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Service & Information … Frequently Asked…

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

International Patients

Submitting your treatment inquiry

How can I submit a treatment inquiry?

In order to submit a treatment inquiry, we kindly ask you to use our inquiry form. On the basis of the information received our physicians will be able to provide you with a good-quality treatment offer. Since our internal processes require the form we are unable to process inquiries made by telephone or email. Please note that our physicians additionally need some medical documents.

Which medical documents are required?

Please find the required documents for your treatment inquiry here. Please note that the required documents may vary depending on your disease.

What should I take into account when sending my medical documents? Will my documents be returned to me?

You will find notes on the required documents here. Medical documents in common formats (e.g. pdf, jpeg, word) can be attached to the form (in the upload area); for DICOM image data, for example MRI or CT images, we have a DICOM upload portal (Telemedicine Portal) available – you can upload image data either immediately after sending the form or later using the upload-link we will provide to your e-mail address. When you use these upload options we will have immediate access to your data and can process your inquiry as fast as possible (no mailing delays).

Alternatively, you can send a CD/DVD (images in DICOM format) by mail to: 

Heidelberg University Hospital
International Office
Im Neuenheimer Feld 400
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee that your documents will be returned to you and therefore ask you to provide us with copies only and not original documents.

Can I upload large files (MR/CT images) via the internet?

You can upload your DICOM files via our telemedicine portal. More information.

I completed the form but was unable to send it. What should I do?

First, please check whether you have completed all mandatory fields on the form and whether your entries are in line with the formatting requirements. If it is not possible to send attached documents, please check first whether your documents are too large and reduce their size if possible. If need be, you may send the form without documents and then send the documents by email to the International Office. 

Should sending still not be possible, you may print out the form and send it as a scan by email, by fax or by mail to the International Office

How long will it take to process a treatment inquiry and which response will I receive?

From the date on which the international Office receives all required information and documents, it will take approx. one week to process your treatment inquiry. Upon viewing the medical documents by the competent medical department, you will receive a tentative therapy offer including a cost estimate. In some cases, we are unable to provide you with a treatment offer, for instance if the required department has no capacities or if the physicians do not consider a therapy in Heidelberg to be reasonable.

I have an International Office Case number (IO-XXXXX). How do I proceed in case of questions regarding my inquiry?

Please contact your responsible case manager at the International Office and always have your International Office case number available and/or quote it in your email. This ensures that we will be able to help you as quickly as possible. As a matter of principle, it is better to address any questions by quoting your IO case number to the International Office in writing because the responsible Case Managers are often unable to provide you with any expedient information without consulting the respective medical department, accounting department and/or your file.

I have no International Office Number (IO-XXXXX). How do I proceed if I have any questions regarding my inquiry?

First, please check whether you have submitted your treatment inquiry using the form. If so, you should have received an email with the corresponding five-digit International Office Number. Should you not have received such an email, please send us – if available – a copy of the completed form by email.

Should you not have completed the form, please send us the form first; then you will receive an International Office case number together with our acknowledgment of receipt.
 

I am a medical emergency and would like to be admitted immediately. Is this possible?

In the case of medical emergency requiring immediate hospital treatment, please visit the hospital closest to your home first. Following an examination by a physician and preparation of a medical report, you may send it to us; we will forward all inquiries promptly, and our physicians will decide upon the urgency of a treatment and appointment.

Do I need to contact the International Office for every appointment?

The International Office will make the first appointments for all medical departments of Heidelberg University Hospital for you. During ongoing treatment, please talk to your contact in the department about any appointments directly, as far as they are regarding the treatment performed. Should you wish any further treatments or consultations with other departments, please contact the International Office.

How soon can I make an appointment after payment was made?

As soon as your payment is credited to the Heidelberg University Hospital account, we will communicate your appointment to you. As a matter of principle, you will be offered the soonest possible appointment or your preferred date, if possible. The soonest available appointment is usually about 1 - 8 weeks following payment receipt; in rare cases, a time period of more than 8 weeks may elapse between payment receipt and the soonest available appointment.

Insurances and embassies as funding agencies

How should I proceed if I am insured via the EU Convention on Social Security?

You will find information and the key steps here

Which insurances and/or funding agencies do you accept without mandatory prepayment and what needs to be taken into account?

