Caring For the Crew


Caring for the Crew® Program

Future Care’s Caring for the Crew® Program encompasses all the services and procedures that we utilize globally in the management of seafarer illnesses, injuries and overall healthcare, both at sea and on land. Over the past twenty-four years Future Care has developed an international network of hospitals, physiciansand other medical providers available in strategic ports, specializing in responding swiftly to the particular healthcare needs of the international seafarer. The twin goals of service under our Caring for the Crew® program are to provide the highest quality of medical care available in the region at the most effective price.



Whether by bringing medical care directly onboard the vessel through our Physician Advice at Sea (telemedicine) service, or managing medical treatment in the hospital, through repatriation and convalescence with our physician and nurse case managers, Caring for the Crew® provides the continuity of medical management necessary to return the crewmember to the ship, fit for duty. Our medical cost containment services, including preferential [delete (PPO)] rates in the United States and elsewhere, combined with expert medical bill audit review, assure the shipowner and his P&I Club that treatment is both necessary and cost-effective.

Future Care’s Caring for the Crew® program offers primary medical care management services, including our customized shipboard wellness program. Our program begins with either a remote shipboard consultation between the crewmember and one of Future Care’s physicians or a medical record review and written evaluation of existing chronic conditions and medications. Building on this foundation our physicianscontinuing with periodic monitoring and 24/7 accessibility while at sea.

We work closely with the crewmember, the ship’s captain, the shipowner’s shore-side personnel and P&I Club, when appropriate, to manage continuity of treatment until his or her return to the ship, repatriation and/or fit for duty status, as circumstances warrant. By managing treatment from the first report of medical complaint or incident onboard ship to return to work, we speed the recovery process and reduce medical and related costs. Through our wellness program we ensure that treatable conditions are managed onboard ship, avoiding the cost of shore-side medical treatment and/or unscheduled repatriation, while simultaneously promoting the mariner’s overall good health and productivity.

Future Care’s Caring for the Crew® program includes the following proprietary services.

First Response Contact Center

The First Response Contact Center is the initial point of contact for our Caring for the Crew® medical services. Future Care maintains a 24 hours, 7 days a week Contact Center, staffed by our medically trained First Response team, who handle all requests for the management of any medical incident, emergency or routine.

For additional information on Future Care’s Medical First Response Services please visit our Medical First Response page.

Emergency Services

Future Care’s First Response Contact Center is designed to respond swiftly to medical emergencies onboard the ship. Ship’s Masters and the vessel’s land-based personnel enrolled in our Caring for the Crew® program are trained in our emergency response procedures and instructed to contact us immediately after the occurrence of an emergency medical incident. Our First Response team works closely with our Physician Advisors to provide remote emergency diagnosis and treatment recommendations onboard ship. Once the seafarer is brought ashore we work with the crewmember, his or her family, treatment providers, the shipowner, port agents, P&I Club and their correspondents, as instructed, to manage the quality, timeliness and cost of medical treatment through to a return to fit for duty status or maximum medical cure.


Routine Healthcare Services

Future Care’s First Response Contact Center is also designed to address requests for routine medical and dental treatment. When an examination or treatment ashore is necessary, our First Responders will steer appropriate care within our global network, pre-certifying care and cost. Detailed instructions will be provided to the local agent and the receiving medical provider regarding transportation, medical documentation and payment procedures, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted process to facilitate the seafarer’s examination within the vessel’s itinerary.

If the crewmember is examined and released Fit For Duty, Future Care will collect all medical documentation and provide a closing report, which will document the incident, from its onset to closure.


Physician Advisory Services, Including Tele-Medicine at Sea

Future Care’s Physician Advisory Service is designed to respond to the specialized circumstances encountered in providing remote medical treatment to the injured or ill seafarer. Our 24 hours, 7 days a week Contact Center provides continuous and immediate access to our world-wide network of medically-trained first responders, physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals. Future Care’s telemedical program is based on the Company’s 24 plus years’ experience in managed health care, and almost 20 years in formulating medical management protocols specifically designed for the maritime community’s exceptional needs. It is aimed to provide physician diagnosis and treatment recommendations while at sea, as quickly as needed. The immediacy of shipboard remote treatment is invaluable in mitigating illness, treating injury and reducing shore-side treatment, unscheduled repatriation or emergency evacuation.

Future Care’s Physician Advisory Service is also available for shipboard wellness maintenance and customized programs to meet the shipowner’s crews’ particular medical requirements.

For additional information on Future Care’s Physician Advisory Services please visit our Physician Advice at Sea page.


