Who Would Benefit From Medical Travel

Who Would Benefit From Medical Travel

Medical travel, otherwise known as medical tourism, has been around for many years.  Yet, it seems to have gained more popularity in the past decade.  There are many reasons as to why someone would travel for medical treatment but exactly who would benefit from medical travel?  The answer is if your quality of life has been hampered, you are unable to work, losing money as a result or the pain is unbearable, then you would benefit.  

Elective Procedures

In an urgent case, getting treated in a timely fashion usually happens.  When it does not involve a medical emergency, the provincial government heath plans consider these elective procedures and/or non-urgent.  It doesn’t mean that the provincial insurance won’t cover what you need to have done, in most cases, however, you may just have to wait.  When it involves something that creates limitations in your day to day health, then it sure seems like it is urgent.  Constant pain is physically limiting and distracting with difficulties in focusing .  This will create a decrease in your productivity or ability to work.   

In other instances, it could be a cost benefit for surgeries such as elective plastic surgery or dental procedures.  The cost for these surgeries is not covered by the provincial government health plans and can be pretty pricey to pay out of pocket.  Therefore, one may opt to have things done elsewhere.

Procedures Not Available In Home Country

Availability for cutting edge and newer techniques are not always a luxury we have access to.  In many situations, a more involved surgery might be determined solely on the fact that the surgeon doesn’t have the appropriate training or tools to do a less invasive type of procedure.  There are other cases where the procedure or technology is simply not available such as in a cancer case.  In these scenarios, it is prudent to research your options.  Getting a second opinion is the best way to navigate this and explore your options.  You just may find something you didn’t know existed and be a better treatment for you.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Organ Transplants and Medical Tourism

Organ Transplants and Medical Tourism

From time to time we get calls and emails from individuals seeking organ transplants.  The requests not only come from Canadians but individuals from other countries looking to come to Canada or the US for the surgery.  Organ transplant cases are probably the most complex kind we could ever assist in because there are so many variables and factors to account for when making arrangements for such a surgery.

Black Market

For starters, we cannot help someone locate an organ for them.  This is actually illegal in all countries around the world, with the exception of Iran.  Despite these prohibitions, the trafficking of organs is still done globally on what they call the ‘Black Market’.  People are willing to sell their organ(s), such as a kidney, in exchange for money.  It’s pretty evident why this would and should not be allowed.  

Having A Match As A Donor

Some of the calls we’ve gotten are from individuals that have a family member that is a match for them.  In cases like this, we can help, however, the requirements and financial aspects of having it done privately can be quite stringent and cost prohibitive  For someone coming from another country to the US or Canada, certain requirements have to be met prior to a hospital even considering doing the surgery. 

The out of pocket expense to have an organ transplant surgery would start around $100K USD and go up.  The hospital would not only require proof of financial means to pay for the surgery through a verifiable source, but also need proof that the recipient has the financial means or insurance for the follow up care, which is life long, and very expensive.  In addition, they would require proper testing to have been done on the donor such as a physical exam, immunological tests, multiple lab and tissue tests, EKG, chest x-ray, psychological evaluation, urine samples and several others should the surgeon feel they are warranted.  The US & Canada also require a Visa to enter if you are from certain countries.  This would need to be approved in advance as well.

Being A Donor

Unfortunately, waiting for the appropriate organ can take several months to several years.  Not everyone is successful in finding a match.  One thing you can do to help contribute to those in need is to become a donor should you pass away unexpectedly.  The process for registering is very quick, simple and the database is connected nationally. 

There is also living donation should you be interested.  Living donors can give a kidney, bone marrow and partial lung, pancreas, intestine or liver.  This of course, is out of the goodness of your heart as you will not receive any kind of monetary incentive.  Things such as plasma and blood are also considered donations that are always needed.  For information on how you can be a donor, please visit: https:// www.theorganproject.net

 

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Free Medical Facilitation Service

Many people travel to get medical services outside of their country. An estimate of over 1 million Canadians left Canada in 2018 and received medical services someplace else. Some choose to hire a medical facilitator to help them navigate medical services in a foreign country with different laws and customs.

We at Health Vantis are such a firm. We help Canadians plan and travel for medical treatments and surgeries in the US.  However, US healthcare can be confusing and very expensive. Getting one price for surgery may prove to be nearly impossible. And even if you manage that on your own, you could be given an outrageous quote for a 20-minute outpatient surgery.

