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Author Topic: Traveling on Dialysis  (Read 6365 times)
frankswife
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« on: September 12, 2012, 08:25:48 PM »

Darling Hubby started D last week. We live in NY, and want to travel to Lakeland Florida during Thanksgiving week to visit our son and his new wife. I've had my son check out centers in the area, and it appears there are several in the immediate area, including a Davita. Would it be too early now to apply, or whatever it is we need to do, to get him chair time there? What is the whole process? I've been reading that our private insurance may not pay for out of network care. Anyone have experience with this?
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justme15
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 12:39:25 AM »

my mom used to always arrange her travel dialysis with her dialysis social worker.  and my mom would start the process usually 1-2 months before travel time.  the social worker got everything set up.  she had medicare and bcbs insurance, so no problems with being out of network.
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bevvy5
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 12:55:41 PM »

I would definitely be calling around to see where you can get in, especially a popular travel week like that.  I have it diarized to call for our Palm Springs trip that we will be taking in February in November when they have their new schedule up.

Can't comment on the insurance side, we're Canadians and travel to the U.S.  The two trips we have taken since Greg started hemo (one to Hawaii, one to Palm Springs), I called to make the initial contact and see if they had room for him during our travel dates.  Then gave the name of the clinic to our social worker/unit clerk and they more or less take over from there.  Being the control freak I am, I kind of checked with the clinic to make sure things were progressing, etc.

Most of the bloodwork, etc that is required has to be done within 30 days of travel, from what I understand, so it's current.  But it doesn't hurt, IMHO to "reserve" a spot as soon as you can and get the ball rolling in case they need something strange.  The requirements from the clinic in Hawaii were, according to our nurse, quite exhaustive.

On our first trip to Hawaii, he was still using a permcath so we didn't take any supplies and the staff did everything.  When we went to Palm Springs, we had just started using his buttonholes for his fistula, (I  needle him).  We found that nobody had any clue at the clinic about buttonholes.  They did have blunt needles but really nothing else.  Next time I will be much better prepared and will have other supplies that he usually needs like blunt fill-type needles to remove the scabs from his site, saline filled syringes that we use to flush, our own tourniquet, stuff like that.  They were very helpful at supplying stuff but it was a bother for them and it's unnerving enough to be needling him in a busy clinic as opposed to our kitchen table where we usually do it.  So I don't know what kind of access etc. you use but just a thought.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 12:58:05 PM by bevvy5 » Logged
fearless
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 09:30:20 PM »

your nurse and social worker should be able to help you with all of this.  Hope you have a great travel!   :)
(sorry i know this is short - I travelled on PD a lot and did most of the planning myself, but he nurse always put together a "travel packet" with an emergency replacement for the catheter end, and maps of hospitals Icould go to if infection or other problem.  I haven't traveled on hemo yet, but my social worker said she could help sort out the finances if and when I do - and the nurses can locate clinics that are the same company as yours if there are any - or maybe the social worker can do that too)
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Rain
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 05:12:36 AM »

bevvy 5,  do you remember how much it costs to go to Hawaii and what clinic you went to??   I am canadian as well and i would love to travel to the states but i am afraid of the costs associated with dialysis since our health care only covers $250  per treatment i think.

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1988  Diagnosed with reflux and kidney damage
2006-  Diagnosed with Renal Failure and start dialysis in centre with catheter
2007- Fistula created and in centre hemo with fistula
2012- Fistula clotted and central line inserted
May 2014- Received Kidney from deceased donor
M3Riddler
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 03:42:54 PM »

Darling Hubby started D last week. We live in NY, and want to travel to Lakeland Florida during Thanksgiving week to visit our son and his new wife. I've had my son check out centers in the area, and it appears there are several in the immediate area, including a Davita. Would it be too early now to apply, or whatever it is we need to do, to get him chair time there? What is the whole process? I've been reading that our private insurance may not pay for out of network care. Anyone have experience with this?

Frankswife,
I would try to reserve a chair as soon as you could. Its never too early. Some centers are very difficult to get a chair even if you try several months in advance. Some centers just dont want to deal with the paperwork and will tell you they dont have a place for you. This is because Medicare has to bill for you out of the new center. Its like you are changing centers for a few days and then must be transfered back when you return home.   
Your social worker should be able to help you with this as well as make the reservation for you. They should all be trained to do this so I would speak to them asap as they sometimes are lagged behind with their own paperwork and work.
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bevvy5
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 07:42:04 PM »

bevvy 5,  do you remember how much it costs to go to Hawaii and what clinic you went to??   I am canadian as well and i would love to travel to the states but i am afraid of the costs associated with dialysis since our health care only covers $250  per treatment i think.

