This is a guest post by Patients Rising, a nonprofit that provides education, resources, and advocacy for people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Formed in 2015 as a 501(c)3, Patients Rising has guided more than 25,000 patients and caregivers on their journeys to advocate for themselves and their loved ones to get the care and treatments they need to live a fulfilling life. Jim Sliney is the executive director of Patients Rising.
Scenario: You learn that you are about to receive the treatment you’ve been needing, but that treatment is in another state and you need to be there for two weeks. Can you afford to stay at a local hotel? Fortunately, there are other options for discounted medical lodging.
One of the more common reason patients reach out is to find a place to stay when they have to travel for medical reasons. When I was a clinical research coordinator at Columbia University working on rare disease clinical trials, we recruited people from across the country. I worked with patients to help them find lodging when our protocols called for them to be on site for two to three days. It was a significant expense for patients and further complicated an already complicated protocol – but it got done.
So here is some of what Patients Rising Concierge has learned about medical lodging. This may be especially helpful to those who have had to turn down treatments or clinical opportunities because lodging was not accessible.
Several non-profit organizations provide resources for patients and family caregivers. See below to find free discounted medical lodging when you must travel for medical care.
HEALTHCARE HOSPITALITY NETWORK
The Healthcare Hospitality Network supports more than 200 non-profit member organizations that provide lodging and support services to patients and their families that need to travel for medical care.
This hotel chain also offers cheaper extended stay options for patients and families in multiple locations around the country.
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES
This charitable organization caters to the needs of families of sick children (21 years and younger) who must travel for their child’s care. Ronald McDonald House has locations close to the best children’s hospital across the U.S., where parents of hospitalized children can stay and dine for the duration of their child’s active treatment. Some of these locations also provide educational and recreational programs as well as sibling support services. While payment is not expected, families may be asked to donate up to $25/day depending on the location of the house.
Connect with the social services department at your child’s hospital. They can place you on a waiting list at the nearby Ronald McDonald House.
OPTIONS FOR CANCER PATIENTS
MG patients who are being treated for a thymoma can also review the options below, which focus on helping people undergoing cancer treatment.
HOPE LODGE BY THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
Cancer patients and their families sometimes travel to where a specialist physician or care may be found. Being away from home is hard enough for a sick patient, so The American Cancer Society came up with the idea of Hope Lodge. This free accommodation in 33 cities across the country provides patients (over 18 years) and their caregivers privacy as well as the ability to connect with others
Joe’s House is a non-profit service that was launched by a cancer patient’s wife in 2003. She faced lodging challenges while her husband was receiving treatment in different cities. The Joe’s House website lists lodging resources near hospitals and medical centers where patients and their caregivers can stay at a discounted rate. Joe’s House can help streamline reservations based on proximity to a medical facility. Partner hotels include:
- Best Western
- Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Cambria, Sleep Inn, and others)
- Extended Stay America
- Drury Hotels
- InterContinental Hotels Group
- Healthcare Hospitality Network
- Red Roof Inns
- Wyndham Hotel Group
They also offer ground and air transportation information in collaboration with the National Patient Travel Helpline.
EXTENDED STAY AMERICA (PARTNERSHIP WITH THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY)
This partnership has led to the Extended Stay America ACS rates that offers either a free or highly discounted stay for cancer patients who are undergoing treatment at a medical facility away from home. These hotels extend a welcome to family members as well as pets, which can provide great emotional support for patients facing tough treatment regimens. Kitchenettes save on dining costs and also let patients maintain control of their diet.
Since 2013 the program has helped 15,000+ patients and families save over $7 million in stay-related costs.
CHECK THE HOSPITAL WEBSITE
In addition to the information above, make sure to check the website of the hospital you will be visiting. Many include information on reasonable lodging places near their location. Some even have a hotel liaison or have partnerships with nearby hotels to get a discounted rate.