Seeking US Doctors for Online Doctor Consults without Medical Insurance? Find out how the VIOS Clinic can help…
Many Americans who are naturalized citizens are returning back to their homeland or retiring in countries with favourable tax structures for long-term retirement and other reasons. It is understandable that retirees with chronic ailments and comorbidities would want the assurance of a timely access to high quality credible healthcare support when needed. In this article I will discuss the common challenges faced by expatriates, and the possible opportunities that telemedicine may provide.
This migration pattern is not new, many countries have created separate cul-de-sacs which cater to the relatively affluent expatriates communities. This includes higher quality accommodation, recreation facilities, banking options and other tools of modern civilisation.
Even with this massive investment into a very comfortable way of living, there is one sector that is plagued by low investment and consistently low availability of highly trained quality staff that the affluent population deems necessary, given the advanced age of the average expatriate population.
Although American expatriates are well known for the higher purchasing power compared to other nationalities who may reside in the same locality, their requirements for extremely professional and well mannered healthcare facilities are a cause of concern for the local service providers.
It is of course within their rights to demand a certain standard of living and healthcare facilities, given that most retirees have comorbidities and complex healthcare needs.
Certain countries have specifically trained a segment of their healthcare staff to cater to international patients and their unique healthcare needs. Nonetheless there is great opportunity for improvement in customer satisfaction, quality doctor-patient communication and favourable health outcomes given the circumstances.
Most American expatriates are highly demanding of appropriately certified and verified professionals to take care of them and their family members, should a dire need arise, complications of chronic diseases, a recent diagnosis of a life changing disease or could be as simple as enquiring about the validity of a prescription or treatment option.
Many expatriates would seek a source of familiarity i.e. to speak openly with a doctor from their home countries health system, to ensure that the primary care physician in their new adopted country is following the appropriate standard of practice that is deemed of acceptable quality (the best of money can buy.
What Specialized Healthcare Options are Available for US-Expatriates Based Overseas?
US embassies located in the capital cities of most countries often have support options such as call centres where US citizens may enquire about acceptable standards of high-quality care in the vicinity
Many multinational companies and international NGOs with foreign staff, provide comprehensive medical insurance coverage which would allow priority access to US foreign staff as well (many high-profile multinational companies even have their own medical staff to cater to the healthcare needs of the staff)
As the pandemic is getting under control and designated travel bubbles are being created, expatriates may be able to seek international medical tourism support to neighbouring countries who may have a higher degree of healthcare credibility based on accreditation and other arrangements.
How can Telemedicine Help American Expatriates Get US-Certified Doctor Advice Online?
Telemedicine is a unique system of immediate connected access to users, often separated by large geographic distances but connected by relatively affordable and accessible audiovisual software. Telemedicine platforms can easily allow American tourists or expatriates to easily connect with a provider who is well trained according to their expectations, their consult coverage may be accepted by their medical trust provider, or even their services may be affordable out-of-pocket.
The greatest benefit of using telemedicine for American expatriates is the strong sense of transparency of quality, credibility in their specialty field and the familiarity of a high degree of professionalism that they were used to back in the United States.
What Online Doctor Appointment options are Available for American Expatriates to get International Telemedicine
Major medical institutions in America often have a separate department dedicated towards international patients, a basic platform on the website to ask for simple queries, submit reports for analysis or to seek synchronous telemedicine visits
This is a list of the common medical institutions that may provide such a service for overseas patients:
- Mayo clinic
- MD Anderson
- Brigham General Hospital
- Texas Medical Center
- and so on
Although the list may be quite long there are often certain challenges that may make it difficult for US expatriates to get preferred providers that will agree to ad hoc telemedicine visit or at a fee that is deemed affordable by the inquiring patient party.
Most of these telehealth solutions are not the prime value proposition for the healthcare institution, most likely it is just a small department in the Internal Medicine Department or a small office next to the IT department that may cater to the telemedicine booking appointment requests.
This means that there is often a delay in processing the appointment request.
There is a long confusing application from the hospitals up, with a great deal of private health information in order to qualify for the booking process.
The payment process may be slow or the currency conversion rate may be quite high under the circumstances.
The most common issue is the long lag period between applying for a booking, confirming an appointment, acknowledging the online payment and finally arranging a suitable telemedicine visit that is at a convenient time given the varying changes in time zones between the telemedicine position based in the United States and the expatriates patient enquiring from a completely different time zone.
What is the Ideal Option for American Expatriates to Seek Online Doctor Consults?
In the VIOS Clinic we have provided a superior patient user experience that seeks to minimise the inconvenience that exists with many telemedicine platforms.
How does our digital health solution differ from other options in the market?
We do not require the user to complete a long user profile form with potentially complex or private data that is best discussed with the preferred provider in the first place
Our telemedicine system is uniquely designed to offer expert medical second opinions for a recent diagnosis of a lifetime of disease by the primary care provider or to seek answers to doubts about the management of their pre-existing comorbidity and or chronic filming
The user does not need to download any separate software, as most people since the pandemic of 2020 are now accustomed to zoom meetings, as is our primary mode of communication
Online banking is the safest and cheapest way to complete a financial transaction for a transparent pricing of the telemedicine consult.
There are no hidden fees and no need to wait for prior authorizations
Direct pay priority access insures that the patient maintains their empowered decision-making capacity in every step of the way, this level of customer satisfaction is expected in the post-pandemic telemedicine future of modern medicine.
American expatriates who are eager to call their newly adopted country home, or US retirees who wish to spend their golden years amongst the natural beauty of their new retirement communes, will not have to be concerned about the timely access to international standard healthcare consultations, whenever they need it and from wherever they are, thanks to the global concierge services provided exclusively from the ViOS clinic.
To know more about how the VIOS Clinic can help support you in availing expert medical second opinions and professional healthcare consultations, click here to visit the provider database.
Dr. Ismail Sayeed
Dr. Sayeed is the Medical Director of ViOS, Inc. He is a deeply committed physician entrepreneur & medical blog writer. While building the global infrastructure of the VIOS Clinic, he is dedicated to educate people on the potential of specialist telemedicine for managing chronic diseases.
Read more about him in his author bio