Frequently Asked Questions

If your question was not featured below, please contact your local location for more information.

Blood Assurance Program Questions

  • Does it hurt to donate blood?

    Very little. With just a slight bit of discomfort, you will be helping someone who is hurting a great deal. During the Medical Screening, there is a finger stick, which is like poking your finger with a pin. Most donors confess that this is the worst part. The actual donation is only a slight pinch, but should not be very painful. One of our donors said: “Take your right hand and pinch the inside of your left arm as hard as you can. Donating blood hurts less than that!”

  • How old do I have to be?

    Donors must be at least 16 years of age with parental consent. There is no upper age limit.

  • Will I find out what type of blood I have?

    Yes.

  • How often can I donate?

    Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, or up to 6 times a year.

  • Should I eat before I donate?

    Yes. Donors are encouraged to eat a low-fat meal at least 4 hours before donating blood. It is also recommended that you drink plenty of fluids before your appointment as well.

  • How does my body make blood?

    Blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Each red blood cell lives for almost 120 days before it wears out and is replaced by a new one. Your body recycles platelets every 5 days. Your body is continually producing and replacing blood cells, thus making it very safe for you to donate the small portion that we need.

  • How much blood do I have and how much do you take?

    A good rule of thumb is that blood usually accounts for 7% of your total body weight. The average person has between 10 to 12 pints of blood in circulation at any given time. We will be taking 450ml (one pint), which your body will begin to replenish immediately.

  • Do we need you?

    Yes, we do. Approximately 450 pints of blood per month, or about 5600 pints per year, are needed here in the Orangeburg-Calhoun area alone. Most of our blood needs at the Regional Medical Center are supplied by members of the Blood Assurance Program. Nature has made it easy for us to give blood. An average person has 10-12 pints of blood in their body. Normally, it does not affect a person to give a pint of blood. The blood volume is replaced quickly in a few hours.

  • The Blood Assurance Program depends on voluntary blood donors. It takes only a little time and a little effort to assure that blood will be available for you and your family when you need it. Those individual members in good standing who have donated two or more gallon of blood will be issued life membership. Such a membership insures coverage for the member and his or her dependents for life should the member become an ineligible donor due to age or physical conditions. Those members who have chosen to cover additional families will be issued life memberships on a one family per each additional two-gallon donation. Incidentally, this coverage extends to almost every city in the United States through the Regional Medical Center affiliation with the American Association of Blood Banks.

  • Blood Facts

  1. Blood makes up about 7 percent of your body’s weight
  2. Just one pint of blood can help save the lives of several people
  3. Platelets help blood to clot and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live
  4. There is no substitute for human blood
  5. Much of today’s medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors
  6. Volunteers provide nearly all of the nation’s blood supply for transfusion
  7. Every three seconds someone needs blood
  8. Approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States
  9. Shortages of all types of blood often occur during the summer and winter holidays
  10. 60% of the population of the United States is eligible to donate, yet only 5 percent nationally do so.
  11. If all blood donors gave at least twice a year, it would greatly strengthen the nation’s blood supply
  12. Anyone who is in good health, is at least 16 years old, and weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days
  13. Blood donation takes four steps: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks
  14. The actual blood donation takes 5 to 10 minutes. The entire process from when you sign in to the time you leave, takes about 45 minutes to one hour.
  15. You cannot get AIDS or any other blood disease by donating blood
  16. A heart surgery uses an average of six pints of red blood cells and six pints of platelets
  17. The average liver transplant patient needs 40 pints of red blood cells, 30 pints of platelets, 20 bags of cryoprecipitate, and 25 pints of fresh frozen plasma
  18. The average bone marrow transplant requires 120 pints of platelets and about 20 pints of red blood cells
  19. If you began donating blood at the age of 16 and donated every 56 days until you reached the age of 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood
  20. One out of every 10 patients entering a hospital needs blood

Back to Top

Hospitalists Questions

  • When will the doctor see me?

    RMC hospitalists are present or on-call for the hospital full time and are available to take care of emergencies 24 hours a day, every day. This on-site advantage offers you prompt scheduling of tests, treatment of your condition and availability of a physician. Hospitalists make rounds according to patient needs, usually between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

  • Can family speak to the hospitalist?

