FAQ

  1. Why should I have my stem cell transplant at The Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Northside Hospital, (NSH-BMT)?
  2. What should I bring to the new patient consult?
  3. Who will help coordinate my new patient consult?
  4. Does your BMT Program have support services for patients during the transplant/recovery period?
  5. Does your Program verify my health care insurance benefits prior to new patient consult and transplant?
  6. Is the BMT physician I see at my new patient consult the same physician I will see during the transplant process?
  7. How does the NSH-BMT Program communicate with my referring physician?
  8. Who will coordinate the pre-BMT process for me?
  9. What should I expect when I am getting treatment at the BMTGA Infusion Facility?
  10. If I live out of town, where would I stay during/after the transplant?
  11. If I have financial concerns during the transplant process, do you have anyone who can help me?
  12. Do I need a caregiver during the transplant process?
  13. Where will I receive my mobilization and high dose chemotherapy?
  14. What happens on the day of the stem cell transplant?
  15. For the NSH-BMT Unit, who can stay with me, what are the visiting hours and can children visit me?
  16. What are the infection control procedures for the NSH-BMT Unit and BMTGA Infusion Facility?
  17. When will I be ready to be discharged back to my referring physician?
  18. When I am ready to be discharged from the BMTGA Infusion Facility and go back to being followed by my referring physician, who will coordinate this?
  19. After I return to my referring physicians care, how will I know when tests need to be scheduled to evaluate my disease post transplant?

ANSWERS

    1. Question: Why should I have my stem cell transplant at The Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Northside Hospital, (NSH-BMT)? The NSH-BMT Program is a comprehensive clinical transplant Program offering autologous, related allogeneic, haploidentical allogeniec, cord blood and unrelated donor transplants. The structure of the NSH-BMT Program has the following key components, which have resulted in superior transplant survival outcomes:
      • The NSH-BMT Program is patient-focused, placing the patient at the top of the treatment pyramid.
      • BMT physicians, Kent Holland, M.D., Lawrence Morris, M.D., Asad Bashey, M.D., Ph.D., Scott Solomon and Melhem Solh have completed advanced post hematology/oncology fellowships in bone marrow transplant at prestigious universities. (See Physician Bios)
      • All NSH-BMT Program staff members undergo extensive training and competency assessment annually. NSH-BMT Program does not employ medical students, interns, residents or fellows. Please review our Physician Bios, Our Team.
      • Adheres to the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide, (AABB) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance. (Please review About Us).
      • Maintains a comprehensive quality management Program under the direction of the FACT Program Director, Dr. Kent Holland, and the Manager of Cellular Therapy and Leukemia Program, Melissa Horowitz, RN. (See QI Program).
      • Seven dedicated clinical BMT PharmD’s with extensive BMT experience. (Please review Our Team).
      • Participates in cutting edge clinical research trials with: NCI-BMT CTN, CIBMTR, pharmaceutical sponsored and investigator initiated clinical trials. For more information, please see Research.

      For the ninth consecutive year, 2009 – 2017, NSH-BMT’s commitment to quality patient care has resulted in the Program achieving survival outcomes that significantly exceed the expected range in related and unrelated allogeneic donor transplants, as published by BeTheMatch/National Marrow Donor Program, (NMDP), www.bethematch.org. For additional information, please review Patients- Why NSH-BMT and Survival.

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    1. Question: What should I bring to the new patient consult?
      • Insurance card
      • Driver’s license
      • Recent medical records, if applicable.

      These items will be used to obtain a NSH medical record number and to register you within the NSH billing system.

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    1. Question: Who will help coordinate my new patient consult?
      • When your referring physician makes a new patient consult referral to the NSH-BMT Program, you will be assigned a BMTGA physician, nurse coordinator and mid-level practitioner.
      • What is a nurse coordinator? The nurse coordinator organizes and coordinates your new patient consult (and Pre/Post BMT evaluation studies), ensuring all of your referring physician medical records are sent to BMTGA prior to your consultation. The nurse coordinator will be a point of contact for you, communicating prior to your appointment and meeting with you on the day of your new patient consult.

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    1. Question: Does your BMT Program have support services for patients during the transplant/recovery period?
      • The NSH-BMT Program realizes BMT patients will need many support services during the transplant/recovery process. Patients have access to counseling, dietary/nutrition, physical therapy, caregiver support groups and BMT financial services. In addition, patients have access to the Cancer Support Community. Read more on Patient Resources. Additionally, our BMT health psychologist will meet with you at the time of your pre-BMT evaluation and will follow you throughout the transplant/recovery process. For more information, please see Our Team.