Global Hospital / Physicians Network

Future Care’s 24 years’ experience in managed health care for the international seafarer has enabled us to develop our first class proprietary network of hospitals, treatment facilities, physicians and other medical providers. Our participating facilities and physicians have been chosen for the high quality of care provided relative to their geographic region. We have medical resources in all leading ports as well as in many of the world’s more remote locations.

In many of our network of hospitals across the globe, we have fixed reduced pricing or pre-admission agreed pricing, allowing for established, reduced charges prior to or at the time of service. This offers clarity of pricing and eliminates last minute increases and other dubious accounting. In ports where this arrangement is unavailable, we monitor costs closely for compliance with the prevailing locally accepted rate.

In the U.S., with probably the highest rates for medical services in the world, we offer access, as available, to Preferred Provider Organization (“PPO”) network facilities at significantly reduced rates, comparable to those paid by the major U.S. health insurer. {delete – , as if the international seafarer were an “insured patient” in the U.S.]


Maritime Medical Case Management

Maritime medical case management refers to the program developed and administered by Future Care for the professional, independent oversight of maritime medical treatment. Elements of the program include the assignment of a Future Care licensed physician or nurseas[delete medically trained] case manager, [delete either a,] to communicate with the crewmember, attending physicians, and hospital staff to review and monitor medical treatment; to maintain contact with the crewmember and family during the course of treatment; and to assist in the coordination of the arrangements for the crewmember’s release and/or repatriation, if applicable, when medically certified as fit for discharge or fit to travel.

The maritime medical case manager provides timely periodic reports of medical updates to the shipowner and/or the Club, or others, as instructed, documenting status, treatment plan and coordinating discharge and follow-up. Our case manager maintains contact with the seafarer and the medical personnel in the facility to review hospitalization statusin real-time. [Delete In all instances]Our medically trained staff will review [Delete all]treatment parameters [Deletein order] to provide the optimum medical solution for the seafarer. This “hands on” professional case management also reduces costs without compromising quality, and eliminates or reduces delay, unnecessary procedures and lengthy hospital stays in port, among other benefits.

Additional services include accompaniment during repatriation, coordination of out-patient treatment, and supply of pharmaceuticals in the home country after repatriation; monitoring of treatment and crewmember adherence to medical appointments and medication requirements, as appropriate until a return to Fit for Duty or Maximum Medical Improvement.

The benefits of this service cannot be overstated. The maritime case manager ensures that the crewmember is not “lost within the system” but, instead, is treated timely and correctly, thereby providing quality care and simultaneously reducing costs. The case manager acts as the crewmember’s advocate and demonstrates, physically, the shipowner’s concern to the seafarer and family for his/her well-being in a time of great stress. This demonstrated concern normally results in feelings of good will and greatly reduces the chances of litigation, in addition to promoting a quicker recovery.

For additional information on Future Care’s Maritime Medical Case Management Services please visit our Medical Case Management page.


Future Care’s professional staff of medical auditors will review U.S. hospital and major medical billing to assesses the appropriateness of the rate charged, including application of the correct billing codes; identification of duplicate charges or charges for services not rendered, as well as other inconsistencies or inaccuracies often encountered in medical invoices when a case is not monitored professionally.  Future Care’s medical auditors also review for “unbundling” or the practice of charging separately for services that are required to come under a single, lesser charge, and propriety of in-patient vs. out-patient rates, among other billing categories.

Future Care’s medical auditors are specifically trained to conduct medical auditing, which is a specialized accounting discipline. Through a combined reliance on proprietary medical accounting software, specialized education and negotiating experience our auditors are second to none in ensuring that all medical charges are correct, appropriate and reasonable.


Future Care’s medical and audit teams can review international hospital charges for adherence to the usual and customary rates in the locale of treatment as well as exam charges for  duplicate charges or charges for services not rendered, as well as other inconsistencies.

Future Care’s medical team can also conduct a Medical Record or medical utilization review in complex cases to determine the necessity and appropriateness of the treatment provided; please see below.

For additional information on Future Care’s Maritime Medical Cost Containment Services please visit our Medical Cost Containment page.


Medical Record Review: Objective Review of Medical Records

Future Care’s credentialed [delete board-certified] health care professionals are available to conduct objective, retrospective reviews of the crewmember’s medical records. This service can be used to assess the medical necessity of prior treatment, as well as employed in conjunction with our medical auditing program in evaluating appropriate charges.

