Thursday, November 13, 2008
Medical Tourism is Here
It was only a matter of time until health costs in the U.S. rose so high that we would outsource health care. That time is here.
WellPoint, the nation's largest health benefits company has announced a new product that allows its patients to travel to India to receive care. Starting in January, 2009, "members planning to undergo certain procedures can enjoy access to an extended network of respected hospitals and health care providers in India. By electing to use the international benefit, members can receive care at accredited facilities at lower out- of- pocket costs that could result in thousands of dollars of savings."
They go on to say a dedicated case manager will coordinate all medical arrangements, including scheduling and concierge travel services. All travel arrangements are booked and paid for, for both the member and a traveling companion. The case manager also arranges any post operative follow up care.
Certain medical tourism facilities in India and Thailand have quality outcomes that rival the United States. Their doctors are trained at fine institutions like Harvard and Johns Hopkins.
The facilities are accredited (without all of the unnecessary United States bureaucracy that drives up costs).
How do they do it? They have less government interference, practically no lawsuits, lower cost structures, no unions, low wages and better customer service.
You may not like it, but that is a fact.
How about a vacation and a knee replacement?
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 6:14 AM