4 Steps to Fall Prevention

4 Steps to Fall Prevention

Prevent_FallYou may be surprised to know that falls are the leading cause of accidents for people over the age of 65. We ask you and your family to help us prevent you from falling while you are in the hospital. These are things you can do to make your stay in the hospital safer:

If you are wearing a yellow “Fall Prevention” bracelet, PLEASE don’t get up by yourself. We don’t want you to fall or get hurt. Call the nurse for help!


1. We assess all patients for fall risk

If you are at risk of a fall, we provide the following:

  • Fall Risk door magnet
  • Fall Risk bracelet
  • Yellow non-skid slipper socks


2. Share information with your nurse

  • If you have a history of falling at home.
  • If you are dizzy, weak or unsteady on your feet, do not get up without help.
  • If you use a walker or cane at home, you should also use it in the hospital.



3. Fall prevention tips for your hospital stay

  • Make sure the nurse call button is within reach and you know how to use it.
  • If you have an IV line, ask for help moving your IV machine.
  • Keep the room clutter-free. • Keep the top two side rails up.
  • Make sure lighting is adequate in your room so you are able to see, especially at night.



4. Ask for help

  • Ask someone to assist you whenever you get up. Call for help before the need to get to the bathroom becomes urgent. Most hospital falls occur when patients try to get out of bed to go to the bathroom without assistance.
  • Consider asking a family member to stay with you if you are at a high risk for falling.

Healthcare facilities limit visitation due to an increase in flu cases

Healthcare facilities limit visitation due to an increase in flu cases

flu_visitor_guidelinesIn the High Country and across North Carolina, flu cases are increasing. As a result, visitation restrictions will be put into place, effective Monday, February 4, 2019.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is asking people under age 18 as well as those who are sick or have been exposed to respiratory illness to refrain from visiting friends or family at Watauga Medical Center, Cannon Memorial Hospital and The Foley Center as a result of the continued increase in flu and influenza-like illnesses.

The medical team may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis for siblings of newborn babies and families of hospice or end of life patients.

We know that limiting visitation is an inconvenience for families with patients in the hospital. However, it is vital that we take every precaution to protect our patients, staff and visitors. ARHS infection control specialists will continue to monitor influenza activity with the Health Department and will assess when restrictions can be lifted.


What to do when you visit

  • Ensure that you are healthy — free from fever, cough, colds or stomach virus symptoms.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Visitors may be asked to wear protective clothing or a mask in certain areas.


Tips to avoid the flu

Flu viruses spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes an individual may catch flu by touching an object infected with the virus and then touching the eyes, mouth, or nose. Listed below are several things you can do to prevent catching or spreading the flu.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not into your hands.
  • If you get sick with flu, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from making them sick.
  • Get the recommended seasonal flu vaccine.


Symptoms of flu

Recognizable Symptoms Include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Most people recover from flu after about a week without lasting effects.


When to seek care

Seek emergency medical care if you or a family member has any of these symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and worsening cough
  • In babies, bluish or gray skin color, lack of responsiveness or extreme irritation

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is working diligently to prevent the spread of flu and appreciates any assistance the public can provide. For more information about the flu, visit www.flu.gov/ or www.cdc.gov/flu.

Estimate Your Healthcare Cost

Estimate Your Healthcare Cost

Call for an Estimate

(828) 262-9150
The best way to get an accurate estimate

Apply for Financial Assistance

You may qualify even if you have insurance

We understand medical bills can be difficult to understand or pay. We can help you estimate your planned healthcare expenses so you’ll know what to expect.  The best way to get an accurate picture of what you’ll pay is to call us at (828) 262-9150. This way, we can consider factors like insurance coverage, self-pay, diagnosis, financial assistance, and more. 


Advance_directiveWhat you will need:

In order to get the most accurate estimate of your portion of the bill, we will need the following information:

  • CPT code from the provider who ordered the service
  • Up-to-date insurance information


Your estimate may NOT include:

  • Cost of outside physician professional fees such as anesthesia, radiology, emergency room physicians and/or pathology.
  • Pharmacy pricing estimates are available upon request. Pricing formulas depend on the specific dose amount, among other factors.
  • Any other services or tests done in addition to the original orders

You may receive additional costs or bills from these providers and/or services.


Why do healthcare estimates vary?