Health Vantis helps you get to a timely and safe treatment in an affordable manner. We can not do this for free. However, we believe in price transparency and honesty. Not all medical facilitation firms do their business this way. Some do not disclose what they charge their clients and bury their fee in one price. Some get paid by the facilities they refer their clients to. Such practices are illegal and unethical in the United States. In some other countries, they are not.

So what is the issue at hand you may ask? Does it matter if there is a full disclosure if I end up paying it anyway? The answer is two-fold. First comes trust. Health issues are very personal. You should be able to trust your medical facilitator. And they should be able to trust you and tell you what their services cost. This is a very delicate subject, but necessary to avoid being overcharged. Standard industry charge for medical facilitation is 10-15% of the surgery/treatment price.

Second is acting in the best interest of the client. If your facilitator gets paid by the medical facility or somehow hides it and holds a percentage out of your total payment – well, where do you think the facilitator will send you to? To the place that pays them, and not to the best suited or best qualified medical facility based on your medical issue. This is not acting in the best interest of the client.

When selecting your medical facilitator keep in mind that they are not working for free. Before committing to one, ensure that you trust them and they trust you and that they are not incentivized to act in their own interests, instead of yours.

Dangers in Medical Travel

Dangers in Medical Travel

In the past few months you might have seen an increase in articles in the media warning about the dangers of Medical Travel to Mexico or Dominican Republic /or against traveling to Mexico or Dominican Republic for medical reasons.  This includes a recent warning from the CDC not to have surgery in a specific region and hospital in Mexico and Dominican Republic.  While there is a cause for concern, the results can be different, if you select a facility based on knowing what to watch out for.   There can be dangers in Medical Travel but if you ask the right questions and verify the given information, those can be avoided.

Dangers To Avoid

  • The facility does not have a US, Canadian or JCI Accreditation 
  • You cannot verify the surgeons credentials and what they are certified to perform in, that they are up to date and what their actual training was in
  • The facility doesn’t publish their infection rate
  • There is no procedure in place if there is an emergency or something goes wrong during the operation 

But It’s Cheaper

While cost is important it should not be your deciding factor.  Many people think, it’s just breast implants or a simple hernia surgery.  They do these every day.  What could go wrong?  If the right standards are not met, A LOT!  Sometimes you get what you pay for and your health should not be compromised to save a few dollars.  

Having a safe, successful surgery should be your number 1 priority.  That can be achieved if you gather all the facts.  This can be incredibly time consuming but well worth the effort.  Hiring a Medical Facilitator that does all of this for you will ensure no detail or question is left unanswered.  It also gives you a guide through the entire process.  If you are in need of such knowledge and expertise, contact Health Vantis today!  

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

End Of the Year – Top 5 Things To Do Right Now!

It is hard to believe, but the end of the 2018 year is just a month away. Thinking about what to do before its over? Here are our top 5 suggestions to make you a happier and, therefore, healthier person!

Check your spending on supplemental health insurance and health spending account

There may be some physiotherapist, chiropractor or massage therapist money left. Make an appointment to tend to your sore muscles or unaligned bones. Another good one to check is your vision program. Yearly eye exams and a pair of glasses or contacts are usually covered to a certain amount.

Plan a trip!

According to this study planning and anticipating a trip actually bring your happiness levels up. We live in a climate where winters are real, and sometimes just thinking about a nice beach and picturing yourself getting some warm sun gives us the strength to deal with snowstorms and freezing temperatures.

Make time to connect with those that have supported you and made you feel special

Even though we all get so busy before and during the holidays, a morning coffee or a special phone call matter to those that care about you. If you moved around a lot on your life, use Skype to connect and see your friends faces and smiles! It will keep both of you engaged and looking forward to the future – something we sometimes forget to think about when we are facing everyday routines. After all the holiday hustle and bustle is gone you will have something real to lean n – friends and family, your true fans!

Volunteer

Giving up your time for a bigger cause can be very rewarding. You can step outside your usual routine, meet new people and be part of a new organization or simply help your child’s school serve pizza or make classroom materials. Whatever the cause is, stay committed, even if it is an hour a month. Your valuable time contribution can change a person’s life for the better– how great is that?

