  • At the time you schedule your exam, you will be given detailed instructions about any preparation that will be needed.
  • The report of your exam provided by the radiologist will be sent to your doctor within 48-72 hours. There are occasions when your doctor asks the radiologist to compare a recent exam with a previous study. If the previous study is not immediately available, we will wait to interpret the current study until the previous exams are available.
  • Contact the Image Library at 410-740-7924. The image librarian will require your name and date of birth to confirm your identity to locate your exams. Please be prepared with the dates range and/or exams for which you are requesting copies. You will be asked for a date/time you wish to pick up your images. Proper identifications must be presented at the time of pick-up. Upon arrival at the hospital, proceed to the information desk and ask to be directed to the film library. It’s a short distance from the main entrance of the hospital.
  • It is best to check with your insurance company or call our Admitting Office at 410-740-7670 to verify that your insurance will cover services at HCGH before you schedule your test. You must always bring a written order and/or the referral form signed by your physician that gives the name of the test and the reason for the test or diagnosis, except for screening mammograms, which don't require an order.
  • All patient demographics and insurance information must be verified when you arrive. Authorization for services from the insurance company must be obtained in advance of your exam to ensure that you will not be billed.

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Emergency Services:

  • No one is turned away from HCGH because of inability to pay. We direct patients to the Financial Counselors located in the Admitting Department who will work with you to develop a payment plan, help you apply for Medical Assistance or, if you qualify, arrange for free care.
  • No, physician billing is separate from Hospital billing. All physicians that care for you during your hospital stay will issue a bill separate from the hospital bill.
  • You should use the Emergency Department when you cannot reach your primary care physician and/or are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

    Airway obstruction
    Respiratory distress
    Chest pain
    Severe abdominal pain
    Sudden severe headache
    Uncontrolled bleeding
    Sudden onset of any neurological disorder-paralysis, speech difficulties
    Change in level of consciousness.
  • The following tips should help make your trip to the Emergency Department go more smoothly:

    Call your primary care provider first, if possible.
    Bring a list of all current medications and any known allergies.
    If possible, don't bring children under the age of 12 to wait with you.
    Be prepared to wait. Unfortunately, it can take 2 to 8 hours to get the results of some tests. Also, delays can occur if a specialist must be called in.
    Please do not call the Emergency Department for medical advice because the emergency staff cannot give advice over the phone.
    Please don't bring valuables with you.
    Try to be clear about what injury or illness brought you to the Emergency Department today.
    Make sure you have money for a cab or a ride home.

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Heart Services (Cardiology):

  • We currently do not offer outpatient cardiac diagnostic testing at the hospital.
  • Admission to Cardiac Rehab is by referral from your primary care physician or cardiologist.
  • Phase I services are included in the hospital charges.
    Phase II is covered by most insurance companies - confirmation of coverage is established prior to admission to the program. A self-pay option is also available.

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Psychiatric Services:

  • No, we do not have an outpatient program at this time.
  • Information about the condition of a psychiatric patient cannot be given out.  State regulations protect the privacy rights of all psychiatric patients. The Hospital is not allowed to even confirm or deny that a patient is in the Psychiatric Unit or the Emergency Department.  Once admitted, information may be given out only if a patient has signed a release of information.  This may be a general release or specifically focused to certain persons.
  • Currently we have no detoxification or inpatient drug programs. 
  • Our Emergency Evaluation and Consult Service serves child, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients.  Our inpatient service serves patients who are 18 years of age and older with a primary psychiatric diagnosis.

