Medical tourism facilitators make it easier to navigate the process of medical care in a foreign country. Learn everything you need to know about medical tourism facilitators, when you might need their services, and how to maximize the benefits while minimizing risk.
What are Medical Tourism Facilitators?
Medical tourism facilitators are individuals or agencies who help patients navigate health care in a foreign country.
The best medical tourism facilitators are trained professionals with a deep understanding of medical treatments and procedures as well as the medical providers and health systems in their home country or region. They help foreign and sometime domestic patients select healthcare providers, and assist in every step of medical travel planning, from booking appointments to post-procedure care.
With a medical tourism facilitator on your side, affordable, high quality care is possible, and can be arranged with minimal headache and hassle.
What Does a Medical Tourism Facilitator Do?
Traveling to a foreign country can be a daunting task even in the best of circumstances. A medical tourism facilitator helps reduce stress and puts patients at ease by acting as an intermediary between the patient and provider. A medical travel facilitator can typically assist with the following tasks.
A skilled medical tourism facilitator can help you choose the best destination for the care you seek, and the best facilities and providers at that destination. They will help you create an itinerary that allows for the time you need at your destination before, during and after your treatment or procedure.
Once you’ve selected a destination, your facilitator will help you book flights and arrange accommodations, transportation, meals and pre or post-treatment care. Travel planning may also include non-medical tours.
Healthcare in a foreign country often differs vastly from the culture and systems you’re used to at home. A medical tourism facilitator can help you negotiate pricing, draft agreements, and translate appointments and documents. In brief, they act as a communications bridge between you, the medical providers, and hospital facilities.
Do I Need a Facilitator?
When deciding if a facilitator is something you need, the following questions can be helpful.
- Are you traveling to a destination you’re unfamiliar with?
- Will you need any special travel documents such as visas?
- Do you speak the language at your destination?
- Do you need assistance choosing a facility or doctor?
- Do you understand how to guarantee the cost of your procedure, or how to negotiate a price?
- Do you expect to pay using insurance, and do you know how to arrange that?
- Will you need assistance with meals, transportation or lodging either before, during or after your treatment or procedure?
- Will you need personal assistance while you recover from your treatment or procedure?
- Who will you turn to for help if something unexpected occurs regarding travel, your medical care or your personal health and wellbeing?
If you answered yes to the above questions, you may not need a medical facilitator. If you’re unsure about any of the above, a medical facilitator can help calm your fears. Most importantly, a facilitator minimizes stress by giving you someone to lean on in case of the unexpected.
The Benefits of Working with a Facilitator
When you work with a medical tourism facilitator, you minimize risk while maximizing benefits.
Traveling for medical care is no small task. Your doctors may need to see documents, tests and images from your previous provider, there may be legal paperwork to navigate, and prices to negotiate. A facilitator will ensure that all travel, medical and legal requirements are completed and organized prior to your arrival.
A good facilitator will further reduce risk by vetting facilities and doctors in advance. Their experience, familiarity and relationship with trusted providers not only improves the likelihood they’ll recommend the best fit, but they can often secure spots on otherwise booked schedules and negotiate best prices.
Speaking with a medical professional is not always easy, and certainly not when in an unfamiliar setting or in a foreign language. Medical tourism facilitators like American Medical Care understand medical terms, languaging and procedures, and can often help explain things in a way that’s easier for patients to understand.
A facilitator makes communication simple by acting as a single point of contact. Patients are better able to focus on their health and care, knowing their travel, transportation, and aftercare planning are being taken care of.
Not everything that might go wrong is an emergency, but even a delayed or rescheduled appointment can be a major problem for a foreign visitor. A medical tourism facilitator is a professional problem solver. They will be there for you in the event the unexpected occurs, ready with a fix.
How Should a Patient Choose a Facilitator?
The best medical tourism facilitators are hard-working problem solvers and excellent communicators with close relationships with the medical providers in their region. When selecting a medical tourism provider, consider the following:
- Have they previously assisted someone with your same medical condition?
- Can you speak with them in person or on Zoom versus email only?
- Do they seem to understand your exact medical needs?
- Can they provide you with testimonials from past patients?
- Which hospitals and providers do they work with, and are there others that are not on that list, why?
- What additional services do they offer aside from navigating your medical care?
Finally, trust your instincts. Your health advocate should be someone you feel comfortable helping you make decisions, and someone you trust to assist you in the event of an emergency. Follow up on their recommendations with some research of your own.
American Medical Care
Even at home, navigating healthcare can be complicated, and it helps to have a trained advocate on your side. In a foreign country, this advocacy becomes even more valuable.
American Medical Care is a network of physicians and surgeons who provide full service concierge care in partnership with insurance providers. They have successfully built strong physician-patient-insurance relationships using a value based care system. Adapting new technology, such as Medism, a secure cloudbased CRM software which allows for improved communications and flow of vital data and information between patient, providers, and hospital facilities.
The AMC network extends throughout the United States, Canada, Turkey, Costa Rica, Mexico and Nigeria, ensuring cost savings, and a connection to vetted, experienced providers worldwide.