International Consultation

FAQ – 1   

Q1. Is it legal to remotely consulting patients in China?

A: Yes. Remote consulting is a service to provide patients remotely with medical information, not

treatment. It's legal for a licensed U.S physician to conduct the consulting in US, no matter which

country the patient is. As a matter of fact, numerous top U.S hospitals (John Hopkins, Mayo

clinic, Cleveland clinic, Partners, etc.) have been providing this remote consulting service to international

patients for almost 10 years.

Q2: What is "SAHN"? What's its background?

A: Sino‐American Healthcare Network (SAHN), developed by Tongkang International Health Information

Consulting, LLC (Tongkang), provides healthcare consulting services to Chinese patients who want access

to the most advanced medical technologies available in the United States. SAHN is comprised of

professionals with both Chinese and U.S. clinical experience. Its team of experts provides the most

valuable information to patients that are seeking oversea healthcare solutions. Our experienced

consultants will serve as a bridge to help patients cross the boundary of language, culture, and

healthcare information, thus providing trusted‐answers to help Chinese patients make critical

decisions. Please visit: and for more information.

Q3: How Tongkang is organized?

‐‐ SAHN is one of the Tongkang’s business platform designed specifically for medical remote consulting.   

Tongkang has other business platforms focusing on education, professional training and research, which

are not part of SAHN.

‐‐ Partnered with several U.S based physician organizations and individual specialists to provide expert

consulting service to Chinese patients. Tongkang’s partners includes but not limited: Chinese American

Professional Association of Tele‐health (CAPATH) and Chinese American Hematologist and Oncologist

Network (CAHON), and several high quality specialists.   

‐‐ Tongkang has Chinese hospital liaisons distributed in 14 provinces and 3 municipalities in mainland

China which give Tongkang access to 90% of the population in mainland China.

‐‐ Partnered with online medical gateway company such as "" in China, with daily patient

visits >60,000.

Q4: What about liability?

A: We follow the same guidelines as all of the top U.S hospitals who are providing remote consulting

service to international patients. First, all patients must sign a consent form before any consulting

starts. In the consent form, patients must recognize the limits of the remote consulting and agree not to

use the consulting advice as any diagnostic or treatment plan. Patients must also agree to release

physician's obligation from any damage raised from the remote consulting. Thus physicians have no

malpractice liability in remote consulting.

Q5: What are other liability issues might rise in remote consulting?

A: The most common issues are general complains about delayed response, delayed service,

disregarded service, etc. To regulate the doctor‐patient relationship, physicians must sign a contract

with Tongkang to ensure timely manner response to service request. Physicians have the right to accept

or refuse a service request, but once accepted, physicians must finish the consulting in certain

time frame. The patient's consent form will also ensure that the patient will interact with the physician

in a respectful manner.

Q6: The consulting cannot cure any clinical disease, what's the benefit for Chinese patients?

A: First, the medical information itself is very helpful. It will console patient's anxiety and help them

make some critical decisions. Secondly, through remote consulting, some patients might come to U.S

for alternative treatment. Physician can either accept these patients to his/her hospital, or transfer to

other top U.S hospitals through the Telehealth Department of Tongkang.
FAQ – 2   

Q: How do you solve the time difference?   

A: The 12‐hour time difference actually makes it easier for most physicians. They can do consulting after

work (5p‐11pm) or at weekends.

Q: Do we need to dial long distance phone calls?   

A: You need make long distance phone calls, which is on your own (current is about $0.6/30min).

Q: Do we do some medical records?   

A: Medical records are not required for telephone consulting. For remote second opinion, Tongkang will

be responsible for keeping physician’s consulting report and patient’s medical documents and will

ensure the safety and privacy of the medical information.

Q:What’s the intermediate services? Why all the intermediate service must be referred to and centrally

regulated through Tongkang’s telehealth department?

A: Intermediate service includes collecting patient’s medical documents (including medical image,

medical history, lab results, medical summary and pathology) and translation of patient’s document.

Most “remote second opinion” consultation will require this kind of intermediate service. All the

intermediate service must be conducted and regulated by Tongkang’s telehealth department to ensure

the quality of the language translation. Tongkang also has local officers to help patients collect and

send medical documents electronically. Tongkang follow certain security standards to protect patient’s

information, thus require all intermediate service must be referred to and centrally regulated through

Tongkang’s telehealth department.


Q: I am a cardiologist. I will have to review echocardiography, vascular ultrasound, angiography,

nuclear stress test, ECG and some lab reports. How would you pay these services?

A: If a consulting service involves review of lab results, medical image and providing diagnosis or

treatment opinion, it’s classified as “remote second opinion”. The remote second opinion for a

cardiologist is paid as: $380/case (signed report and a 30min verbal follow‐up consulting). The charge

can be adjusted by the physician if such adjustment is reasonable. In order to stabilize the business,

physician will be encouraged to avoid changing the service charge frequently.

Q: When the consulting website will start to operate?

The website is in the final stage. The optimistic answer is next month. But technical issue is very

common at the final stage especially when the website involves international business, appointment

scheduling and database. When that happens, the consulting will be postponed.   

Q: As a pathologist, I depend on images to make diagnosis or consultation. How will the images be

present to me?    It’s through e‐mail or by mail? How the quality is preserved?    

A: You will provide "telephone consulting", and "remote second opinion". For telephone consulting, you

will just answer general questions. Patient probably will send you some medical history and image, but

won't help you much to make accurate diagnosis. That is the case for "telephone", and it's totally OK. If

patient want more accurate opinion from you, patient will choose "remote second opinion", in this case

we will arrange patient to send you tissue block, you can make a comfortable diagnosis when you got

the block.