Frequently Asked Questions for International Patients

Leaving home to travel to another country for medical care is bound to bring up many questions. Whether it's before, during or after your visit to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below, to help you and your family better prepare for your trip.


Before Your Visit

Adults, children and infants may all be treated at Cedars-Sinai. Deciding if treatment here is right for you will depend on factors such as your illness or diagnosis and other medical information. You can call or email us to ask questions or schedule a consultation.

Yes, you do need to arrange an appointment. Please call or email us. You'll be assigned a Cedars-Sinai clinical coordinator, or medical advisor, who will help you every step of the way.

The assigned coordinator will make every effort to schedule all of the testing and procedures you'll need before you arrive.

If you're sponsored by an embassy or local consulate, your coordinator will work directly with them.

Yes, our doctors need to be well-informed about your condition before you arrive. Having your medical records (in English) will also allow the International Health Services to refer you to the best-matched specialist.

Medical records include doctor's notes, treatment history, operative reports (which provide details of medical procedures), and pathology, imaging and lab reports.

Basic information: Please fill out the pre-admission form in English and email it to intlhealth@cshs.org.

Medical records: Medical records need to be in English and should be emailed to intlhealth@cshs.org.

Imaging: If you have digital files of your medical images and scans, you can email them to us. Please keep in mind that large files—bigger than 5 MB, in most cases—can't be sent as an email attachment. The following steps must be taken to ensure that imaging scans can be received and reviewed:

  1. On your computer, create a new folder, using the patient's name.
  2. Place all patient imaging scans in the newly created folder.
  3. Once all patient imaging scans have been placed in the folder, compress the whole folder using the Zip format; DO NOT Zip individual files.
  4. With all the files in the Zip folder, you can now upload the folder to your account on either box.com or other HIPAA-compliant FTP sites.
  5. Send a notification to donna.bias@cshs.org and ronnie.riley@cshs.org; we'll download the folder.
  6. Once the folder is downloaded. It will be put on media and sent to the appropriate specialist for review.

Pathology slides (if any): If you only have physical copies of test results, you can send them by certified mail or a secure delivery service to:

Cedars-Sinai 
c/o International Health Services

Attn: Donna Bias
8700 Beverly Blvd., Suite 490 West
Los Angeles, CA  90048
Phone:  1-310-423-7890

The International Health Services team will work with you, and the clinical departments that will be providing your care, to develop a personalized treatment plan.

The cost of care is determined by tests and procedures recommended or outlined by your accepting/treating doctor. This may be determined before you arrive in the U.S. Payment is due, in full, prior to your arrival.

Before you make your decision, we'll provide you with a cash package/agreement covering details about treatment, providers, payment and related terms. This cash package is an agreement between you and Cedars-Sinai, and is a service available for international patients to ensure transparency.

Payments must be in U.S. dollars and can be made by wire transfer, cashier's check, credit cards (such as UnionPay, Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express) or cash.

Insurance may be accepted if your carrier is contracted with a network of Cedars-Sinai. If your insurance carrier isn't contracted with one of our networks, we may set up an individual agreement with them. Please call our office directly with all information to start the process. Learn more.

Yes, we provide remote video consultations to international patients and their doctors. For more information, including eligibility requirements, please contact our clinical coordinator.

Our clinical coordinators can suggest travel plans based on your appointment times at Cedars-Sinai.

In some cases, we can issue a letter for a visa application, after you have submitted all pertinent information and have an appointment and a possible treatment plan. If you're paying cash, we may ask for a deposit—the visa office may require you to prove you have the funds deposited in the U.S. before issuing a travel visa. Please check the local visa office in your country.

We're unable to issue visa letters for baby deliveries.

We have offices in Mexico City and Shanghai with representatives who will be happy to speak with you. Patients from other countries can get help by contacting our U.S. offices. Contact us.

The International Health Services team can supply a list of hotels and rental housing at various price ranges, including some nearby hotels that offer special rates for Cedars-Sinai patients. If you need help, please contact our clinical coordinator.

Temperatures are generally mild, but can vary depending on location, time of year and time of day. Summer months, from May to September, range from warm to hot and are mostly sunny, but can be overcast in the morning. During winter months, from October to April, the temperatures are slightly cooler—especially at night—with a low-to-moderate chance of rain.

During Your Visit

Yes, we have interpreters for 45 common languages. They can explain things to you and help you communicate with your specialists, both here and after you return home.

The length of stay varies, depending on the type of procedure you're having and other medical factors.

Yes. In our non-ICU setting, every room is a private room. One family member or friend can stay in the inpatient room with you overnight. You can ask your floor nurse for a cot for them to sleep on.

Yes, we have chaplain services. To learn more about them, contact the Spiritual Care Department.

You'll spend some time recovering. You'll also need follow-up care before returning home. Your care team will schedule follow-up appointments, help you fill prescriptions and get any special equipment.

Los Angeles is a diverse, cosmopolitan city with attractions such as:

  • An exciting international restaurant scene 
  • A variety of high-end and hip shopping districts 
  • World-renowned museums 
  • Famous amusement parks 
  • Movie-studio tours and other Hollywood entertainment 
  • Concerts and sporting events 
  • Aquariums, a zoo and botanical gardens 
  • Beaches, parks and hiking trails

After Your Visit

Patients can request their records for all medical services provided by Cedars-Sinai. To make the request, you'll need to sign the HIPAA authorizations form prior to receiving your records.

Then, the International Health Services will collect and organize your medical records, including medical imaging, for you to pick up. Please inform us about your travel plans so that we can have the medical records ready for you.