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Rehabilitation Services:

  • The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at the hospital services pediatric outpatients and adult multidisciplinary outpatients needing occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and physical therapy. The department can be reached at 443-718-3000.
  • If you received the equipment while you were in the Hospital, it was furnished by a durable medical equipment (DME) vendor, not the Hospital. Call the number of the company listed on the paperwork you received while in the Hospital. If you need a replacement, you will generally need to get a physician's prescription for the equipment and contact the company. You may want to check to see if your insurance covers the item.
  • We offer a three-phase program.
    • Phase I involves initial diagnostics for patient entry into the pulmonary rehab program.
    • Phase II is designed for outpatients who are diagnosed with pulmonary disease, pre- or post-lung reduction, or lung-transplant surgery. Sessions are three days a week.
    • Phase III is our maintenance exercise program for previous graduates.
  • The frequency of treatment depends on the diagnosis, the severity of the problem, and the recommendation of the referring physician who works with our therapists to design a treatment plan for you.
  • Generally you should contact your health insurance company to determine your level of coverage and any restrictions on the use of particular home health services. For more information, call the Social Work Services Department at 410-740-7960 or 7755, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Call the Social Work Services Department at 410-740-7960 or 7755, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m

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Surgical Services:

  • The primary location for outpatient surgical procedures is The Center for Ambulatory Surgery (TCAS) in the Berman Pavilion, located next to the hospital. See Directions.
  • See the Hospital Forms in the Patient Information portion of the Patient Information section of this site.
  • You are scheduled for a pre-operative visit 1-2 weeks before your surgery at which time you will complete the pre-admission paperwork; meet with nurses from OR Admitting, Anesthesia, Rehabilitation (Occupational and Physical Therapy), and a Case Manager. A video will be shown regarding your recovery from the procedure and you will have the opportunity to discuss your individual questions.
  • No, you can have lab testing and other testing without an appointment. Make sure you bring your doctor's order for the test with you. The order must have the doctor's signature, name of the test, and the reason for the test or diagnosis.
  • In order to have any testing done, you must have a physicians order with an original signature by your doctor that gives the name of the test and the reason for the test or diagnosis. You may take that order to The Outpatient Lab in The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center during their hours of operation. On weekends, please go directly to the Admitting desk in the main lobby of the hospital. You may also pre-register with the Outpatient Center for other kinds of tests such as EKGs. For a complete listing of outpatient services, visit The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center webpage.
  • Call the local American Red Cross at 1-800-452-5663. Any donations can be designated for you or for the Hospital at the time of giving.

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Mothers and Babies:

Please visit the Mothers and Babies section of this website for a list of frequently asked questions about delivering your baby at Howard County General Hospital.

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Physicians:

How can I find a doctor nearby that has the specialty I need?
Go to the Physician Directory section of this web site or call the HCGH Physician Referral Service at 410-740-7750.

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Wellness Center:

  • Go to the Directions listing in the Classes section of this site.
  • Go to the Classes section of this site.
  • Go to Support Groups under the Classes section of this site.
  • Yes, you may register for Wellness Center classes by visiting the Classes section of this site.

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Support HCGH / Volunteer:

  • Our patients and staff greatly appreciate community donations. Please visit this page for guidelines on what we can and cannot accept. For monetary donations, please visit the Howard Hospital Foundation page.
  • Music, pet therapy and other activities can offer comfort and healing for patients. Any proposed program or activity that would take place in the hospital and involve our patients (e.g., holiday carols, musical serenade, class project) must be planned with sufficient notice for staff coordination. Please allow three weeks’ notice. Due to limited resources, we are not able to accommodate all requests. To explore a program or activity at the hospital, contact our volunteer services office at 410-884-4580.
  • You must be at least 16 years old, but there is no maximum age. Students under the age of 18 or who have not yet completed high school must submit Parental and Guidance Counselor forms as well as completing a Volunteer Application. Visit our VolunTeen page for details.
  • We request that you put in a minimum of 4 hours of service per week.
  • Volunteer positions are available in almost every department within the Hospital. A description of volunteer opportunities currently available can be found in the Volunteer Services section of this website.

  • All volunteers automatically become Auxiliary members; annual membership dues are optional.

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Careers:

Please visit the Career FAQs page.

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