When you come to CTCA® as an international patient, we will make you feel comfortable and supported throughout your stay. Our goal is to help you return to your home country, and back to your life, as quickly as possible. To help you feel at ease during your stay, CTCA offers the following services for all patients at any of our five U.S.-based facilities:
- Diagnosis and supportive treatment plan in one building: Members of your care team all work under one roof, collaborating regularly with you and one another during your diagnosis and treatment. You will not need to worry about navigating a large campus or locating multiple buildings during your stay with us.
- Language services: Onsite medical interpreters, translated medical forms, remote video interpretation and other services are available. These services are provided at no cost once you begin treatment as a patient.
- Custom dietary options: Meals are made according to your needs and preferences.
- Business centers: We offer our patients access to computers, printers, high-speed Internet service, wifi and video calling services.
- Travel service teams: Our travel and accommodations experts help patients and caregivers arrange long- or short-term transportation, lodging and other logistics.
- Private inpatient rooms: Each of our rooms offers privacy, comfort and unlimited guest visiting hours.
- Daily excursions: Throughout your visit, our transportation team will be available to drive you around town, including to restaurants, malls, movie theaters, hair and nail salons, food stores, museums and other local spots.
Becoming an international patient
In this section, you will learn more about the steps involved in becoming a patient at one of our cancer hospitals.
1) Contact us. The first step is contacting CTCA, through our live chat option, or by calling +1 (847) 794-8494. International calling fees apply. When you call, you may ask to provide your phone number to our team and receive a call back at our expense.
2) Learn more. To serve the unique needs of our international patients, we have a dedicated team of Oncology Information Specialists trained specifically to answer your questions and requests. They are here to help discuss your options, and make your transition to CTCA as easy as possible. Each Oncology Information Specialist speaks at least two languages and is thoroughly knowledgeable about the medical services offered and clinical staff at each location, so you and your caregiver will know what to expect before you arrive. This team also helps CTCA understand your cancer diagnosis, shares with our experts any high-level financial questions you may have, and works with you to help you understand the treatment options our hospitals offer.
When speaking with an Oncology Information Specialist, it will be helpful to provide the following information:
- Insurance information. This may include an insurance card or copy of your policy, as well as a phone number for your insurance company or broker. CTCA has partnerships with many international insurance companies, and we are willing to explore options with any provider.
- Any necessary referral letters or other approval documents required by your insurance company or employer. Please verify if a referral letter to treat overseas, a physician referral or any other paperwork is needed to explore international treatment options paid for by your insurance company or employer.
- Medical history. This may include a written history from your doctor, details about your diagnosis, results from any tests or scans you’ve had recently, and pathology slides or imaging results, if available. Please provide these materials in English.
Having this information available when you contact CTCA will allow our International Patient Services team to serve you as quickly as possible should you decide to treat at one of our facilities.
3) Review your finances. At CTCA, we strive to help you decide on the treatment facility that suits your needs. Finances may be an important part of this decision-making process. After speaking with an Oncology Information Specialist, we may arrange for a call with an experienced Patient Financial Service Advocate. This advocate may serve as a liaison between you, CTCA and any other parties, such as your embassy or insurance company/broker. This financial professional will work with you to help you understand the benefits your insurance plan offers, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses you may be responsible for paying.
If you are interested in paying for your own care, this team will be able to provide a cost estimate at this time. Actual charges may be higher or lower than this estimate, based on your specific needs. Prior to treatment or evaluation, you will be asked to pay an initial deposit in order for you to be evaluated at CTCA. This deposit is determined by the hospital, based on your cancer type.
4) Learn about your medical treatment options. Our team will help you decide whether CTCA is the clinical option for you or your loved one. We ask that you provide as much medical history as possible when contacting CTCA, as well as copies of any scans, tests or treatments you’ve recently had. Our clinical team will carefully review your medical records when you contact CTCA to determine whether we can provide the treatment options that you or a loved one need.
5) Determine whether CTCA is the option for you. Once you decide that you or your loved one will pursue treatment at CTCA, you will be connected with team members to assist with coordinating your travel and scheduling your first appointments at one of our five facilities.
6) Understanding the evaluation and treatment process. Your journey at CTCA generally begins with a three- to five-day evaluation, after which an individualized treatment plan is created for you. Treatment may begin immediately, or you may work with your care team to determine a time to return to our facility to begin your treatment.
Language interpretation services, when needed, are available during every step of the process.