Heidelberg University Hospital accepts treatment guarantees from some Arab embassies (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman) as well as from some insurance companies (e.g. Allianz Worldwide Care, AXA PPP International, Cigna Global Health Benefits, EU-SVA/EHIC/S2) without expecting any prepayment. In these cases, the treatment guarantee by the respective funding agency is required to be submitted to the International Office upon scheduling the appointment and/or at an early stage prior to the beginning of the treatment.

Treatment guarantees by other funding agencies may not be accepted; it is possible in some cases, however, that patients submit the invoice to their insurance retroactively, requesting reimbursement. Please contact your funding agency at an early stage in any case.

My embassy / insurance will cover the costs of my treatment – when and why do I still need to make a prepayment?

The treatment guarantee submitted to us is respectively limited to a time period and to a specific treatment. Should the submitted treatment guarantee not cover

  • the treatment period or
  • the planned treatment which is not associated with the primary treatment or
  • the costs for the travelling companion

you will be requested to prepay the planned extension of the treatment / admission of a travelling companion or to submit an extended treatment guarantee; please understand that the costs must be guaranteed in good time prior to your appointment.

I made a prepayment but have meanwhile received a treatment guarantee from my embassy / insurance carrier. When will my prepayment be refunded?

As soon as the embassy / insurance carrier submits a valid treatment guarantee to the International Office, we will review whether we will be able to refund your prepayment immediately.

Refund in case of initial payments from third party accounts.

For some countries, international outgoing financial transactions are not possible (e.g. due to political situation). For this reason, some patients transfer the requested prepayments though third party accounts. In this case, please note that this is on personal own risk and a proof of the ownership (e.g. receipt) should be kept.

As a rule, refunds can only be transferred to the account the payment was made. A refund to a different account (e.g. your own / consulate) is only possible from our side after receipt of a proper proof of ownership of the transferred money (e.g. receipt, transfer confirmation, written declaration/power of attorney from the third party etc.).

Visa and Travel Preparations

Do you provide visa support (“invitation”) and which requirements apply?

We will be happy to support you in obtaining a visa. The requirements are that the costs have been guaranteed (cost estimate was paid or treatment guarantee was submitted by an accepted funding agency) and the appointment has been confirmed by the patient.

Where can I find information on travel and airport transfer?

You can find further information here.

Does the hospital pay any commission fees to interpreters or facilitators?

No, the hospital does not pay commission fees. Interpreters / facilitators may charge patients for additional facilitator services (for example translation of medical documents from the patient’s home country). If you are not sure whether rates are reasonable, feel free to contact the International Office.

Can Heidelberg University Hospital help me find accommondation or make a hotel reservation for me?

You can find assistance in finding and reserving accommodation with our partner Heidelberg Marketing

When do I need an interpreter? Who can I contact and which services can I get in addition to translation services?

Should patients not be proficient in the German or English language, it is important that an interpreter certified by Heidelberg University Hospital is hired in time by the patient for any required doctor’s consultations before treatment begins. Patients looking to hire a certified interpreter or with questions, e.g. about the standard rates for interpreters / other assistance services, may contact the International Office. Please find further information here.

During and after treatment

Will my personal and medical data be well protected?

Please rest assured that Heidelberg University Hospital greatly values the protection of your personal and medical data; our employees are obliged to adhere to strict data protection regulations.

Why does a smear test for multi-resistant pathogens needs to be performed some days prior to inpatient admission?

For the safety of our patients, it is mandatory that a screening for the detection of multi-resistant pathogens be performed prior to hospitalization. In order to perform this required test you will have an appointment some days prior to your hospitalization. In case patients must be hospitalized with a positive test, which is difficult to treat, protective measures must be observed.

Can special meal preferences be allowed for?

Should your state of health require special nutrition or should you have individual wishes or habits, we will be happy to allow for these. Please tell the nursing staff about your requests prior to the beginning of your treatment.

Will I receive a medical report in English?

Upon completion of the treatment, the treating physician will prepare a detailed medical report in English, if desired. You will usually receive a preliminary letter immediately after treatment; the preparation of the finalized letter, which will also be authorized by the respective Medical Director, is usually issued within four weeks upon completion of the treatment. This letter will include information on the diagnoses, the treatment performed as well as recommendations for further medical care.

Will I be hospitalized for my treatment?

Whenever possible, we will perform treatments on an outpatient basis. This means that you will only be hospitalized if it is medically required and may otherwise stay at a hotel / apartment and come to the hospital for your respective appointments. This reduces the cost of treatment, and any hospital stays are limited to a minimum.

