Global Patient Services is here to help prepare you for your visit. With so many details to keep in mind, traveling abroad for medical care can seem overwhelming. Below is a step-by-step guide to address what you will need to do before your visit.
Before your visit, we can:
To help make sure you have important information handy, download and print a Cleveland Clinic Travel Itinerary.
Once you have scheduled your appointments and purchased your airline tickets, you will want to make hotel arrangements in Cleveland. Your Patient Service Coordinator is happy to assist you. Please call the Patient Access Office at 216.444.8184. (Contact your international operator to determine the dialing prefixes for calling the United States from your country.)
If you prefer to make these arrangements yourself, please note that some local accommodations offer special rates and amenities for Cleveland Clinic patients and their families.
Travel Documents & Visas
Because each country has a different process, it is the patient’s responsibility to get the appropriate travel documentation. We will email you a form letter that confirms your appointments at Cleveland Clinic. We are happy to provide a medical itinerary and/or a receipt of payment should you need them for your travel documentation. It is important to let your consulate know that you are coming to the United States for medical reasons. Give yourself enough time in advance of your trip to obtain your country’s approvals.
The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) governs travel to and from the United States. Check the CBP’s website to find instructions for VISA applications, restrictions and allowances.
United States Travel Information
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has guidelines for travel. There is valuable information regarding what you need to know before you travel, any special considerations and information regarding medical conditions and disabilities.
You can also check travel advisories.
Currently, if you bring currency valued at more than $10,000 USD, you are required to fill out the Currency Reporting Form upon arrival. This includes foreign currency but does not include credit cards with limits greater than $10,000 USD. Learn more on the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s currency website
- The United States does not limit the amount of money you may bring with you, but your home country might. Check your home country’s laws about bringing money into the United States.
- Consider traveling with a credit card or cash card. These can be used to purchase items, acquire cash advances, and obtain cash from an ATM.
- Exchange some of your money into U.S. dollars before you travel. This will ensure that you have money for transportation and food when you first arrive in the United States.
- Best exchange rates will usually be at a bank in your home country. Many U.S. airports and hotels will exchange cash, but often include extra fees.
The following tools are free for estimating currency conversions:
To best treat you, our physicians need to know your medical history. Please obtain all relevant copies of your medical records in English. We then ask that you send them to us in advance of your trip. This gives our medical staff time to review your history. We respect your privacy and will not share your records with anyone outside of Cleveland Clinic without your consent.
Your Patient Services Coordinator will let you know the types of records we will need. It depends on your medical situation. They may include CDs of diagnostic films (X-rays/CT Scans/MRIs) and pathology slides and reports. We will provide you instructions on sending them through a private carrier (UPS, FedEx).
Before you travel to Cleveland Clinic, we can provide a written estimate of healthcare costs for self-pay patients and insurance coverage verification for insured patients. Upon arrival, you will be asked to check in at one of our front desks to verify financial arrangements. Prior to services being rendered, self-pay patients will be asked to pay a deposit for services, and insured patients will be asked to pay any applicable co-pays and deductibles. Learn more about Cleveland Clinic’s methods of payment.
Be sure to review your country’s currency laws. Some countries limit the amount of cash you can take from your country. We recommend you notify your credit card companies that you are traveling abroad. For more information about currency laws and exchange rates, consult the Currency section within the United States Travel Information Tab.
You may consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your belongings from theft or damage.
Weather & Clothing
Cleveland is located in the Midwest part of the United States and experiences all four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. It is important, therefore, to check the weather prior to arriving. This will help you determine what clothing to bring.
Check the weather in Cleveland.