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.
Medical records: Medical records need to be in English and should be emailed to email@example.com.
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:
- On your computer, create a new folder, using the patient's name.
- Place all patient imaging scans in the newly created folder.
- Once all patient imaging scans have been placed in the folder, compress the whole folder using the Zip format; DO NOT Zip individual files.
- 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.
- Send a notification to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com; we'll download the folder.
- 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:
c/o International Health Services
Attn: Donna Bias
8700 Beverly Blvd., Suite 490 West
Los Angeles, CA 90048
We accept most major international insurance plans, including Bupa, Geo Blue, Cigna, United Healthcare and Aetna International. The team at Cedars-Sinai will work with you and your insurance company to make sure all authorizations are obtained for billing. Please call our office directly (001-310-423-7890) to start the process or for any help you may need.
If you are paying out of pocket for your medical care at Cedars-Sinai, we will create a cash agreement for you before your treatment. This cash agreement covers medical testing, diagnosis and treatment. The cost is first determined by the recommendations of the Cedars-Sinai doctor who is treating you. Payment is due in full before any services provided and must be in U.S. currency (USD).
In addition to cash and cashier's check, payments can be made in any of the following ways:
- Wire Transfer — Upon request, wire transfer information is provided with amount due and all needed information to facilitate the transfer. Send a copy of your payment request to the Cedars-Sinai finance team and you will be sent a receipt for your records. Remember to pay the additional cost of wire processing.
- Credit Cards — All major credit cards are accepted. Remember to notify the credit card company in advance of making this payment in the United States to ensure that payment is approved. We also advise that you check whether there are any additional fees for using your card in the U.S.
- Flywire International Payment Portal — Cedars-Sinai has partnered with Flywire to provide an easy and secure way of paying your bill. Your payment is made directly to Cedars-Sinai using your medical record number and will allow you to pay in your country’s local currency, save on bank fees/ exchange rates, track your payment and receive multilingual support. Please use this web address to initiate a Flywire payment: https://www.flywire.com/pay/cedars-sinai
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.
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.
Your identification card and passport.
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.
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 (PDF) 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.
Within the U.S.
Contact: Cecilia Quijano