Celebrate you

Feeling that you do not have time for yourself? Forgot when you were able to relax and stay in bed for an extra hour or took a nice mid-afternoon nap? Do it! Schedule the time in your calendar and treat yourself to the luxury of sleep, pampering or whatever else you have been thinking of these past 6 months. In order to do this successfully a little planning is needed. Your to do list needs to be taken care of and the rest is able to wait till you come out of your You-zone without feeling guilty of taking some time to yourself.

 

5 Cool Apps Every Snowbird Should Use

5 Cool Apps That Every Snowbird Should Use

Summer has wound down and fall is here, which means the snowbirds are preparing to head south for the winter.  There are so many handy tools out there for them to utilize, however, we found some cool apps that every snowbird should use!

Canadian Snowbirds US Stay Counter 

Canadian Snowbirds US Stay Counter helps track the number of days you are staying in the US.  This is important to avoid tax consequences.  It also offers other services such as US currency, US real estate, Snowbird FM, Tax & Legal Services, & Check your I-94.  The app was designed by Canadian Gerry Scott, who is an experienced wealth management financial planner and avid snowbird himself.  Knowing the tax laws are incredibly important if you live in 2 different countries.  Try it out to help you track your days.  

AARP Now Mobile App 

AARP Now Mobile App keeps you connected with daily news stories, offers the ability to explore events happening close by and provides member-only benefits and discounts.  Offers are added monthly and you can access them from wherever you are.  You can set up notification reminders for upcoming events or deals you’ve saved.  AARP also offers 2 other apps you should check out: AARP Publications Tablet App and AARP Member Advantages App.  

Libby by OverDrive

Libby by OverDrive is basically the local library right on your device.  If you are a member of a local library, you can check out books or audiobooks digitally for FREE from the touch of your fingers.  No driving to the library or worrying about getting back to return the items.  Books automatically go back to the queue after the set time, however, you have the ability to renew it, as long as it’s prior to the due date.  For popular books, you can put your name on a waiting list and it will send a notification to your email when it’s available.  It’s very user-friendly and there are literally 1000’s of books to choose from.  

Waze 

Waze is a really cool app that assists in your commute or drive.  It connects other drivers to one another to help improve the quality of everyone’s daily driving while giving driving directions. Waze gives you the best route to drive and if there is a lot of traffic, construction, accident or other traffic hazards, it will offer alternate routes so you don’t get stuck in the traffic.  It clues you into when there are police officers in the area, stalled cars and even which gas station has the cheapest gas. 

Simply Declare

Simply Declare manages your travel receipts and gives you an itemized list with the information you need to fill out your declarations forms upon returning home.  It lets you know in real time currency if you have reached or exceeded your limits.  Simply Declare allows you to take pictures of your receipts so they are all stored in one spot.  It has a notepad, quick currency converter and the ability to itemize lists the way you want.  

No matter where you travel this winter, have a safe, relaxing holiday!

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

How Many People in Canada Travel for Medical Care?

How Many People In Canada Travel For Medical Care

The Fraser Institute conducts surveys on an annual basis for specialists.  The specialists are asked to provide data on the care their patients receive.  This research always produces an estimation of how long our wait times are but another area they also gain insights into are how many people in Canada travel for medical care outside of our borders.

The question asked on the survey is: ‘Approximately what percentage of your patients received non-emergency medical treatment in the past 12 months outside of Canada’. (1)  The number reported was 63,459 for 2017.  This survey is only sent to doctors in 12 specialties, those which have been documented to have the longest wait times.  If all specialties are not surveyed, that could mean, perhaps, that there are more than 63,459 Canadians leaving for medical care.

Reasons?

What were the reported reasons someone might travel for medical care? (*all reasons listed provided by Fraser Institute survey results)

⁃The inability to get quality care in a timely manner

⁃They have been sent out of the country by the public system due to lack of available resources or the procedure or equipment was not provided in their home jurisdiction

⁃ Concerns about quality and are seeking more advanced health care facilities, state of the art medical technologies or better outcomes

⁃To avoid some of the adverse medical consequences of waiting for care.  Those could include worsening of their condition, poorer outcomes following treatment, disability or death.

⁃To avoid a delay and make a quicker return to normal life.  

Canadians may leave the country for medical treatment that is not reported for this survey’s purpose.  Those could include dental care or cosmetic surgery.  These 2 are considered elective and not covered by the public health care system.  Services like these can also be very expensive in Canada, prompting individuals to look outside of the Canadian borders for cheaper prices.

