Traveling While on Dialysis
Many patients enjoy traveling during the summer and fall. If you are planning on taking a trip in the next few months, remember to speak with your Patient Service Representative or Social Worker. Please have the following information ready so that your trip can be planned in a timely manner:
- the dates you would like to be out of town
- the address of where you will be staying
- an out of town contact phone number so that the out of town dialysis center can reach you ( a cell phone you take with you is OK)
- your insurance information
Once this information is received we will contact dialysis centers closest to where you plan to stay to see if they have an opening during the dates that you will be traveling. Sometimes we can not get you into the closest center, especially during holiday weeks. Once a center informs us that they have an opening, we send them your dialysis orders and medical information so that your dialysis can be completed just as your physician has prescribed. Some centers request information that we do not routinely require. You may need to get a chest x-ray, EKG, HIV test, or TB test prior to going to a specific center. Since we don’t know which centers require extra tests until they are contacted, it is important that you begin your travel planning about 4 weeks in advance.
Medicare will pay for dialysis anywhere in the USA. They do not pay for dialysis on a Dialysis Cruise Ship. If you would like to travel to Canada or Mexico, some patients have found it cheaper to stay in a US city on the border and take day trips into Canada and Mexico.
If your employer group coverage or private insurance will be paying for the trip it is important to contact your carrier to see if there are specific centers that they want you to use. Following the regulations of your insurance carrier will minimize any out of pocket costs that they may charge you.
If you have Ohio Medicaid, it will only pay for routine dialysis in OH. If you travel out of OH you will need to pay the out of town dialysis center any amount that Medicaid would normally have been charged. They usually want this payment prior to your dialysis appointment.