    When hospitalists make rounds (7 a.m. until 5 p.m.), family may ask questions about your care at that time, or, for the convenience of your family, a specified conference time may be arranged.

  • What if I need another specialist during my stay?

    RMC hospitalists will refer you to the appropriate specialist if necessary. Again, your primary care physician, if you have one, will be informed.

  • What happens when I’m discharged?

    Your care will be transferred to your primary care physician when you are discharged from the hospital. A summary report about your hospitalization, which will include a diagnosis, test results and a treatment plan, will be sent to your primary care physician.

Back to Top

Pediatric Hospitalists Questions

  • What is a Pediatric Hospitalist?

    A pediatric hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the area of hospitalized infants and children (up to age 17). Pediatric hospitalists are medical doctors who have at least four years of medical school and three years of pediatric residency training. Pediatric hospitalists do not maintain a private outside practice, so their time is devoted solely to caring for hospitalized pediatric patients. Pediatric hospitalists work with the patient’s primary care physician or pediatrician involved in the patient’s care. If there is a significant change in the patient’s condition, a pediatric hospitalist will update the patient’s physician. When the patient is discharged or transferred from the hospital, a pediatric hospitalist will give the patient’s physician an overview of the patient’s hospital stay and detailed instructions for any necessary additional care.

  • What happens when a pediatric patient is admitted to the hospital?

    The patient’s primary care physician or pediatrician calls an RMC pediatric hospitalist to inform him/her of the patient’s condition and sends records to the hospital to provide needed information about the patient’s illness. The patient’s physician has requested that a pediatric hospitalist be in charge of managing the patient’s care while in the hospital.

  • When will the doctor see the patient?

    RMC’s pediatric hospitalists are present or on-call and are available to take care of pediatric emergencies and admissions 24 hours a day, every day, including holidays. This on-site advantage offers patients prompt scheduling of tests, treatment of conditions and availability of a pediatric specialist/pediatrician. Pediatric hospitalists make rounds according to patients’ needs, usually between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

  • What if family wants to speak to the Pediatric Hospitalist?

    When pediatric hospitalists make rounds (7:00 am - 5:00 pm), do not hesitate to ask questions about the patient’s care at that time, or, for the convenience of the family, a specified conference time may be scheduled through the patient’s nurse. We encourage parents to communicate openly with our staff, and tell us how we can best serve their physical and emotional needs. Be involved in your child’s care. Take the opportunity of your child’s admission to ask questions and learn about your child’s illness and what you can do to prevent a recurrence, if possible, or how to treat the illness if it happens again.

  • What happens when the patient is discharged from RMC?

    The child’s care will be transferred back to the child’s primary care physician or pediatrician when discharged from the hospital. A summary report about the child’s hospitalization, which will include a diagnosis, test results and a treatment plan, will be sent to the child’s physician.

  • What if the pediatric patient does not have a regular pediatrician?

    If a pediatric patient is discharged from the hospital and does not have a primary care physician or pediatrician, the pediatric hospitalist will work with discharge planners to refer to and forward medical records to a physician or community clinic for follow-up care.

Back to Top

Laboratory Questions

  • How do I get my results?

    Test results are mailed directly to the patient using the address given on the order form. Results are usually mailed within two business days of the day that the test was completed.

  • Are there extra fees for collecting, processing or enrolling?

    No. There are no extra fees. The total cost of each test will be collected at the time of registration. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Insurance will not be filed.

  • Will the Regional Medical Center send a copy of the results to my physician?

    No. All results will go directly to the patient. The patient will need to take the results to their physician at their next appointment.

  • How can the Regional Medical Center offer these tests at low rates?

    Since payments for lab tests are collected up front by cash or credit card, there are no costs of processing insurance claims, invoicing, collecting and other paperwork. So the cost savings is passed on to the patient with low-cost tests.

  • Can the lab staff explain the results to me?

    No. Patient Requested Lab Tests are not a substitute for medical care from a physician. You are encouraged to share the results with your regular physician.

  • If I do not have a physician, what do I do?

    Call the Regional Medical Center's Physician Referral Line at 803-395-4631 to find out which physicians are accepting new patients in our area.

  • Is there a minimum age requirement to participate in this program?

    Yes. As a general rule, a person must be at least 18 years of age to request testing without being accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  • May I take a copy of the lab results to my physician?

