The following is an e-mail exchange with Euromedic in Poland that provides some explanation for their payment and refund policies (and sets my dates for assessment and "liberation" - Yahoo!):
Hello Dr. Simka,
I hope you are enjoying your visit to Canada.
I understand from other patients that Euromedic is requiring pre-payments for the entire assessment, consultation and (if appropriate) procedure, as well as the in-country logistics. I understand the reasons for this, but may I suggest the following:
1) that patients prepay for the assessment and consultation and logistics (with Euromedic promising to reimburse us if we are unable to go, for whatever reason, as long as they are notified one week in advance, or regardless of how long before if we have to cancel due to medical reasons).
2) that we will bring travelers cheques (or certified cheque, or cash or some such thing) for the rest which we will give to Euromedic once it has been ascertained and agreed in the consultation that a liberation procedure is appropriate, but before the liberation treatment is done.
I think this is fair to everyone. Euromedic makes sure it gets money for all work that is done, and patients don’t send money for procedures they may not get and then be forced to chase after Euromedic administrators in order to get their money back.
Dear Mr Ted,
Answering your questions:
1 - We require prepayment just two weeks before the treatment - during that time, there is still possible for us to place somebody else in case of resignation. If the patient resigns few days before, we will not be able to give this place to anyone. The line of waiting ones is very long - until 2011 and our main task is to avoid empty slots
2 Travel cheques are not widely accepted in Poland and the commission for them is very high so it would be another unnecessary additional cost.
Please trust us, we really do our best to provide effective and affordable solution for the patients.
Thank you for your answers, Marek, though that still doesn't tell me how we get our money back if the doctors decide not to do a "liberation treatment" because no CCSVI was found or because its cause is not treatable with angioplasty or stents. If you could let me know what the procedure for that would be, I'd appreciate it very much.
Also, could you tell me when you expect me to have my specific dates for travel to Poland? Besides making flight plans, my wife has to organize time away from her work, and the sooner we know the dates (or even the approximate dates) the easier it will be for her to make those arrangements.
Here is another thought about if someone had to cancel: some of Euromedic's costs are related to payments made to hospitals, hotels, taxis, etc. Why would Euromedic have to keep ALL of the money if someone became sick and couldn't come at the time of their appointment? Surely the hospitals aren't charging Euromedic when procedures are cancelled?
I want to make it clear: I have no intention of cancelling so it is very unlikely to matter to me about this Euromedic policy, as long as the appropriate amount is rebated if the doctors decide that I can't have the liberation treatment. But Euromedic's reputation is going to suffer if it appears that your policies are a "money-grab" and blatantly take advantage of MS sufferers.
And still one more question, Marek: an earlier e-mail from Euromedic said that the higher prices were in part due to increased insurance. Does this mean that patients do not have to get extra insurance in case there are complications in Poland due to the procedure, requiring a longer hospital stay than expected? If this is the case, then people should know that because then they'll realize they don't have to buy extra medical insurance for the trip.
Your MRV date is 28 April and Doppler + procedure will be performed on 29 April. You should arrive the latest on 27 April and leave no sooner than 1 May.
The payment policy is : if there is no liberation treatment performed, the patient is refunded onto the bank account within 1-2 weeks. Therefore we ask our patients to present us with the bank account number onto which we should refund them.
If the treatment ends with MRV and Doppler only the patient is refunded 5 100 euro out of previously paid 6 900. If the treatment ends with flebography, patients are refunded 4 200 euro.
There is still a need for you to buy medical insurance for the trip. The procedure itself needs to be insured as well, costs of it are very high.
However if there are any coplications during your stay in Poland you will stay in hospital longer/ be admitted back and it won't be neccesary for you to pay more.
Note that, while they still suggest that I get "medical tourism insurance", it appears that the main reason for that insurance (medical complications in Poland) will be covered by Euromedic Poland.
Dx SPMS in 2004. Liberated 29/04/2010.
My blog: www.my-darn-ms.blogspot.com