At CTCA, we evaluate your medical history and conduct comprehensive diagnostic testing to make treatment recommendations for your cancer type and stage, as well as your individual and lifestyle needs. You’ll have a personalized treatment plan in-hand by the end of your visit. When you come to us, we do everything we can to make your time at our hospital as convenient and stress-free as possible.
At our facilities, we offer a comprehensive cancer diagnostic evaluation for international patients that includes delivering a personalized treatment plan within three to five business days (depending on the array of diagnostic tests required) for a single, bundled price. The evaluation includes all diagnostic tests, all consultations with medical staff, and customary hospital services for each of four different disease types as follows:
The final cost of the evaluation will be determined upon examination of the patient’s medical records and only after the full extent of testing required has been determined. although the total cost of the evaluation will not exceed the maximum price referenced above.
To learn more about second opinions, contact CTCA through our live chat option, or by calling +1 (847) 794-8494. International calling fees apply. When you call, you may ask to provide your phone number to our team and receive a call back at our expense.
Travel for international patients
As soon as you contact us, we work hard to help make your treatment experience as convenient and stress-free as possible. Our experienced team takes care of the many details of your visit, from gathering your medical records to scheduling your appointments to booking your travel and lodging.
Travel and lodging: Once here, our staff is available 24/7 to continue assisting with your travel coordination and other needs throughout your treatment.
We understand that traveling for cancer treatment may seem overwhelming. CTCA offers many services that make getting to one of our cancer hospitals as easy, stress-free and affordable as possible. For international patients who treat at CTCA through an agreement with an insurance company, employer or embassy, we may be able to provide the following travel benefits:
||Handled by CTCA?
|Reserve airline/train ticket.
||For certain patients, CTCA will cover the cost of your flight/train ride, or reimburse you for miles if you drive.*
|Make hotel/lodging arrangements.
||CTCA offers on- and off-site guest rooms at reduced rates, and has partnered with nearby hotels to offer rooms at reduced rates. Daily hotel rates may be as little as $20-$40 a day.
|Arrange for transportation from the airport/train station to the hospital or to your lodging site.
||CTCA provides complimentary transportation services, including trips to and from the hospital and your lodging site, and around town.
|Determine where/what to eat during the visit.
||CTCA offers discounted meal tickets for patients and their caregivers to dine at the hospital.**
* If you are a beneficiary of a U.S. government health insurance program, such as Medicare, CTCA is not permitted to provide travel or transportation benefits.
** Meal costs for patients and caregivers vary at each CTCA hospital. The average cost of dinner is $4 to $10 USD.
For patients paying for their own care, travel benefits will vary. Your Patient Financial Services Advocate will help you understand the travel benefits you are eligible for.
Visas: When your appointment is confirmed, you will receive information about your initial appointment schedule and length of stay in the United States. If your country requires a visa for you to travel to the United States, our team will provide a visa letter at this time.
This letter must be taken to a U.S. embassy or consulate when you apply for a visa. Only a U.S. embassy or consulate can grant visas. Online visa applications are available on the U.S. Department of State website.
To apply for visitor visa, you must show purposes of trip to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure or medical treatment – options are a B1 (short term business) or B2 (medical treatment or pleasure) visa.In case you need to extend your stay in the United States., you may need a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), which serves as evidence of lawful admission and alien registration for air and sea travelers from electronic travel records.
For more information about visas, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Returning home after treatment
Your care team will work with you to help you prepare for your return home after treatment. You will be provided with a folder of information that details the medical treatments you had, medications you took, follow-up care needed, and answers to many of the questions you may have. You will receive contact information for members of your Care Team and will be encouraged to contact them if you have any questions.
Upon request, your CTCA doctor or nurse will contact your physician at home to answer questions he or she may have and to help facilitate a smooth continuum of care.
The first step is contacting CTCA, through our live chat option, or by calling +1 (847) 794-8494. International calling fees apply. When you call, you may ask to provide your phone number to our team and receive a call back at our expense.
- Patients from Mexico, please visit: http://www.cancercenter.mx/mx or call 55-4774-0922 (Local calling rates apply).
- Patients from the Cayman Islands, please visit: http://www.cancercenter.com/cayman, or call 345-323-9706. (Local calling rates apply).
- Patients from the Bahamas, please call: 242-601-0006 or 242-601-0012. (Local calling rates apply).
For inquiries from all other countries, contact CTCA through our live chat option, or by calling +1 (847) 794-8494.