With healthcare costs skyrocketing, more and more Americans – both insured and uninsured – are looking for quality care outside of the U.S. State-of-the-art hospitals abroad offer the latest cutting-edge procedures performed in the U.S. including orthopedic procedures such as knee or hip replacement surgery. International hospitals also offer U.S. patients the benefit of providing procedures not yet available in the U.S., such as and lumbar dynamic stabilization procedure for the spine, a non-invasive alternative to the common, more drastic and less effective spinal fusion.

Before trusting one’s health to hospitals or hip replacement surgeons abroad or locally, it’s a wise idea to research all options and ensure the care provided meets the highest standards of medical treatment available.

Following three steps will help ensure that medical travelers receive the best care when shopping for quality orthopedic care away from home.

Step One: Ask for a Quote

Even when placing priority on quality medical care abroad, it is still important to plan both treatment and travel within a budget. Experienced professionals can provide a quote that is customized to the medical traveler’s unique needs.

There are a number of reputable medical travel agencies for medical travelers to choose from, however, more and more international hospitals are beginning to offer medical travel coordination services so that the patient and insurance company can address all issues and questions related to the procedure with ‘one stop shopping’. Hospitals providing medical travel services will package the surgeon’s fees, anesthesia and other hospital fees, hospital stay, lab tests into quote, adding hotel and airline separately so the patient enjoys full transparency of the breakdown of the costs. After narrowing the selection of hospitals, the next step is to provide one’s medical history and records for the most accurate quote. Some hip replacement surgeons may require a consultation, depending on the complexity of the individual’s needs, but should arrange these consultations for free.

This first step will provide a clear expectation of what the surgery and hospital care will cost, with no unpleasant surprises. That’s why it’s smart to have a full team of trustworthy professionals looking out for the medical traveler’s best interests, and delivering peace of mind.

Step Two: Medical Travel Coordination

The first step in planning for medical travel is deciding on one of the hip replacement surgeons and having a phone consultation with the surgeon. A full discussion of your case should occur, including information about the prostethetics, the length of the procedure, pre-surgery instructions and full detailing of what to expect during the recovery period. After the surgeon has reviewed one’s medical records and approved the medical traveler for surgery, the next step is to meet with a travel coordinator who will simplify the tedious tasks of arranging travel, lodging, and any other additional costs or accommodations needed during travel.

The travel coordinator should provide an itinerary that includes a detailed schedule, travel information, important contact numbers, and other pertinent details. All transportation should be arranged upon arrival, so treatment can begin as soon as possible. Reputable companies arrange the travel itineraries for all travelling companions, as well.

Step Three: Surgery and Quality After Care

In some cases, hip replacement surgeons may require a follow-up consultation before the medical traveler is released to travel home. If that’s the case, the medical travel company should have access to low prices on hotel rooms close to the hospital where the traveler can stay in the interim.

Following hip replacement surgery, a surgeon will recommend using compression stockings to prevent blood clots. This requires special attention when the individual is returning home. Special arrangements may need to be made for the travel post surgery, another overwhelming task made easier when working with a dedicated and professional medical travel hospital or agency.

The difference is quite simple: when trusting one’s health to a hip replacement surgeon, there is a lot of stress and emotion involved. It is often difficult and to choose a quality hip replacement surgeon in a foreign country while also trying to plan the travel details.

However, a good company will prioritize the unique needs of a medical traveler before, during, and after surgery. Professionals work on the individual’s behalf, taking into consideration specific medical needs, to find the best hip replacement surgeon, arrange consultations and medical procedures, as well as providing quotes of cost for medical travel and even making arrangements for a less stressful experience.