The US healthcare system is dysfunctional and broken while being the most expensive in the World. The US is ranked 37th in the World for quality healthcare in a 2008 report by the Commonwealth Fund, a private American foundation tracking healthcare quality indicators. We seem to have mastered the art of doing less with more while other countries do more with less. We spend more per capita on health care than any country on the Planet. Wouldn’t you expect better results?
The term Medical Tourism has developed to encompass the process of patients traveling from their home country to a destination abroad for health care. A more accurate term is medical travel or health travel because, for major procedures the patient is more interested in treatment than tourism.
It may be as simple as a “tummy tuck” or something as complex as a liver transplant. A $30,000 collection of Cosmetic improvements here is under $10,000 there. A $320,000 liver transplant is $60,000 in India. A $150,000 heart valve replacement here is $15,000 there. A $55,000 Total Knee Replacement with American implants is under $10,000 there. A $60,000 Hip Replacement or Hip Resurfacing is $8,000 there.
All performed by best-in-class doctors and surgeons, most with US or UK board certifications and training.
Medical Travel is not for someone in need of immediate, life-saving care. It’s meant for planned procedures such as heart valve replacement or angioplasty where there is no crisis situation. It’s great for elective joint replacement procedures and other non-emergency medical care. Boomer Health Travel has compiled our top ten Principles of Medical Travel:
In June 2008, the American Medical Association was forced to respond to the growing trend of Medical Tourism by creating its own set of protectionist guidelines. Some of them are just plain common sense and state the obvious. Others reflect a self-interest to impose what the American medical community thinks is best. It is clear that none of the AMA members responsible for the guidelines have engaged in Medical Tourism or visited any of the global providers. How would they know about the high quality, affordable options our American and Canadian patients have experienced? They’re too busy trying to keep us captive!
Of all healthcare destinations, none is arguably better than a suburb of New Delhi India within 30-minutes of the international airport. No fewer than six new or near-new private hospitals are open or under construction to provide over 2,500 hospital beds, remarkable infrastructure, latest technology, training, education, research and medical intelligence in a Western style city
US Healthcare is the only commodity where the ability to pay at the time of service is met with the highest charge billable by the provider. Hospitals discriminate against those who can pay in favor of those who don’t pay, or health insurers who obtain discounts up to 70% and delay payment for 30-days or longer. It’s a predatory system; one of the reasons for the current efforts to reform US Healthcare.
Health tourism presentation
Health Tourism Steve Linder of Pacific Lots of Costa Rica
<ul><li>What is medical tourism </li></ul><ul><li>The best countries for healthcare </li></ul><ul><li>Top health travel procedures </li></ul><ul><li>International Healthcare Accreditation </li></ul><ul><li>Legal and ethical issues </li></ul><ul><li>Costa Rica’s specialties </li></ul>What will be discussed:
“ The US ranks 37 th in the world for quality of healthcare.”
Costa Rica has well qualified medical professionals.
Ten Principles of Medical Travel <ul><ul><li>Non-acute scheduled treatments only; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic cost should be $15,000 or more; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For those with no insurance or Medicare coverage or those with reimbursable select health insurance policies; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elective procedure or one not available locally from a high volume specialist you trust; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to self pay or charge to credit card; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select medical travel planner with personal treatment experience abroad; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use only US based medical travel company with experience and know how; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not arrange own medical travel without professional advice; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select surgeon-doctor before choosing hospital; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrange continuity of care upon return home </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Medical care outside of the US must be voluntary. </li></ul><ul><li>Financial incentives to travel outside the US for medical care should not inappropriately limit the diagnostic and therapeutic alternatives that are offered to patients, or restrict treatment or referral options. </li></ul><ul><li>Patients should only be referred for medical care to institutions that have been accredited by recognized international accrediting bodies (for example, the Joint Commission International or the International Society for Quality in Health Care) </li></ul><ul><li>Prior to travel, local follow-up care should be coordinated and financing should be arranged to ensure continuity of care when patients return from medical care outside the US. </li></ul><ul><li>Coverage for travel outside the US for medical care must include the costs of necessary follow-up care upon return to the US. </li></ul><ul><li>Patients should be informed of their rights and legal recourse prior to agreeing to travel outside the US for medical care. </li></ul><ul><li>Access to physician licensing and outcome data, as well as facility accreditation and outcomes data, should be arranged for patients seeking medical care outside the US. </li></ul><ul><li>The transfer of patient medical records to and from facilities outside the US should be consistent with HIPAA guidelines. </li></ul><ul><li>Patients choosing to travel outside the US for medical care should be provided with information about the potential risks of combining surgical procedures with long flights and vacation activities. </li></ul>