Patient FAQs

As a Patient

Q: How do I find a St. Joseph’s physician? 
A: To assist those in our community who want to learn more about St. Joseph's system of health care services and programs or who may be looking for a physician, St. Joseph’s has a toll-free number. The number is 1-888-STJOES1 (1-888-785-6371) in area code 315, call 315-703-2138. You also may find a list of physicians on our online Physician Finder

Q: Who can refer someone to St. Joseph’s Health? 
A: We welcome referrals by medical or mental health care providers, caregivers, case managers, law enforcement professionals, educators, community agencies, clergy, employers, hospitals, family members, friends, former patients and patients themselves. If you would like further information, call our Admitting office at 315-448-5230 or TDD 315-448-5534 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  You can also call the St. Joseph’s Resource Line at 1-888-STJOES1 or in 315 area code, call 703-2138

Q: At what time may I call for an assessment or an appointment? 
A: You may reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week toll free at 1-888-STJOES1 (1-888-785-6371). 

Q: What are my rights as a patient? 
A: A patient in our hospital enjoys the rights outlined in “Your Rights as a Hospital Patient in New York State ,” which you receive when admitted.

Q: Is spiritual care available? 
A: Our Spiritual Care Service, ministering to patients and their families, is an important and regular part of St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center. Members of Spiritual Care are ready to serve you and your family, to notify your own clergy of your hospital stay or to visit. Holy Communion is distributed to all Catholic patients daily if they wish. The Sacrament of Healing of the Sick is also available. Confessions are heard at the request of the patient. Mass is held in our hospital chapel at 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Sunday Mass is held at 9 a.m. 

Q: What should I bring as a patient? 
A:  Patients should bring the following items:

  • All current health insurance cards
  • All prescription insurance cards
  • Picture ID
  • Prescription/order for your test (if your doctor has given you a copy)
  • List of your medications
  • Health Care Proxy/Living Will/DNR or power of attorney (if you have one established)
  • Previous X-rays (if applicable)
  • Pre-registration confirmation page (if completing online form)

About Surgery

Q: How quickly may I have my operation/procedure? 
A: You can usually be seen quite quickly. Phone us to find out when the consultant of your choice is offering appointments. 

Q: Will my insurance policy cover everything once I am in the hospital? 
A: As insurance policies vary so much according to insurer and individual policy, it is important that you check with your insurance company to understand exactly what is covered. 

Q: Can I get a private room? 
A: Room assignments are based on the medical necessity of patients at St. Joseph’s. If you request a private room and one is available, you will be responsible for the additional cost of this room, which your insurance does not normally cover. If a private room is necessary for medical reasons, your insurance will be billed for the cost. Your medical needs or those of another patient may require your transfer to a different unit/room during your stay. We cannot reserve rooms when a patient is transferred to a critical care area. 

Q: Can I eat or drink before surgery? 
A: Do not eat solid food after midnight the night before surgery. You will be instructed about liquids and pills. 

Q: What should I bring with me to the inpatient facility? 
A: Please bring a list of all medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medication. Also, please bring only personal items such as pajamas or nightgowns, bathrobe, slippers, toilet articles and reading materials. You may want to bring a small amount of cash to pay for such things as a newspaper. Please leave valuable items at home. If you have completed an advanced health directive (e.g., Do Not Resuscitate, Health Care Proxy, Living Will), please bring it with you. We will photocopy it and include it in your medical record. We recommend that you bring the following items:

  • Comfortable, casual attire and shoes
  • Identification, insurance cards and other medical history if available
  • Overnight personal care items, including shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal items

Q: What things should I leave at home? 
A: Please leave the following items at home:

  • Any metal objects, including disposable razors, car keys, mirrors, glass bottles, dental floss, pocket knives, wire coat hangers, metal snuff lids, anything with straps or belts, glass, paperclips, thumbtacks, push pins
  • Television, radio, CD or cassette players, cellular phones, pagers, curling irons, blow dryers, electric razors with cords, alarm clocks
  • Hairspray, mouthwash, facial cleanser, mousse, spray gel

Q: What if I need help after I’m discharged? 
A: You may need home care nurses, aide services, Meals on Wheels, transportation services, in-home respiratory therapy, physical therapy, etc., while you recover. Please feel free to request information from your nurse or case manager, including cost of services you may need or want.


Q: How do I pay for my treatment? 
A: St. Joseph’s accepts Medicare, most insurance, private pay and Medicaid. If you are unsure about your coverage, you may phone us to determine your eligibility. 

Q: Who do I contact with questions about my hospital bill? 
A: Our patient account representatives will help you to make payment arrangements, explain hospital billing policies and answer any questions you may have regarding your insurance coverage. A patient account representative may be reached by calling 315-448-5375 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.