Refer a Patient

Ready to Schedule an Appointment?

If you are a physician outside the U.S., and you would like to refer one of your patients to our team of physicians for care, we are glad to work with you. Please contact us at +1.713.441.2340 or complete the form to request an appointment for your patient.

Required Information for International Referrals

Once we receive your request to refer a patient to us, one of our medical referrals team members will contact you to gather information about your patient and his or her condition. This information is critical for our staff members to determine which of our physicians should see your patient.

We will need your patient’s current medical records in order to schedule his or her appointment. These records are required in order to better understand your patient’s medical history, current diagnosis and any other existing conditions he or she may have. These medical records must be in English and not older than two months. If you cannot provide copies of your medical records in English, your patient will be responsible for having them translated by a certified medical translator and sent to us before we can provide medical services to them. Third-party medical record translation is available to patients on a fee-for-service basis upon request.

In addition, our medical referrals team will contact your patient to collect essential information about him or her before we can schedule their appointment with us. This information includes:

  • A copy of the patient’s passport.
  • Emergency contact information.
  • Home address (and U.S. address, if applicable).
  • Insurance information, if applicable.
  • Language preferences and whether they require an interpreter.
  • Preferred communication method, either phone or email. Please note: Information provided in an unsecured email may be at risk of being read or accessed by someone else.
  • Current COVID-19 symptoms and status.

We encourage patients to have this information readily available before we contact them. Please refer your patient to our Appointments & Referrals page for more information about our requirements for international appointment scheduling.

How We Coordinate With Referring International Physicians

We will coordinate with you as the referring physician in accordance with the patient’s wishes. When the patient returns to his or her home country, his or her in-country patient liaison will be in contact to encourage him or her to schedule an appointment with you as the referring physician to ensure a smooth transition of care from our team back to you. We will also encourage the patient to consent to us sharing medical records from his or her care in Houston with you.

We often care for patients who are sponsored by their home country’s embassy. These patients have a medical adviser, who is usually a physician. We coordinate closely with embassy-sponsored patients’ medical advisers on all aspects of their patients’ care and treatment at Houston Methodist.

Air Ambulances and Direct Admissions

If your patient needs urgent or emergency care, we can expedite the referral and admittance to Houston Methodist. The key determining factor in these cases is whether you as the referring physician, the patient and Houston Methodist’s accepting physician all believe the patient can receive better care for his or her condition with us than he or she would likely receive in his or her home country.

To accept an international patient via air ambulance, we must secure the most up-to-date medical information for that patient. We will arrange a conference call with you as the referring physician and our accepting physician, with one of our staff members serving as an interpreter if necessary. Once we understand the patient’s status and his or her needs, and we have obtained the necessary financial clearance, we can expedite admission and take him or her directly to his or her room once he or she arrives at Houston Methodist.

Some of the patient types we admit via air ambulance include, but are not limited to:

  • Patients who have suffered a serious or traumatic injury more than 72 hours ago and are stable for travel
  • Patients who have suffered a stroke
  • Patients with cancer 
  • Patients with COVID-19 who are deteriorating rapidly
  • Organ transplant patients who are in a critical state

For direct admissions, we can accept hospital-to-hospital transfers if the patient has already been admitted to a hospital in his or her home country. We can also arrange a direct admittance if you as the referring physician examine the patient and believe that the patient should be admitted to Houston Methodist, but the patient has not yet been admitted to a hospital.