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    1. Question: Does your Program verify my health care insurance benefits prior to new patient consult and transplant?
      • Yes, your health care insurance will be verified by the BMTGA financial department and NSH-BMT’s financial coordinators. At the time of verification, the following will be obtained: life time maximum coverage, transplant benefits, co-pays, deductibles and clinical research benefits. Prior to transplant, our financial coordinators also will obtain your insurance companies’ medical approval for the transplant. Please review Patient Resources for additional information.

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    1. Question: Is the BMT physician I see at my new patient consult the same physician I will see during the transplant process?
      • Our Program is set up where each physician will see their new patient consult and will rotate on a weekly basis from the NSH-BMT Unit to the BMTGA Infusion Facility. For all important decisions (re: disease treatment/management, family conferences, discharge back to your referring physician), you will see your designated BMT physician.
        • In the NSH Inpatient Unit, you will be seen daily (or more often) by the designated BMT Inpatient physician as well as the BMT inpatient mid-level practitioner staff. BMT physicians will change every Thursday morning.
        • In the BMTGA Infusion Facility, you will see your physician’s designated mid-level practitioner each time you are being seen in the facility as well as the assigned outpatient BMT physician. Your assigned coordinator will also be available to you.

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    1. Question: How does the NSH-BMT Program communicate with my referring physician?
      • At the time of your new patient consult, your BMT physician will speak directly to your referring physician regarding future treatment/BMT recommendations.
      • A written letter outlining future treatment/BMT recommendations (with supporting references) will be mailed to your referring physician.
      • Your referring physician can speak with your BMT physician at any time by calling (404-255-1930).

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    1. Question: Who will coordinate the pre-BMT process for me?
      • Your assigned nurse coordinator will coordinate and organize your pre-BMT schedule. You will have access to your assigned coordinator throughout the transplant process. Read more on the BMT Process.

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    1. Question: What should I expect when I am getting treatment at the BMTGA Infusion Facility?
      • The BMTGA Infusion Facility is open seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
      • Your caregiver/family member may stay with you during your treatment.
      • The BMT Infusion Facility is able to administer chemotherapy, IV antibiotics, IV antifungal(s), IV electrolyte replacements, packed red blood cell and platelet transfusions, IV fluid hydration and various blood tests.
      • During mobilization and high dose chemotherapy, you may be required to come to the BMTGA Infusion Facility every day for treatment. Right after your stem cell infusion, you will be required to come to the BMTGA Infusion Facility every day for treatment. As you get stronger, your BMT Infusion Facility appointments will be decreased. Please review additional Outpatient Facility information.

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    1. Question: If I live out of town, where would I stay during/after the transplant?
      • During the BMT Transplant Process, it’s important that you live no more than fifty miles from BMTGA/Northside Hospital. You may need to live closer to the BMT Facilities. This may mean you have to make temporary arrangements. We’re here to help.
        • We encourage you to inquire if your insurance company has travel benefits. You may be able to stay at discounted hotels located within a few miles from the BMTGA and Northside Hospital.
        • Your designated coordinator will work with you to coordinate and organize your lodging location.
      • Click here for more Lodging information.

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    1. Question: If I have financial concerns during the transplant process, do you have anyone who can help me?
      • The NSH-BMT Program has designated BMT financial coordinators to assist you during the transplant process.
      • At the time of your pre-BMT evaluation, your coordinator will designate a time for you to meet with a NSH’s BMT financial coordinator and a BMTGA (physician) financial coordinator. During this time, the BMT Patient Resources will review your insurance policy, co-pays and deductible information with you.
        • The NSH-BMT financial coordinator will review your insurance policy as it relates to the BMT technical/hospital related charges that will be billed to your insurance company.
        • The BMTGA financial coordinator will also review you your insurance policy with you as it relates to BMTGA Infusion Facility technical fees and physician professional fees.

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    1. Question: Do I need a caregiver during the transplant process?
      • Caregivers serve as your advocate and an integral part of your support system. We ask that all patients have a caregiver during the transplant process. Your designated coordinator will help you organize and coordinate your caregiver(s) support.
      • However, we understand not all patients will have a support system throughout the entire BMT process. For these patients, additional or extended inpatient hospital admissions/stays for mobilization, high dose and BMT infusion may be needed.

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    1. Where will I receive my mobilization and high dose chemotherapy?
      • Most patients receive their mobilization and high dose chemotherapy at the BMTGA Infusion Facility as an outpatient. You may also get treatment at NSH Infusion facility or as inpatient at NSH BMT Unit. The nursing staff has extensive training in administering mobilization/high dose chemotherapy. For additional information, please review Our Team.
      • Depending on the type of mobilization or high dose chemotherapy drugs you receive, you may be required to receive therapy at the NSH-BMT Unit. This will be discussed with you during your Pre-BMT evaluation.