Future Care offers its record review service for hospital charges incurred in the U.S. and on an international basis, with network physicians certified in numerous disciplines available world-wide. Our network provides a localized review and a familiarity with local medical practices and language in many ports around the globe.

Future Care enhances the record review process by providing:

  • Secure, encrypted (HIPAA/GDPRcompliant) electronic submission of the final physician’s report.
  • Availability of standard or client-specific analysis and management reports.
  • Availability of examining physicians for consultation and/or expert testimony.


Case Tracking/Benchmarking Services

When enrolled in Future Care’s Caring for the Crew® program [delete all of] the ship’s availablecrew medical data is entered and analyzed in Future Care’s proprietary software, providing: continuity in care for the seafarer; reports to the shipowner with emphasis on identifying variables that lead to increased risk for illness or injury onboard ship; a benchmark of the shipowner’s record against our analysis of the standard in the maritime industry, for the shipowner’s review and comparison. Future Care will also provide customized, additional reports as requested. These analyses can be used for development of claims prevention protocols, internal audit and claims prevention, claims management, insurance renewals and other uses.

Our Case Tracking/Benchmarking Services also [Delete ensure for] promotesthe shipowner’s compliance with the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention Title IV Guidelines, specifically urging that signatories participate in “international cooperation in the area of assistance, programs and research in health protection and medical care [through, among other activities] collecting and evaluating statistics concerning occupational accidents, diseases and fatalities of seafarers …” For additional information on how Future Care’s Caring for the Crew® Program assists the shipowner in complying with both the mandatory and aspirational aspects of the MLC please see our webpage titled “Future Care and the Maritime Labour Convention”.


Provider Payments Program

Future Care’s Provider Payments Program ensures that all approved charges are paid directly to the treatment providers, and that payment records are maintained independently for use by the shipowner. Upon receipt by Future Care of funds for approved charges within 30 days, we settle all bills, obtain receipts, and maintain payment records, forwarding copies of the documented charges and payments to the shipowner, or as directed.



FutureMeds is our network of independent, approved pharmacists, on call to supply pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and medical devices worldwide, based on the ship’s flag registry, crew nationality, and region of travel. An approved pharmaceutical company will supply all medical chest certificates in accordance with the required regulations.

All replenishment requests for your medicine chests may be done through the same First Response e-mail address provided to our Caring for the Crew® Members.


MLC Title IV Compliance Program Development and Training

Future Care’s extensive experience in medical case management for the international seafaring community uniquely qualifies us to offer training for Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) Title IV Compliance, including: 1) training support for ship and/or shore side personnel; 2) Future Care’s captain’s manual review; and 3) fleet operations review of procedures. Both remote and on-site training are available.

For a more complete discussion of the synergy between Future Care’s programs and Title IV of the Maritime Labour Convention please see our webpage “Future Care and the Maritime Labour Convention”.

Medical Clearance Program

Future Care’s Medical Clearance Program for United States flag vessel operators involves a comprehensive screening process which includes review of union and/or United States Coast Guard (USCG) physicals, vaccination records, COVID-19 screenings and USCG Medical Certificates to ensure that all documentation is in order and the prospective crewmember is medically fit to join the vessel.  Our review of the union/USCG physical can reduce – or even eliminate – the need for a full company physical. In many situations Future Care’s Medical Clearance Program can result in crewing cost savings, increased crewing efficiency and crewmember medical claim prevention for the US flag vessel operator.

In addition, our medical clearance program processes crewmember Department of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Verification Requests to obtain the relevant drug and alcohol history from previous employers. Should coordination of vaccinations or pre-employment physicals be deemed necessary, our Medical Clearance team will make these arrangements and obtain the physical results and proof of vaccination before medically clearing a crewmember to join the vessel.

For further information please contact us at


Caring for the Yacht Crew and Passengers 

Future Care’s Caring for the Yacht Crew and Passenger Program is a specialized suite of services, specifically designed to manage the medical and healthcare needs of the yacht owner’s crew and passengers. Our Caring for the Yacht Crew and Passenger Program includes many of the medical management services offered in our commercial program, such as our First Response Contact Center, Physician Advisory at Sea Service, access to our global hospital / physicians network, medical case management, and medical cost containment services.

Future Care’s Caring for the Yacht Crew and Passenger Program provides both primary and secondary healthcare for the yacht owner’s crew and passengers. Our specially tailored program offers the yacht owner complete peace of mind regarding both the emergency and routine medical needs of those entrusted to the owner’s care, providing a one stop, complete medical management plan for crew and passengers, world-wide.