    Yes. Your lab report is completely official. It is recorded in the Regional Medical Center's lab computer files and will include all of the standard data that physicians typically expect to see with lab result information. The Regional Medical Center will send you a report of your results, and if you wish, you may take them to your physician at your next office visit.

  • What if some of the test numbers are too low or too high?

    All test results will be reviewed, and if the patient’s results are significantly abnormal, the patient will receive a call recommending that he/she seek medical care. The Regional Medical Center suggests that you follow up with your physician to best understand your results.

Back to Top

Patient-Centered Medical Home Questions

  • Do I have to pay for care coordination services to be part of Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH)?

    No. Being part of PCMH is a benefit that you receive simply by being a patient. Receiving specific PCMH services, such as telephone calls from a Patient Care Coordinator who has been assigned to help manage your care, is determined by patients’ health plans. A patient’s employer or managed care plan, such as South Carolina Medicaid, can request additional services for those they provide with health insurance. Some private health insurance plans may also include added PCMH benefits.

  • Why is “Care Coordination Services” showing up on my health insurance Explanation of Benefits (EOB)?

    Any services or benefits provided through your health insurance plan are listed on an Explanation of Benefits. Care Coordination through PCMH is provided at no cost to you, whether it appears on an EOB or not. The insurance company has contracted with the Regional Medical Center for those services on your behalf, but neither the Regional Medical Center nor your health insurance company will ever try to collect from you for these services. Because of this, any cost that is listed on an EOB for the PCMH or Care Coordination services will not go toward a patient’s health plan deductible.

Back to Top

Online Bill Pay Questions

  • What is the billing process at the Regional Medical Center?

    Review the steps below for basic billing procedures. If you have any questions, please contact the Regional Medical Center’s (RMC) Patient Account Services Office located in the hospital near the Patient Registration Entrance.

  • Step 1
    The patient receives services at the Regional Medical Center.

  • Step 2
    Based on the insurance information provided at time of registration, RMC’s Patient Account Services Office begins the billing and collection processes and sends the statement electronically to the insurance provider.

  • Step 3
    The insurance company determines the payment amount, the patient’s responsibility and pays the hospital accordingly. The hospital repeats the billing process with secondary insurance if applicable. Once insurance payment process is complete, the hospital bills the patient.

  • Delays occur when the insurance company does not resolve the account balance in a timely manner. RMC’s Patient Account Services Office follows up with the insurance companies if they have not paid. The patient may receive a letter or phone call asking for assistance in getting his/her claim paid. Most frequently, the insurance company needs additional information from the patient before processing the claim. It is very important for a patient to respond promptly to any insurance inquiry.

  • How can I pay the balance of my bill?

    The Regional Medical Center offers several ways to pay your bill. Payments may be made with cash or check. We also accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover charge cards. If you cannot pay the balance of your bill, monthly payment options are available.

  • Where can I pay my bill?

    Payments are accepted at RMC's Patient Account Services Office located in the hospital near the Patient Registration Entrance. You can also pay online by clicking this secure link and filling out the Online Bill Pay form.

  • What if I cannot pay my bill?

    Contact Patient Account Services, 803-395-2257 or 1-800-476-3377, ext. 2257, to inquire about financial assistance or payment plans. Or click here for RMC's Financial Assistance webpage.

  • Why is there so much time between the date of service and when the patient first receives a bill?

    Your bill begins its journey through the payment system almost immediately after discharge or receiving services. Multiple steps must be accomplished before initiating a patient’s bill. Insurance providers first must evaluate each claim and issue payment before the Regional Medical Center can provide an accurate bill showing patient amount due. Some other factors that may contribute to a delayed billing are longer length of stay than expected, seriousness of illness, or patient treatment. In general, most bills are issued to the primary insurance within 5-10 days once the primary insurance pays. The secondary insurance (if applicable) is billed within 1-2 days after receiving payment.

  • Why do I receive several bills as the result of one hospital encounter?

    If you have certain tests or procedures during your hospital service, you will receive multiple bills. For instance, if you have surgery which requires pathology services, you will receive a bill for professional interpretation fees from the physician (pathologist) who evaluates the sample, as well as a bill from the hospital for technical services including operating room time and other outpatient or inpatient services. You also will receive a bill from the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Likewise, diagnostic imaging (X-ray) services (such as mammography) result in a bill from the radiologist for professional interpretation fees as well as a bill from the hospital for technical service fees.