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    1. Question: What happens on the day of the stem cell transplant?
      • Most patients will be admitted to the NSH-BMT unit the day of BMT Infusion.
        • The time for you to be admitted to the BMT unit will be coordinated prior to the BMT infusion.
      • Once you are admitted to the BMT unit, you will have your BMT infusion. You will remain in the BMT unit, on average, for an additional four hours. If there are no complications, you will be discharged from the BMT unit and report to the BMTGA Infusion Facility the next day.
      • If you are not well enough to be discharged after your BMT infusion, the inpatient BMT Unit physician may require you to stay additional days in the BMT Unit.

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    1. Question: For the NSH-BMT Unit, who can stay with me, what are the visiting hours and can children visit me?
      • One caregiver or one family member/friend may stay overnight with you during your NSH-BMT Unit admission.
      • Anyone staying overnight or visiting you cannot have a cold, fever, respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose), GI symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea), or flu-like symptoms.
        • If you have been exposed to any of these symptoms, you will need to contact your mid-level practitioner/BMT physician immediately.
      • Daily visiting hours: 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. We have flexible visiting hours. We do ask that no more than two visitors be present in your room at one time. The staff may ask your visitors to step out of the room if they are performing a procedure. There is a family waiting room on the unit for family and visitors.
      • Please note, children under the age of ten are not allowed in the NSH-BMT Unit. This protects you and other patients from potential infections.

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    1. Question: What are the infection control procedures for the NSH-BMT Unit and BMTGA Infusion Facility?
      • The NSH-BMT Unit is a closed hepafiltered facility.
        • What is a hepafiltered facility? The BMT unit has a special air filtering system that maximally protects patients from infectious bacteria and fungus that can be transmitted through the air.
        • Every person who enters the BMT Unit must first wash their hands, put on a gown over their street clothes, and put shoe covers over their shoes. Again, this is to help protect you and other patients from contacting infections from the environment outside of the BMT unit.
        • To enter the BMT unit, you must go through two door systems.
      • The BMTGA Infusion Facility also is a hepafiltered facility (see above).
        • Until your blood counts return to normal, you will be required to wear a mask to and from the BMTGA Infusion Facility to protect you from the outside environment.
      • You will not be able to go into public places until you get permission from your BMT physician.
        • Your caregiver will need to stay with you during your treatment at the BMTGA Infusion Facility.
        • Your caregiver must not have any type of cold, respiratory, GI, or flu-like symptoms.
      • If you have been exposed to any of these symptoms, you will need to contact your mid-level practitioner/BMT physician immediately.
        • No child under the age of ten is allowed in the BMTGA lobby or Infusion Facility. This is to protect you and other patients from potential infections.

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    1. Question: When will I be ready to be discharged back to my referring physician?
      • Most autologous patients will be discharged back to their referring physician on Day 50 after BMT infusion.
      • Allogeneic and MUD patients will be discharged back to their referring physician on Day 100 post BMT infusion. This will only occur if you do not have any BMT complications that will require additional follow care and observation.

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    1. Question: When I am ready to be discharged from the BMTGA Infusion Facility and go back to being followed by my referring physician, who will coordinate this?The post-BMT discharge procedure synthesizes efforts between your BMT physician, mid-level and coordinator. Each of these individuals has a specific role in ensuring your discharge from the NSH-BMT Program is coordinated and organized.
      • Your coordinator will arrange the following:
        • Make your first appointment post discharge with your referring physician;
        • Fax your referring physician the mid-level transplant summary dictation; and
        • Provide written discharge instructions to include when to schedule follow up referring MD appointment, when to have blood count draws, immunization schedule and when post BMT evaluation studies should be performed. Please refer to Post BMT Discharge Information.
      • Upon discharge, your BMT physician is always available to speak to you or your referring MD.

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  1. Question: After I return to my referring physicians care, how will I know when tests need to be scheduled to evaluate my disease post transplant?
    • At the time of discharge, your coordinator will review with you a time schedule for disease evaluation post transplant.
    • A NSH-BMT Long Term Follow-up Coordinator will contact you several weeks prior to the required time point for post BMT evaluation studies and will coordinate a time with you for these studies.
      • Post-BMT Patient Requirements:
        1. Return back to the NSH-BMT Program for your post BMT disease evaluation studies.
        2. After your post-BMT disease evaluation studies, you will be required to come back to meet with your BMT physician to review the results.
      • All post-BMT evaluation study results will be faxed to your referring physician’s office. If needed; your BMT physician may contact your referring physician to discuss the results of your disease evaluation studies. For more information, please review Post BMT Evaluation Studies.