Estimates for outpatient procedures may vary based on a variety of items such as

  • Time in the Operating Room
  • Cost of medical supplies
  • Pharmacy costs
  • Multiple views or procedures on same visit


A list of healthcare charges for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

The “chargemaster” is a list of our charges before insurance, discounts, or financial assistance are considered. You can download the Chargemaster below.

We offer self-pay discounts, financial assistance and insurance contract rates not listed in the chargemaster. Please call (828) 262-9150 to get the most accurate estimate of the patient’s responsibility of the charges.



Financial Assistance

We understand medical bills are often unplanned and can be difficult to understand or pay. ARHS has Patient Financial Advocates who are professionally trained to assist with your financial questions. We also offer help identifying other programs, discounts, and services for which you may qualify. Read More: Financial Assistance

read more

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Bill of Rights

As a patient at Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital and/or Watauga Medical Center, you are a partner in your hospital care. When you are well informed, help make decisions, and talk openly with hospital staff, you help make your care better. This list tells you in everyday terms all the ways this facility respects each person. Please ask your nurse or social worker if you would like a copy of the official patient rights.

  1. You have the right to respectful care, no matter these factors:
    • Age
    • Race
    • Color
    • Religion
    • Culture
    • Language
    • Physical or mental challenges
    • Income level
    • Education level
    • Whether you are male or female
    • Whether you are gay or straight
    • Whether you are transgender or not
    • National origin
    • Source of payment
  2. You have the right to receive a written list of your rights and duties.
  3. You have the right to respectful care that honors your values and beliefs. You have the right to care in a safe setting, by people who know and care about what they are doing.
  4. You have the right to have your religious and spiritual beliefs and values respected.
  5. You have the right to know the name and role of all your caregivers.
  6. You have the right to privacy in your medical care. Care discussions, exams, and treatments will be done in ways that protect your dignity.
  7. You have the right to keep and use your own items as space permits, and when they do not hinder your care or the rights of others.
  8. You have the right to share a room with your husband or wife if you are both in the same facility, if you both agree, and if the arrangement does not risk your care and safety.
  9. You have the right to be free from all forms of abuse. Restraints will only be used to keep you and others safe, and must be removed as soon as possible.
  10. If English is not your first language, you have the right to an interpreter who speaks your language.
  11. You have the right to receive information you can understand if you have trouble with speech, vision, hearing, or understanding.
  12. You have the right for emergency procedures to be done without unnecessary delay.
  13. You have the right not to be woken up by hospital staff unless it is necessary.
  14. You have the right not to get unnecessary procedures.
  15. You have the right to treatment that avoids unnecessary discomfort.
  16. You have the right to be told, in terms that make sense, all information about your condition and treatment, including other options and possible problems. When it is not possible to give the information to you, it will be explained to your next of kin.
  17. You have the right to agree to, refuse, or stop any treatment that is offered. Your doctor will talk with you about what might happen if you take or do not take those treatments. Except for emergencies, a doctor must get your permission before beginning any treatment.
  18. You have the right to help make decisions in your care and to be told before any changes are made.
  19. You have the right to choose which visitors you want, at any time during your stay, except when a doctor says your care requires limiting visitors.
  20. You have the right to fill out advance orders including a Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and organ and tissue donation requests, and for staff to follow those written wishes.
  21. You have the right to have a family member and your own doctor told that you are in the hospital. You have the right to choose someone to be with you to provide emotional support during your stay. These privileges may be put on hold if the visitor hinders your care and safety, or the rights of others.
  22. You have the right to have your medical records read only by people with a need to know. Information about you will be released only with your permission, or if it is required or allowed by law.
  23. You have the right to request and see your medical record promptly, unless the doctor limits access for medical reasons.
  24. You have the right to ask for changes to your medical record and to know who outside the facility has seen your record.
  25. You have the right to agree or not agree to take part in research. Doctors must get your permission before the research starts. You may refuse to take part or stop taking part in research at any time without losing your access to other appropriate care.
  26. If you ask, you have the right to get help finding a second opinion with another doctor. This may be at your own expense.
  27. You have the right to be moved to another facility when needed. The need will be explained, as well as other choices you have. The other facility must accept you before you are moved.
  28. You have the right to receive a clear explanation of your bill.
  29. You have the right to know about financial help for your health care costs.
  30. You have the right to understand your health care needs after discharge.
  31. You have the right to contact any individual or agency whose job is to protect your rights.
  32. You have the right to have your concerns and complaints reviewed by the facility. You may share your concerns by calling the Compliance/ Risk Management Department at 828-262-4239.


