Destination Healthcare®

What Are Destination Healthcare ® and Destination Medical Care™?

We often think of Destination Healthcare ® as something very new or different, if we think of it at all.  The reality is that it is a choice we make almost every time we see a doctor. If you’ve ever made a choice between doctors based on skill, reputation, cost, or available appointment dates; told someone you wanted to go to one hospital over another based on quality of care; or thought about whether to visit a specialist in another city, you’ve made a Destination Medical Care decision.

Destination Healthcare ® integrates services offered by Soter Healthcare that helps find and access medical care when what you need is not available where you live. It is a distinctive set of services that also includes identifying doctors and hospitals with capabilities of providing premier medical care for international patient; evaluating those doctors and hospitals in particular medical specialties, maintaining network relationships, including adding or dropping providers as situations call for; and making that information available to people with unmet medical needs. Destination Medical Care™ is the specific package of medical services you receive, including hospital admissions, payment help, doctor and nursing care, transfer of medical records between your home and destination-based physician, communications with you while admitted to the hospital and upon your return home, and more.

What’s changed is that people today are considering international medical centers of excellence as an alternative.  These hospitals and doctors offer premier medical outcomes, access without long wait times, affordability, and access to the latest in treatment technique and technology.  Soter Healthcare offers access to Centers of Excellence in more than 30 medical specialties and subspecialties.

Why Would I Consider Destination Medical Care™?

There are several reasons people think about Destination Medical Care™ as an option.  For some, it offers a chance to get out of the line of long waiting times.  For others, Destination Medical Care™ offers access to treatments that aren’t yet available where they live.  For still others, it provides financial relief for expensive treatments they have to pay for out-of-pocket.  For everyone, it is a way to get premier medical outcomes for their particular medical condition.

History of Destination Healthcare ®

Some of the earliest records about people traveling outside their home area for medical care date to roughly 2650 BC, around the time the Egyptians constructed the first pyramids. During this period, travelers came to visit the Egyptian healer Imhotep, a physician widely regarded for wound care and treatment of muscular, intestinal and skin disorders. Definitive records from the fifth century BC describe the travels of the injured and ill to Epidauria, a territory along the Aegean Sea where the physician Asklepios lived. During this period, the cult of Asklepios gained a reputation for successfully treating chronic and often fatal conditions other doctors would not or could not treat. Patients are known to have come from Athens, Kos, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Rome and other cities around the Mediterranean and Middle East.

In the United States, what we know as Destination Healthcare ® grew in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Americans suffering from tuberculosis traveled to places like Colorado Springs; Louisville, Kentucky; and Saranac Lake, New York, among others. In the second half of the 20th century, Destination Healthcare ® developed further as patients journey to leading hospitals including the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Today, patients travel to reach world-renowned international hospitals, in addition to those in their home countries.

Key Medical Associations Support Properly Designed Destination Healthcare ®

The American Medical Association and American College of Surgeons each recognize the value of Destination Healthcare ® and Destination Medical Care™ services and adopted position statements in support of its use. Our Destination Medical Care™ programs meet their criteria and offer the essential medical care and support you need.

Selecting a Destination Healthcare ® Center

Realistically, this is the hardest part for most people, and we understand why.  There is a lot of information from many companies promoting this place or that for medical care. There is uncertainty around going to a hospital in another country. How can you find out in advance about the quality of care?  That’s where we come in.  Our founder spent over a decade working with Olympic athletes, helping them find doctors and hospitals during their training and competitions.  Now, we bring that and more to you.

First, we believe you should use the same standards you do when you pick a doctor or hospital at home.  It starts with a simple question: Is this doctor or hospital going to deliver the care I need, when I need it, and at prices I can afford.  Soter works with you to share information to help you make that decision.  We don’t get fooled by websites, because we’ve visited and approved every hospital in our network.

Unfortunately, many companies begin by talking about the city or country you should visit.  Many go on to describe the wonderful vacation opportunities.  They don’t talk about your medical condition, except as an afterthought.  That’s wrong.

At Soter, we start with your medical situation. If you tell us you want to go to a particular hospital, we’ll probably ask why. It may or may not be your best option. Our goal is to consider options with you individually, and not just pick a hospital or doctor that has a nice website. We’ll look into your health insurance coverage. Most companies skip this step entirely, because they think it’s too hard. Often, we are able to find benefits that lower your out-of-pocket medical cost. Because we also focus solely on your medical need, your care is almost always eligible for medical reimbursement or tax deduction. Most of our competitors don’t understand this or seem to care.

At Soter, we don’t believe your Destination Medical Care™ provider is always outside your home country. Sometimes, the best care for your condition is available closer to home. We’ll also tell you that.

We invite you to check us out and experience the benefits of Destination Medical Care™ and Destination Healthcare ®. We know you’ll be pleased you did.