We were in Kauai - there are two clinics on the island, both run by Liberty Dialysis.  The cost was about $650 per treatment.  British Columbia medical reimburses $475 per treatment.

The only other travel we've done is to Palm Springs.  Greg dialyzed at the Eisenhower, a lovely hospital and the cost was about $250 a treatment so it was all covered.

We should have been on the Oregon Coast this week - a trip we had actually planned prior to hubby starting hemo, but dialysis tere was over $700 a treatment. 

What province are you?  We would not be travelling much with reimbursement at $250 a pop.

As well, we have out of country medical through a policy that we've had before Greg started on dialysis so any sort of emergency medical stuff would be covered.  I'd be really concerned about pre-existing conditions and out of country if we didn't have that.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 07:45:10 PM by bevvy5 » Logged
Rain
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 11:33:39 AM »

I am in Ontario.  Thanks for the info.  I keep forgetting about Travel insurance.  I think I might stick to travel within Canada.  This year I went to Vancouver and loved it.  They took care of everything before I got there,  I didn't even have to show my health card or  anything. 
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1988  Diagnosed with reflux and kidney damage
2006-  Diagnosed with Renal Failure and start dialysis in centre with catheter
2007- Fistula created and in centre hemo with fistula
2012- Fistula clotted and central line inserted
May 2014- Received Kidney from deceased donor
bevvy5
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 02:44:03 PM »

I am in Ontario.  Thanks for the info.  I keep forgetting about Travel insurance.  I think I might stick to travel within Canada.  This year I went to Vancouver and loved it.  They took care of everything before I got there,  I didn't even have to show my health card or  anything.

Am sending you a PM so I don't completely hijack this thread - LOL.
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MommyChick
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Me & my precious Miracle !!!

« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 07:50:25 PM »

Hi Frankswife!
I have been on dialysis for 7 yrs & I have been traveling on vacation almost every summer & doing In-center D when I get to my location. So far I haven't had any problems doing dialysis while on vacation. I actually just got back from a week vacation yesterday at OC, NJ. Normally since you want to travel the week of Thanksgiving I would talk to his Social worker right away to get things rolling. That is a busy time to travel & some centers might be picky about taking on new patients. Normally I have not expected to know a time either until the week or day of my dialysis depending on where I travel. Just depends on the clinic. I have also never had issues with insurance. My social worker has been very good at handling the travel arrangements for me. :2thumbsup;

Only once did I have a problem & I was in a clinic at Hilton Head Island, SC & this doctor came over & " just said Hi, i'm doctor so & so..." & I get home from vacation to see a $150 bill just because he said HI to me!
Otherwise my vacations are enjoyable & I Hope yours will be too !!
Good Luck & Have Fun !!!
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~ Hello All, My names Marna ~

- 1995 - 12 yrs old found out my kidneys were both failing
- 1996 - Dec. 3 I received my 1st kidney transplant at age 13, after 7/mths on the waiting list
- 2005 - In Aug. transplant failed after 9.5 years, had to have a nephrectomy due to being very ill & massive hypertension
           - End of Aug. 1st time on dialysis
- 2006 - Had my fistula placed & ready to go
- 2010 - My little Miracle was born 6/mths into the pregnancy, weighing 2.4 lbs & 13.25 in long
          - Found out my PRA is 100% & I have antibodies that CAN'T be decreased
- 2013 - Oct. 2nd  *** I finally received my kidney!!! ***
          - Dec. 3rd I had 3.5 parathyroids removed, due to them interfering w/my new kidney.
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2012, 03:21:47 PM »

start the ball rolling now.  Get the renal social worker to help you.  There's a mountain of preparations that need to be done, and some centres ask for specifics.  Before going to NYC the last time, I needed to have current bloodwork (which is done monthly anyway), ECG, chest x-ray, and swabs.  Then there was all the paperwork that needed to be done.  They'll need to know your prescription, in order to set up the machine, what kind of dialyzer you use, if you need any medications during treatment, and since I'm Canadian and was going to the States, they needed my payment information as well.  There may be more insurance and medicare wise that needs to be done, but I don't know a whole lot about that.
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