IMPROVING THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE WHILE TRAVELLING: Raymond Rupert MD. MBA

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When someone gets sick while travelling, it can be very frightening, confusing and disconcerting.

The usual resources: parents, siblings, relatives, family doctor and local emergency department are not there.

The call to the 800 number on the back of the travel health insurance card does seem to be the logical start.  It does initiate a claim and results in a claim number. However, it does not, in all cases, remove the feeling of dread because of the uncertainty about getting quality and timely care.

Then there are travellers who have a weekly or daily need for treatment such as kidney dialysis. They must be prepared before they travel by having a treatment plan in place with a clear understanding of quality and cost.

And there are travellers who can not get travel health insurance. They are forced to self insure. They are doubly at risk because of the uncertainty about the quality and cost of care.

Here’s A Case Study Of Hanna In Amsterdam:

Hanna is 28 year old from London Ontario who met her cousin in Amsterdam.  As soon as she got there, she developed a high spiking fever.  She did not know what to do.

She called Rupert Case Management on Thursday at 6:30AM.  One of our nurses interviewed her.   We found an English speaking clinic about 3 blocks from Hanna’s hotel. We briefed the nurse at the clinic.  We booked an appointment for her. We called Hanna to tell her about the appointment, texted her the location and helped her get a cab. After the appointment with the doctor, we made sure that Hanna got and took the appropriate medications.

Outcome Of This Case Study:

Hanna and her parents love us and her insurance advisor who suggested that they use our travel health advocacy services.

Here’s A Case Study Of  A Traveller Requiring Dialysis:

A 65 year old male patient required dialysis three times per week. He wanted to escape from the harsh winter in Winnipeg to Ft Lauderdale to stay with friends.  Our job was to find a quality out patient dialysis service and to arrange for his treatments. He had a clear understanding of quality and of cost.  He was able to enjoy his stay in Florida with the understanding that if there were any hiccups with his dialysis, that Rupert Case Management would respond in a timely manner.

Here’s A Case Study Of A Self Insured Traveller:

Reg is a 79 year old retired accountant who could not get travel health insurance. He chose to travel to Florida for the winter where he and his wife have a home. Unfortunately, he got sick and spent two weeks in the surgical intensive care unit. His insurance advisor suggested that his wife call Rupert Case Management. Our job was to monitor his care and eventually to transition him back to Canada.  We assisted with getting the bed and arranging for the ride. Eventually, we assisted with repricing the bill with significant discounts for this couple.

Outcome Of This Case:

Without care management and travel health advocacy, this scenario would have been a nightmare for this couple. It was difficult for them; however, they were able to get through it without personal bankruptcy.

Summary: 

The important points for travel health insurers to remember are:

1. Do not confuse claim management with care management and travel health advocacy.

2.  Improving the patient’s global experience involves managing all the details of care.

3. Patients value being guided to quality and timely care by a healthcare professional.

4. Travel health insurers can differentiate their products and improve the customer experience by adding travel health advocacy, as a separately priced rider.

5. Travel health insurers can save money and improve the customer experience by focusing on value based design of their insurance products.

copyright 2014-  Rupert Case Management Inc.