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International Medicine Program helps patients worldwide access expert care

Yale New Haven has long been a destination hospital for people within and beyond Connecticut’s borders, including patients from throughout the world. Now, international patients have even greater access to this expertise and specialized care.

For the past year, the hospital has partnered with Yale Medicine in an International Medicine Program (IMP) designed to make it easier for patients outside the U.S. to come here for treatment. International patients benefit from care at a world-renowned academic medical center with physicians known for their expertise and interdisciplinary approach to complex, highly specialized cases. Patients and their families also receive comprehensive, personalized support during what can be an overwhelming time in their lives.

The program officially launched in October 2016 and has since served more than 100 patients with a wide range of diagnoses. The IMP is designed for patients with complex conditions who have international insurance, the ability to self-pay or are sponsored by an embassy or foundation.

To access the program, a physician, patient or family member can visit the YNHH or Yale Medicine websites and complete a secure, information request form, or contact the program call center, +001-203-495-9253.

An IMP coordinator reviews each request and, for patients who meet program requirements, obtains medical records. Yale Medicine physicians then review the information and determine if the program is appropriate for patients.

The coordinator helps patients and their families with travel arrangements, the hospital admission process, medical procedures scheduling, interpreter services, religious and dietary needs and other matters. Other IMP staff handle financial issues, including providing cost estimates to patients before they travel.

“The patients and their family members receive the help they need to make the experience as seamless and stress-free as possible,” said Laura Pham, MD, medical director of the hospital’s Y Access center and leader of the physician consult team for the IMP. “This allows Yale Medicine physicians and clinical staff at the hospital to focus on providing the specialized care these patients need.”

“Next steps for the International Medicine Program include establishing partnerships with physicians and organizations in other countries to increase access to the care here, and enlisting the help of Yale Medicine physicians to promote the program in other countries,” said Connie Branyan, IMP interim director, Yale Medicine.

To learn more about the IMP, visit the website. A video about the program is also available on the site.