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Taking Charge of Your Hospital Stay

Experts explain four steps that empower patients to manage their health needs from a hospital bed.

Step 4: Plan Ahead continued...

"If your hospitalization takes you by complete surprise, then use as many hospital resources as you can, including social workers and patient advocates, to prepare for your homecoming," says Reinhard.

If you think you will be unable to care for yourself when you do get home, Burke says ask about rehabilitation facilities or even nursing home care, until you can get back on your feet.

Most important, say all our experts: Be tip-of-the-tongue familiar with what your insurance policy covers, and make sure you can quickly lay your hands on all documentation if needed.

Says Burke, "The more you know about what to expect before you are in the hospital, the easier and more comfortable your hospital stay, and your recuperation, will be."

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Reviewed on October 13, 2008

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