Patient Responsibilities

  1. You should be honest and complete when you tell doctors and nurses about your health. Include these items:
    • Past illnesses
    • Other hospital stays
    • Current complaints
    • Use of medicine
    • Risks in your care
    • Unexpected changes in your condition
    • What you need from hospital staff
    • You should report pain and help your doctors and nurses assess your pain.
  2. You should ask questions when you do not understand information or instructions.
  3. You should follow instructions and accept the costs of your personal choices.
  4. You should tell your doctor if you don’t think you can follow your treatment plan.
  5. You and your visitors should be considerate and respectful of hospital staff and property. You should also respect the needs of other patients and visitors and their property. You should follow the rules of the facility, including not smoking.
  6. You and your family should provide information for insurance and pay your hospital bills. You can ask for payment options when needed.
  7. You should recognize the effect of your life choices on your health.
  8. You should keep appointments and tell the appropriate health care office when you are unable to do so.
  9. You and your family should assist staff to keep you safe:
    • Follow staff safety instructions
    • Keep your name band on at all times
    • Help staff know who you are so they know they have the right person
    • Wash your hands and follow instructions to keep infections from spreading
    • Tell staff when alarms are making noise in your room

Patient Information

Patient Information

Inpatient Locations

Watauga Medical Center

336 Deerfield Road
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (828) 262-4100
Visit website

Cannon Memorial Hospital

434 Hospital Drive
Linville, NC 28646
Phone: (828) 737-7000
Fax: (828) 737-7401
Visit website

The Foley Center

621 Chestnut Ridge Parkway
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Phone (828) 386-3300
Fax (828) 737-7509
Visit website


Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval    Commission on Cancer Accredited Program   Certified_Urgent_Care Patient Centered Medical Home    American-Hospital-Association-logo

Contact Patient Accounts

If you have questions about your bill or a patient account, please call (828) 262-4111 or send a message through the following form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for financial assistance?
  • Uninsured and underinsured people who need emergency or medically necessary treatment and have a household income between 200% and 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).
  • When determining patients’ eligibility, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System does not consider race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or social or immigrant status.
  • Eligible patients must submit a completed financial assistance application within 240 days (including all documentation required by the application) after ARHS provides the first post-discharge billing statement for the care.  You may have to meet with hospital Patient Financial Advocates before receiving financial assistance.

Learn more or apply for financial assistance >

For which services can I use financial assistance?
  • Financial assistance is provided only when care is considered medically necessary and after patients have met all eligibility requirements.
  • Emergency or urgent care, services considered medically necessary by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.
What providers are included in ARHS billing and financial assistance?
How do I get an itemized statement?

To receive an itemized statement with detailed charges about the services provided, call our Customer Service department at (828) 262-4111, contact us online, or send a written request to billing@apprhs.org.

How do I dispute or appeal a billing decision?

If you wish to dispute charges or make sure that charges and patient balances are accurate, you may request a review. Call our Customer Service Department at (828) 262-4111, contact us online, or send a written request to billing@apprhs.org

If a review of the charges and balances on your bill are determined to be correct, you may still appeal this decision by sending a written request to 155 Furman Road, Suite 101, Boone, NC 28607 to attention of Appeals.

What is the collections process?

After your health insurance company has paid its portion of your visit, we will send you a monthly statement(s) for the amount that you owe.

  • We will contact you at least three times (via billing statements and/or phone calls) during a 120 day period to remind you of your balance. During this period, you will be expected to pay your balance in full, set up a payment plan or apply for financial assistance.
  • If the balance is unpaid after the 120 day billing period, your account will be sent to a collection agency. If the balance is not paid or set up on a payment plan within 60 days of collection agency placement, your credit score may be impacted.

You will receive three billing statements for unpaid bills. After the third billing statement, if you do not pay the amount you owe in full, apply for financial assistance or set up a payment plan the third billing statement will include a 30 day collection notice. If the balance remains unpaid after the 30 day period, your account will be sent to an outside collection agency.

Learn about all the ways we can help you pay your bill >