Medical travel has been around for centuries.  It has gained increasing popularity in the US due to the cost of healthcare businesses face.  While health care is expensive in the US, there are many facilities that can provide affordable prices.  More and more surgical centers are following this trend to be competitive and lie right across the border.  There are no statistics out there to indicate where most Canadians travel for medical care, however, the US has been known to be the most popular destination due to its close proximity.

 

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

 

  1.  https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/leaving-canada-for-medical-care-2017.pdf

Medical Travel Complications Insurance

When traveling out of the country you need to ensure that you and your family are protected in an emergency. Most Canadians have or purchase travel insurance. It covers them for emergency medical situations and trip interruption. So, what is medical travel complications insurance and how it is different from travel insurance? Although travel insurance and medical travel complications insurance may sound similar, those two insurance products are very different. They differ in who uses them, why and what is covered. Here is a little bit of info about both.

Standard Travel, Trip Interruption and Out of Country Medical Travel Insurance Policies

This type of insurance protects travelers for emergency medical issues, such as hospital, medical and paramedical, trip cancellation or interruption, lost or delayed luggage, and accident coverage, such as death or losing a limb. It is widely available and easy to obtain in most cases. Many companies in Canada and the USA offer policies to cover travelers outside of the country, travelers coming to the country and international students.

The main purpose of this insurance is to protect yourself and your family in case something unexpected comes up. Some of the companies also offer additional coverage services in case of a political unrest or natural disaster in the travel destination country. If you have a stable pre-existing condition you may also purchase coverage for an unexpected flare-up of the disease. Otherwise, it is extremely hard to find medical coverage for a disease that is not under control.

If you are traveling to receive medical treatment in another country, this insurance will not cover anything related to complications from your procedure.

Medical Travel and Complications Insurance

You will want to protect yourself in case something goes wrong when you travel outside of your home country for a surgery or medical treatment. All surgeries carry risks and you first should discuss those with your surgeon. Ask them how many cases they had that resulted in a complication or re-admission and why that occurred. It will give you a better idea of how to handle risk for your own surgery.

Even low-risk surgeries are not 100% risk-free. Usually, it is the client receiving treatment who is also responsible for all costs if a complication is to occur. Those costs can be high. Getting a medical complication insurance will provide you with a piece of mind and cost protection. All extra medical expense resulting from a complication will be covered.

It is an added bonus that the companies issuing medical complication insurance are experienced in their field. The will only ensure procedures at a reputable hospital and with a skilled surgeon. We have all heard of horror stories of people receiving bad care while abroad. Your facility will be double vetted – by your medical facilitator and your medical travel complication insurance company.

If you plan to have a surgery outside your home country, give Health Vantis a call and we can help you with obtaining a medical travel and complication insurance. Toll-free 1 877 344 3544 or email info@healthvantis.com

Combine Surgery With Travel

Combine Surgery With Travel

In today’s world, time is money and we all seem to be limited or stretched for both.  Taking care of your health seems to be put on the back burner when we are in this position in life. Is that really the best thing to do considering we need our health to be good at things?  How about planning your vacation smartly?  You need to have a procedure done but have put it off because of time or money.  Why not consider these 3 options for ‘killing 2 birds with 1 stone’ and combine surgery with travel?

If you are like me and had major surgery(s), you would probably agree the first few days you will want nothing but sleep and rest.  Minor procedures such as plastic surgery or dental work may not be as limiting, however, something like an orthopedic surgery will not allow for you to be taking long walks on the beach.  In fact, that would not be a good idea to be walking on sand after such surgery due to the unevenness which could result in another injury.  You can still combine travel with surgery, or at the least, make the best use of your time.

Combine Leisure Travel with Medical Travel

Summer is upon us and one of the best things about it is that you get to vacation! Are you limited on how many vacation days you are allowed for the year?  Have you ever thought about combining your surgery or procedure with your trip?  You may not get to enjoy the entire trip but you could go a couple days early to get in some of the sites.

Combine Your ‘Snowbird’ Vacation with Medical Travel

Canadians flock south every year to escape the cold and long winters.  Many have condos or second homes they own with Arizona, Florida and Texas as their destination.  They will spend months basking in the sun wearing sandals and shorts while their friends and family back home are bundled up in winter gear.  

This is an ample time to have your surgery, treatment or diagnostic test, especially if the surgery is a major one.   Having extended access to the surgeon or doctor without adding another flight will help keep your risk down. This also gives the doctor a better eye on monitoring you.  Most doctors are going to give post op care that’s included in their pricing. This helps keep the continuity of care if you are able to do all of your recovery in one place.  

