Personal Case Manager
Over the last several years, the phenomenon of going abroad for medical treatment has become quite common, with Israel being currently one of the most popular destinations. Despite its rather small size (compared to European countries), Israel has numerous clinics and hospitals, and hundreds of medical tourism agencies operate in Israel and target patients from abroad.
So how does one know which clinic, hospital and agency to choose?
Who can offer the best treatment? Who is trustworthy?
Most of the clinics and hospitals in Israel have a medical tourism department, which handles all foreign patients. In addition, there are private medical tourism agencies that also target potential patients online, offering them high-quality treatment in Israel’s best hospitals. When contacting a potential patient from abroad, all of the abovementioned facilities promise and guarantee the patient that upon their arrival, a personal coordinator will take care of their every need and will be there for every consultation and medical procedure. Some facilities include this service in the cost of treatment at no additional cost, while other facilities charge a daily fee. However, in reality, there is only one medical facility in Israel that offers this unique service to its foreign patients – Herzliya Medical Center.
Herzliya Medical Center (HMC) is proud to be a leader in the field of private medicine in Israel. Over the course of three decades, HMC has been providing high-quality medical services to Israeli patients from all over the country and for the last several years the hospital’s international department has also been handling patients from abroad. In the late 90s HMC was chosen by the UN and other diplomatic Corps (embassies, high commissions & consulates), as the sole provider of healthcare for their employees. As part of its first class service, HMC assigns each foreign patient with a professional medical Case Manager.
What is a medical Case Manager?
A medical Case Manager is a liaison between a patient and his/ her physicians. One of the Case Manager’s key responsibilities is the monitoring of the treatment plan and ensuring that it is carried out in a timely fashion, keeping the patient’s best interests at heart.
How is a medical Case Manager different from a coordinator?
Unlike a medical coordinator, whose services are offered to foreign patients of other Israeli hospitals, a Case Manager is a medical worker with the necessary education and qualification. All of HMC’s Case Managers have higher education degrees in a medicine-related field, which qualifies them to conduct thorough preliminary medical interviews with the patient, plan the necessary diagnostic procedures and monitor the whole treatment process. The Case Manager is authorized to answer medical questions, including those regarding follow-up treatment at home.
The Case Managers’ responsibilities include:
- Reviews all of the patient’s medical documentation prior to their arrival, builds a personal medical file, as well as a plan of diagnostic and (possible) therapeutic procedures
- Contacts the patient prior to their arrival, introduces himself/herself and informs them of the preliminary medical plan
- Upon arrival to Herzliya Medical Center, the Case Manager conducts a thorough medical interview with the patient, going over every piece of information they provided and making all the necessary notes. This saves the patient both time and money as the patient does not have to go through a consultation with a GP
- Escorts the patient to each consultation, simultaneously providing accurate translation to both the patient and the doctor. Thanks to his/ her professional medical knowledge, the Case Manager will make sure the consulting specialist provides the patient with all the information they need. The Case Manager will ask questions of which the patient might not have been aware. The Case Manager’s role in the patient’s treatment process is ACTIVE and constant
- Available to the patient round-the-clock during their stay in Israel, as well as following the patient’s return home. Any questions regarding follow-up or prescribed treatment will be professionally answered
Interview with the head medical Case Manager
Diana Maor is the head medical Case Manager at HMC’s international department. In the following interview she sheds some light on the essential role they play.
What can you tell us about the International Department and what you do here?
The International Department has been active for many years. We have a large multi-lingual staff team that cater to the patient’s every need. This includes assistance with visas (if necessary), travel and accommodation arrangements and, of course, case management. We, the Case Managers, escort the patient in the figurative and physical meaning of the word. From the moment the patient informs us regarding his intentions of arriving all the way through until their return home – the personal Case Manager is their rock, their support.
Tell us more about the process and the patient–Case Manager communication.
The process begins prior to the patient’s arrival and never really ends, because patients can always contact their Case Manager with questions and / or requests - even if it has been months since the patient was last at the hospital. The communication between the patient and the Case Manager is constant. All our staff members are highly qualified; they build an individual medical plan for the patient based on the information that they have thoroughly collected. You can be sure that every diagnostic procedure that the Case Manager schedules is necessary and that the specialist chosen by the Case Manager is the best to treat the specific patient.
How does the medical Case Manager service offered by HMC differ from the coordinator service of other hospitals?
The Case Manager has a higher education degree in a medicine-related field, making him a medical professional first and a service-provider second. This is not the case for medical coordinators in other hospitals where the only requirement is knowledge of a foreign language. A coordinator cannot answer medical questions and needs a doctor’s authorization to give the patient any information regarding their treatment, follow-up, etc. Our Case Managers give their full attention to a patient’s case and know its smallest details. They can answer almost any question the patient might have regarding his symptoms, treatment and follow-up immediately.
Can you give us an example?
Of course. Several months ago a male patient from Russia came to HMC with a brain tumor. He has had several surgeries done back home, but they were unsuccessful. When he arrived at HMC, all the necessary pre-operative procedures had already been scheduled: We took his slides of pathological material to the lab, where an expedited analysis was done to confirm the diagnosis he received in Russia. Once we had the results of the slides’ revision, the Case Manager accompanied the patient to a consultation with the neurosurgeon and made sure that the patient felt at ease, understood and agreed with the suggested treatment plan. The surgery was performed within 2 days from the patient’s arrival and 3 days after the procedure he was discharged. Due to the very specific tumor type he had, a certain drug was prescribed to him. Even though it has been several months, his Case Manager continues keeping in touch with him via e-mail and phone. She provides him with prescriptions, medical documentation for his insurance company, information regarding the dosage of the drug, etc. If he chose another hospital for treatment this process would have taken weeks, and possibly months, because it is not in the coordinator’s “job description” to handle such issues. This delay could have had a negative effect on the patient’s course of treatment and recovery process.
Anything else you would like to add to prospective patients?
Yes. I might be bias, but I truly believe that HMC’s team of medical Case Managers is unique and special. We choose our employees very carefully, based not only on their professional knowledge, but also on their human qualities. We try our best to make every patient feel special and welcome, and that they have a concrete support system, despite being in a foreign hospital (and country).
Would you like to know more about Herzliya Medical Center and what sets it apart from other clinics in Israel? Contact us now and our consultants will provide you with comprehensive information.