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  • Rotten Food and the VA Hospital October 20, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD Imagine for a moment that you own and operate a restaurant knowing that if you provide spoiled food and rotten service, you will subsequently make more money.  You openly employ strong-arm and intimidation tactics to …
  • Hospitals want patients to pay in advance October 17, 2014
    Hospitals are asking for payments from patients before they leave the facility so they don’t end up with unpaid bills. Knowing the costs before the procedure is important because insurance deductibles are increasing and so are procedure costs. Obamacare policies …
  • State Highlights: Mass. First To Require Health Care Price Tags; Health Disparities In Wis. October 15, 2014
    A selection of health policy stories from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, Connecticut, California, Texas, South Dakota and Pennsylvania. WBUR: Massachusetts Becomes First State To Require Price Tags For Health Care Massachusetts has launched a new era of shopping. It began last …
  • Physicians Remove Government from Medical Equation October 13, 2014
    by Gerard Gianoli, MD Doctors in Nevada and across the country are protesting against the government’s intrusion into health care, but we aren’t voicing our concerns using bullhorns and pickets. Instead, many of the state’s 5,400 physicians are protesting silently …
  • Revolutionary Idea Could Change Medicine October 10, 2014
    For those of us who get woozy when having blood drawn for routine testing, a simple pin prick may be the blood test of the future. Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO and founder of Theranos, says that her company can run …
  • Why Accountable Care Organizations Are Failing October 8, 2014
    by Richard Amerling, MD Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a key piece of the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) “reform” plan, are failing because they must fail. ACOs are based on faulty assumptions, poor economics, and junk science. They would not exist …

Medical Tourism — Traveling for Timely Medical Care

Medical Tourism

…is the term which generally refers to patients who travel abroad for medical care. The biggest reason for medical tourism is cost savings. Sometimes patients in countries with government controlled health plans travel abroad because they cannot get timely medical care in their home country due to medical or surgical waiting lists.

Deloitte has produced two different studies on medical tourism. In the first, they predict that by the year 2017 between $228 billion and $599.b billion per year of medical care will leave the US and be performed abroad. In another study, Deloitte predicts that medical tourism will grow at a rate of 35% per year.

Medical tourism facilitators often charge a percentage of the procedure. This percentage is usually between 20% and 40%, but can be as high as 300%. Often the medical tourism facilitator earns more than the surgeon. Medical tourism facilitators often compare US prices to overseas prices, claiming that by having the procedure performed overseas, patients can save up to 75%.

Overseas facilities can save patients a lot of money on medical care, however these savings are sometimes eroded by large kickbacks paid to medical tourism facilitators. Overseas facilities often look like 7-star resorts, and you can make your medical care a medical vacation for you and your family. Overseas facilities can sometimes offer procedures not available in your home country, and their surgeons are usually US or UK board certified, which means they have met the same standards as back home. Overseas facilities are also often JCI certified, meaning the hospital has met rigorous standards similar to those in the US. Overseas medical facilities usually have lower overhead since they often do not have to bill multiple third party payers based on different pay schedules, and they are usually not exposed to malpractice risks and costs.

MediBid has found many doctors, hospitals, and surgery centers in the US that operate efficiently and are willing to pass these savings on to patients. Often these doctors and facilities have rates that are 75% lower than the rates that billed to insurance companies. This is known as domestic medical tourism, and often these hospitals can compete head to head with overseas facilities. Often you can save by shopping for health care across state lines. Having overseas hospitals and domestic hospitals compete head to head on the same portal means that YOU will save more money.

Medical Tourism occurs both globally and domestically. At the end of the day, it’s about competition and choice in health care.

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