Questions Asked by Patients from Outside the US - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Global Patient Services is here to help with travel to Chicago, housing, admitting, and financing.


RIC Global Patient Services
345 East Superior Street 
South Mezzanine
Chicago, IL 60611

Questions Asked by International Patients

Traveling to Chicago seems complicated. How can RIC help?

Your Global Patient Services Care Manager at RIC will assist with travel logistics and coordinate your clinical care. Prior to arrival, your GPS Care Manager will provide you with orientation information, schedule your appointments and facilitate communication with your treatment team. The Care Manager will work closely with you to set up the most convenient travel & housing options. This Care Manager will remain available to you throughout your stay as a single point of contact for support and ongoing assistance as needed.

How do I know RIC can provide the best care for me or my loved one?

RIC provides comprehensive rehabilitation programs for people of all ages and with a variety of illnesses, injuries, and disabilities. RIC has been rated America’s #1 rehabilitation hospital by US News & World Report for the past 22 years, and has earned a worldwide reputation as being a leader in patient care, advocacy, research and education of health professionals in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Prior to accepting you for treatment, our clinical teams will review medical records, discuss goals directly with you via email, phone or Skype and can also contact your referral physician or treatment team. We will let you know prior to travel if your condition is one that would benefit from evaluation and/or treatment at RIC.

How can I be referred for services at RIC?

You can self-refer to RIC for care without a physician order. However, the RIC team will need to review medical records in English in order to make initial treatment recommendations. The following information is most helpful for our physicians and nurses when reviewing your rehabilitation needs:

  1. Patient address, contact information & date of birth
  2. Recent physician progress notes including height and weight
  3. Current therapy notes including functional status/level of assistance needed with eating, grooming, bathing, dressing, toileting, bowel and bladder management, transfers, ambulation, verbal comprehension and expression.
  4. List of current medication
  5. Most recent labs for 2-7 days depending on issues, CBC, BNP, PT & INR if appropriate
  6. Allergies and infection/isolation requirements

Is there temporary housing available for patients/families?

RIC has a variety of temporary housing options available all within a short walk or cab ride to the hospital. There are a large number of hotels in the neighborhood from luxury accommodations at the Peninsula, Four Seasons & Ritz Carlton to more affordable options at the Red Roof Inn, Hyatt or Marriott. There are also several extended stay hotels that offer kitchenette suites and are set up for longer stays. Furnished one, tow, and three-bedroom apartments can be rented through Chicago’s network of Corporate Housing companies.

There are also a limited number of rooms available at the nearby Ronald McDonald House/RIC Place for families without embassy sponsorship interested in low-cost, accessible accommodations and prefer to stay in the hospitality house affiliated with RIC. Find out more about RIC Place here.

How can I book a room at the Ronald McDonald House or RIC Place?

Your RIC Global Patient Services Care Manager can reserve a room for you at either the Ronald McDonald House (for patients under age 21) or for RIC Place (the floor within the Ronald McDonald House built for adult patients at RIC). This Guide addresses in detail the amenities, costs and organization of these options. Find out more about RIC Place here.

Will I need an air ambulance or can I travel commercially?

Your referring physician/treatment team will assess the safest way for you to travel to Chicago. Once they have determined what is medically appropriate, your RIC Care Manager with work with your referring treatment team to coordinate the flight, any accompanying medical personnel, air ambulance and ground transit.

Which Chicago airport should we fly into?

RIC is conveniently located to both O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW) airports. If flying in a private plane, Chicago Executive Airport provides another option.

Do you have services for non-English-speaking patients/family members?

Your RIC Care Manager will schedule Language Interpreters to be present as needed for each of your medical appointments. Additionally, RIC facilities are all equipped with 24-hour telephone interpreters who are available at any time during your visit. If you need language assistance you can pick up any telephone in the hospital and connect with someone who speaks your language.

Visitors from the Gulf Region will also receive culturally sensitive concierge services from Gulf Care International, including airport pick-up, assistance with local bank accounts, SIM card purchases for local phones, and local transportation to and from medical appointments.

Can you help me get a visa to travel to the US for medical care?

Once your medical records have been reviewed and it has been determined that you would benefit from treatment at RIC, we will give you a formal Letter of Acceptance which will provide an outline of your anticipated treatment course and length of stay. It is your responsibility to take this to the proper authorities in your home country to secure travel documents. While in the US your Care Manager can assist with providing ongoing documentation for visa extensions, if appropriate.

Who typically covers the cost of care at RIC?

RIC accepts payment from a wide range of commercial insurance companies and international embassies. We also accept payment directly from individual patients/family members.

If I am paying privately, will you tell me ahead of time what it will cost?

The cost of service depends on the frequency and duration of care, as well as the individual needs and goals of each patient. Prior to travel you will receive a Self-Pay Agreement which will provide an estimated cost of services along with instructions on how to wire funds or pay with a credit card. Payment for services must be received before your first appointment.

The estimated costs are based on the initial treatment plan RIC physicians develop after review of your medical records. The more complete your medical records, the more accurately we can anticipate the cost of your care while in rehabilitation. Any deviation from the initial plan of care will be immediately discussed with you and the Self-Pay Agreement will be modified accordingly.

You will have an opportunity to review your charges and meet personally with our finance team while in Chicago if you have any concerns about your financial agreement.