Pre-admission Tips and Guidelines

WVU Medicine physicians, nurses, and staff are committed to providing the best care to every patient. Our goal is to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible, and keep you informed of aspects of your care at every step. If you have additional questions after reading this information, contact your care provider.

Check with your insurance company

Most health insurance companies require pre-determination and/or a second opinion before admission to the hospital. Before your admission to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, contact your health insurance company to ask whether your policy has any pre-admission requirements. You may want to discuss the admission process with your physician. In many cases, your doctor will make arrangements for your admission to the hospital.

When the physician notifies the Perioperative Evaluation Center of your scheduled hospital stay, a representative will call you to verify your medical and insurance information. This process will help you avoid unnecessary delays when you arrive at the hospital.

Depending on your type of health insurance, the Pre-certification Office may pre-certify your hospital stay. If you do not have insurance, you will be required to fill out a financial aid form. This form can be completed before you are admitted or at the time of your admission. We have patient representatives available to talk about payment choices.

If you have questions about the admissions process, or wish to speak with someone in the Pre-certification Office, call 304-598-6200.

Pre-admission instructions

Someone will call you the day before your procedure (or on Friday if your surgery is the following Monday), to tell you when to come to the hospital. If you cannot be contacted, call 304-598-6200 between 2 and 5 pm the day before your surgery to find out when to arrive.

Lodging for Families of Patients

The Ronald McDonald House and Rosenbaum Family House provide lodging. There may be a waiting list. Please check directly with these facilities.

Arriving at the Hospital

Patients and visitors may park for free in the lots in front of the hospital. Report to Registration on the first floor of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. The Registration staff will direct you to another part of the hospital for your treatment.


Pre-admissions staff will indicate when they call you which medications you should take on the morning of your procedure.

Diet and other important instructions


  • Do not swallow anything. No food, drinks, water, ice chips, or coffee. Nothing for 8 hours prior to arrival.
  • No tobacco, mints, or chewing gum for 8 hours prior to arrival.

Infants, 0-12 months

  • May have cereal and formula until 6 hours prior to arrival
  • May have breast milk until 4 hours prior to arrival
  • May have clear liquids (Pedialyte, white grape juice, and/or apple juice) up to 2 hours prior to scheduled surgery time

Children, 13 months – 15 years

  • Regular diet until 8 hours prior to arrival
  • Clear liquids until 2 hours prior to arrival
  • May have clear liquids (Pedialyte, Gatorade, water, white grape juice, or apple juice)
  • No carbonated beverages

It is strongly recommended that you give infants and toddlers clear liquids, even if it means waking them up. Please follow the instructions received from the pre-op phone call. Young children are more content and cooperative when not hungry or thirsty.

Important Information

  • You must arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure. If you have not arranged for a driver, your procedure will be canceled.
  • We suggest that you arrange for a responsible adult to stay with you the night after your procedure.
  • Shower or bathe the morning of your procedure. If you were given a special soap, use it instead of your regular soap.
  • Do not wear make-up, nail polish, lotion, powder, or aftershave. Do not wear any jewelry, watches, earrings, rings or body piercings.
  • Do not bring money, jewelry, or valuables with you.
  • Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The responsible adult must stay with the patient before and after the procedure.
  • Children may bring a special toy, doll, or blanket.
  • Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. If possible, bring a case for your glasses.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes to the hospital. You will wear them home after your procedure.
  • Bring any equipment, such as crutches, splints, etc., that you already use at home.
  • No visitors under age 16 permitted in the preparation/recovery areas. It is strongly suggested that child care arrangements be made for other children at home.
  • It may be possible to wear your hearing aid throughout the procedure. Discuss this with the nursing staff.
  • You must have a valid photo identification to fill prescriptions for narcotics.

Observation Beds

Sometimes physicians ask that a patient stay in an “observation bed” until the physician can assess problems and decide whether the patient needs to be admitted. Observation usually does not last longer than 24 hours.

Insurance companies and Medicare consider observation status an outpatient service. If you receive Medicare benefits, observation status is reimbursed by Medicare Part B, so you will be responsible for a percentage of charges.

Your physician decides whether observation is the most appropriate level of care for you and can answer any questions you may have about your care. If you ask to remain in observation after your doctor says it is no longer necessary, Medicare requires that we notify you, and you then are responsible for paying for your care from that point until discharge.

If you have any questions about observation status, call Care Management at 304-598-4183.

To Cancel Your Procedure

If you must cancel your procedure, call 304-598-6200 between 6 am and 6:30 pm. After 6:30 pm, call the WVU HealthLine at 800-982-8242.