Combine Your Business Trip with Medical Travel

Many Canadians travel to the US for business frequently.   This may or may not even require any additional vacation time depending on what you need to have done.  Diagnostic tests can easily be done in a matter of hours.  And if your company is footing the travel part of the trip, definitely coordinate what you need to have done.  If it’s a minor surgery, you may be able to fly within a day or two.

Popular Spots

Top destinations Canadians travel to in the USA during the summer are: Washington DC, Boston, Orlando or other historic destinations.  Snowbirds prefer Arizona, Florida and Texas.  Business travel includes Chicago, New York or Boston.   It just so happens Health Vantis has facilities in or near all of the destinations. If you need a surgery, contact Health Vantis to help you coordinate one of these trips for you.   

 

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Health Benefits To The Approaching Summer

What Are The Health Benefits To The Approaching Summer?

We can feel the sun on our face and it brings excitement and joy every time we realize that summer is almost here.  It is by far my favorite season.  Being able to shed winter layers for flip flops and shorts is what I look forward to every single year.  Some of the great things about summer are of the many.  High on that list are the health benefits it offers.  Below we have shared some of those:

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

Doesn’t it seem like we associate winter with heavy, comfort food?  But when summer approaches and we start to shed the extra layers, heavy meals suddenly don’t seem as appetizing but the colorful fruits and vegetables do. That is because the summer heat drives our hunger down as our bodies do not need to expend as much energy to keep us warm.  It tells our minds we only need something lighter to sustain us.  

Fruits and vegetable look so much more vibrant in the summer.  I am more apt to grab a piece of fruit as a snack now than I would in the winter based on esthetics alone.  It’s  local also time for the local Farmer’s Market’s to open back up with local vendors presenting their organic, wholesome, fresh food.  While some are open during the winter, the summer months present more excitement and color.

More Opportunities for Exercise

There is nothing worse than sitting behind a desk and staring outside to the beautiful sun shinning, envious of those out there enjoying it.  The sluggish feeling of winter fades and we are suddenly energized making us more productive, even at work.  This also affects the way we exercise.  

People naturally want to be outside.  Summer gives us more options on how and where to exercise.   Not everyone is a gym rat.  That can seem like a daunting, monotonous task but summer opens doors to activities that people love to do.  Things like gardening, mowing the lawn, hiking/walking, riding a bike, playing a game or sport with our children/grandchildren or swimming.  And what happens when you are in the sun and exercise or work outside?  You sweat!  Sweating detoxifies your body, which is another excellent health benefit. 

More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins in our body for optimal health.  It strengthens our immune system, can play a role in cancer prevention, strengthens our bones, speeds up metabolism and improves the overall emotional health. 

   When exposed to the sun, our Vitamin D is replenished and stored.  

Over the years, with more awareness of the dangers of too much sun, we have been taught to block the rays out with sun screen.  People are also working more hours keeping them indoors and shielded them from the rays.  Due to this, many now suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency.  

Having a Vitamin D deficiency can cause you to have bone pain, muscle cramps, stooped posture, loss in height and weakness and tingling.  During the summer months it is easier to store up on your Vitamin D.  After coming off Melanoma Awareness Month we wouldn’t suggest you to disregard the yields to applying sun screen, but newer research has shown that exposing your body to a little bit of sunshine can actually be good for you.

Overall Feel Good Attitude

  Summer time offers us longer days and more opportunity for the sun to shine.  Having the extra daylight gives us more time to be outside and possibly get outdoor exercise in.  This can produce the happy endorphins more so than if you exercised indoors.  Regular sun has also been known to halt moderate depression.  There are individuals that have an illness called Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), which is normally present during the fall and winter months.  Once summer arrives, it magically disappears.

Vacation!

Nothing rejuvenates your spirit and mental health like a vacation.  Taking a vacation, whether it’s a quick 3-4 day weekend get-away or a week off, can be beneficial to your overall well-being.  Summer presents more time for people to take time off work and spend it with their families.  Studies have shown over and over that stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure.  Making the time to take a vacation not only gives you a break from the normal stressors of daily life but it can strengthen your relationships by spending quality time together.  

Summer is often a short lived season in Canada.  Make the most of it by watching less TV, putting the devices down and getting outside to explore all of the wonderful things available to us. A little bit of sunshine can go a long way!

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com