Choosing a Hospital & Provider
If you have a medical emergency, you should always
go to the nearest hospital. If you don’t have a medical emergency, plan
ahead to learn which hospital will best meet your health care needs and
When you are involved in your health care, like choosing
your hospital, it can lead to better care, better results, and more satisfaction.
With more than 250 licensed hospitals across Pennsylvania,
there’s many choices for your care.
Finding the right hospital for you is a very personal choice
and may be based on a lot of factors. Use the information below to help make an
A Checklist for Choosing a Hospital
About Your Hospital Choices
About Hospital Quality
about Your Personal Needs
about Your Financial Needs
Understand Your Care
Make sure you understand the medical procedure or treatment
your doctor is recommending. Talk with your doctor about it, including:
- Why it is needed
- Other treatment options
- Risks and benefits
- Side effects
- Possible problems
- What would likely happen if
there was no treatment
In addition, ask your doctor which hospitals
have had the best results with your procedure or treatment, which hospitals
your doctor works with, if you will need a surgeon or other specialist, and
what care you will need after leaving the hospital.
Learn About Your Hospital
There are more than 250 licensed hospitals in Pennsylvania that
provide a variety of services from maternity care to cancer treatment to
specialized surgery. Each hospital may provide different services depending
upon the health care needs of the community.
You can learn more about hospitals in
Pennsylvania and the services they offer by calling them directly or by going to
their website. Use the online hospital directory to get started.
Learn About Hospital
Hospitals provide quality care by giving
patients the care and treatments that are known to get the best results.
Pennsylvania hospitals have a long-standing pledge to provide the highest level
of quality care.
Hospitals have programs to check and improve the
quality of care they provide. There are a variety of ways to learn more about hospital
- Ask your doctor
- Ask your insurance company—many insurance companies keep
records on the quality of hospitals
- Ask the hospital—most hospitals have information available
on their websites or by request
- Check with other sources—many public and private groups
offer a growing range of hospital quality reports
Consider Your Personal
When choosing which hospital is right for you, consider your
preferences, such as how far it is. For example, do you want a hospital near your
family members or friends? How far will you have to drive, especially if you
will have follow-up visits?
You may want to think about the visiting hours
or other rules that may be important to you. For example, can a relative or
someone helping with your care stay overnight in the room with you?
Finally, you may want to visit the hospital.
Call ahead and make an appointment for a tour. Ask to see a patient room or
different types of patient rooms. Have a snack or a meal in the cafeteria.
Consider Your Financial
You may want to discuss the medical procedure or
treatment with your health insurance company to make sure it is covered under
your health insurance policy.
Find out which hospitals and doctors are
covered. Ask if you need permission from your health plan (like a
pre-authorization or a referral) before you’re admitted for hospital
If you don’t have insurance, contact the
hospital before you are admitted, and ask to speak to someone about setting up
a payment plan or other resources to help with payment. Learn more about
finding insurance coverage for your care.