How will I be accommodated and how are the patient rooms equipped?

You will find our patient rooms – most of which are doubles – bright, comfortable, and well equipped. Each room on the regular wards has a bathroom. Some rooms have a terrace or balcony. Our rooms are equipped with the following for your communication and entertainment needs:

  • Television (including Arabic and English-language channels)
  • Telephone (at reasonable rates)
  • Internet (free of charge)

For more information, check with the nursing staff or at the admissions office (near the entrance). We make every effort to accommodate special requests concerning your room. Heidelberg University Hospital is very much in demand. For this reason, we ask you to understand that we are not always able to satisfy requests for a single room or accommodations for a guest; our primary concern and obligation are ensuring that we do not have to turn away patients due to bed shortages.

When and where do I need to extend my visa?

Visa extensions are issued by the locally competent foreigners’ registration office in Heidelberg. Your Case Manager at the International Office will be happy to issue a new confirmation for a visa extension if further treatment is required and the expected treatment costs have been guaranteed. Patients or relatives should contact their Case Manager some time before the visa expires since the preparation of the confirmation document may take some days.

Contacts in case of an emergency

During the stay at the hospital

Please inform our staff, e.g. via your relatives or press the call button; the nursing staff will then come to you immediately.

Outside of the hospital

Central telephone line at Heidelberg University Hospital: +49 (0) 6221 56-0

Finance

How much does a consultation appointment and/or treatment option cost at Heidelberg University Hospital?

Heidelberg University Hospital offers consultation appointments and a variety of treatment options. A cost estimate can only be provided once the medical reports have been reviewed and a decision has been made by the specialists. You will be contacted by your case manager regarding the status of your inquiry and cost estimate.

 

I received my cost estimate and I would like to make a payment. What are my payment options?

Option 1: Money Transfer

A money transfer can be made with your bank in person or online. Please contact your bank to schedule the payment. The University of Heidelberg Hospital: International Office bank details are located in the lower right corner of your cost estimate.

Option 2: Pay with cash

A cash payment can be made prior to the appointment at the cashier’s office located in the Kopfklinik on the ground floor near the entranceway and cafeteria. The cashier's office opening hours can be found in the table above and here. Please note that the office is closed on national holidays, which are listed on our Contact Information page.

Option 3: Credit Card Payment

We accept credit card payments. The payment can either be made online or in our office with a card reader. Our office hours our listed on our Contact Information page.

How long does it take for my payment to be deposited into your account?

International bank transfers may take approximately 10 banking days from the day our bank receives the transfer order.

The patient was admitted as an emergency case and your office was already closed. How can I receive cost estimate if your office is closed?

Usually, you should be able to receive the cost estimate on the next business day.

Interpreters

The language I am looking for is not listed in the certified interpreters list. How can I find a certified interpreter fluent in the language I am looking for?

If an interpreter fluent in your language is not listed, then please contact a translation office which can be searched for online.  

My partner, friend, and/or family member speaks fluent German and/or English. Can he/she be my interpreter during my appointment? Does he/she have to be a certified interpreter?

A certified interpreter is recommended. If your partner, friend, and/or family member speaks fluent German and/or English and you are confident in his/her ability to interpret medical information, then you can decide if you would like him/her to act as your interpreter. However, be aware that you are taking a risk that not all medical information may be interpreted correctly. For this reason, a certified interpreter is recommended. 

 

I am an interpreter and would like to become certified with Heidelberg University Hospital. How do I know if I am eligible and what qualifications do I need to become certified?

  • Before the admission process for certification can take place, the applicant must provide proof of assistance with patient care at the hospital. This is usually provided by having written confirmation from the patient and the care unit.
  • A successful passing of a one-time oral language test is required. For Interpreters who have completed an education in language, can present their certificate of degree. For these interpreters, a language test is not required.
  • Attend at least two medical short courses per year (excluding physicians/dentists/pharmacists/ and medical students with at least a completed Physikum and additional clinical semester).
  • Attend a short training on legal requirements and hospital procedures.   
  • A written declaration by the interpreter that he / she adheres to the university hospital's house rules, the instructions of the medical staff, the applicable data protection regulations and the requirements for implementing the case administration of the International Office.
  • Annual presentation of price and service overview of all non-medical services that are provided and billed for self-paying patients from abroad.

If participation is successful, then the interpreter will receive an identification card active for two years, which must be carried by the interpreters. Further information.

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