  • Why are the Emergency Department charges so high?

    Services offered through the Emergency Department of any hospital are typically among the most costly healthcare services available. Although Emergency Departments are sometimes used to deliver non-emergent care (for example an earache which develops on weekends or holidays), Emergency Departments must maintain adequate staffing and access to specific treatment options in order to care for true emergencies. The Regional Medical Center requires specific procedures to ensure patient safety within the healthcare setting. Immediate medical attention availability is required in an emergency facility, which dictates adequate staffing and accelerated care.

  • Why has my bill been turned over to a collection agency?

    The Regional Medical Center utilizes outside services to assist in contacting patients to resolve payment delays with the insurance or an outstanding balance. We recognize there are numerous circumstances that may prevent or delay balance resolution. The Regional Medical Center’s extended Patient Account Services Office is not a collection agency. However, old accounts may be released to collection agencies when our efforts fail to collect the balance on the account, which is a reasonable and acceptable business practices within the industry.

  • Does the Regional Medical Center offer discounts?

    The Regional Medical Center does offer Prompt Pay Discounts to all patients who pay their bill in full within 30 days of notice of personal balance due after the insurance payment. Patients choosing self payment are also eligible for the discount. The Federal or State government does not permit discounts to any beneficiaries of their programs (such as Medicare).

  • What responsibilities do I have when dealing with my insurance company when they need other insurance information?

    Insurance companies have specific requirements before processing claims and often contact you for coordination of your benefits. They may ask about other insurance you or other family members may have and need to verify your current information. They often send questionnaires to confirm any changes. Generally, they will not process your claim without your response to their inquiries. Therefore, it is important to respond to your insurance company’s questions in a timely manner. This will help move the billing process forward.

  • Why is certain insurance coverage accepted at one hospital but not another?

    The Regional Medical Center has negotiated contracts with numerous managed care providers; however, the lists differ between facilities. Most insurance plans are accepted at the Regional Medical Center’s facilities, although there are some differences in the group of managed care providers with whom each hospital has agreements.

  • Why is my insurance accepted by the hospital but not by some physicians?

    Physicians and physician groups are typically not employees of the Regional Medical Center. While some of them (radiologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists and some others) provide services ONLY to patients who receive those services inside a hospital, these physicians operate as independent business entities. Consequently, each physician group must negotiate an agreement with the individual insurance providers, as does the hospital. Those lists sometimes differ and change over time. Contact Patient Account Services directly at the Regional Medical Center 803-395-2257 (or 1-800-476-3377, ext. 2257) for the most current listing.

  • What is the best way to contact Patient Account Services?

    By Phone:
    803-395-2257 or 1-800-476-3377, ext. 2257

  • By Mail:
    The Regional Medical Center
    Attention: Patient Account Services
    P.O. Box 1306
    Orangeburg, SC 29116

  • What health insurance plans does the Regional Medical Center accept or file?

    The plans differ by facility and change over time. Please check with our Patient Account Services Office to ensure accuracy of the list below: RMC- Managed Care Providers

  1. Absolute Total Care
  2. Aetna
  3. America’s 1st Choice
  4. APS Behavioral Health (State Employees)
  5. BCBS Par Contract Indemnity
  6. BCBS Medicare Advantage
  7. BCE Emergis
  8. Beech Street
  9. Blue Choice
  10. Care Improvement Plus Medicare Advantage
  11. Carolina Care Plan
  12. Choice Care/Humana
  13. CIGNA
  14. Community Care Network
  15. Companion Benefit Alternatives
  16. CompCare/Key Risk
  17. Coventry First Health Leased Network
  18. Crovel
  19. Health Mark Corporation PPO
  20. MedCost
  21. MultiPlan – AHP/UP & UP
  22. Premier
  23. Select Health – Medicaid HMO
  24. Southcare
  25. State Employee Health Plan
  26. Sterling
  27. TriCare
  28. United Healthcare
  29. Wellcare (Unison) – Medicaid HMO
  30. WellPath Select/Coventry National
  31. Windsor Health Plan

Back to Top