Medical tourism: a role in disease management?Medical tourism occurs when patients travel to other countries for medical or dental care. I have heard about medical tourism for years but never gave it much thought, believing that most medical tourism was related to cosmetic surgery cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes, such as the improvement of the appearance of the face by removing wrinkles or reshaping the nose. . After some browsing on the Internet, I found a highly sophisticated, developing market for a broad range of medical tourism, and I am intrigued about its role in the future of American insurers. Countries that are active in medical tourism include India, Thailand, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica Costa Rica (kŏs`tə rē`kə), officially Republic of Costa Rica, republic (2005 est. pop. 4,016,000), 19,575 sq mi (50,700 sq km), Central America. , Malaysia, Mexico, and Poland. (1) Many websites describe in detail the procedures available in India and Thailand, and their cost.
From a U.S. perspective, the obvious driving force behind medical tourism is cost (for some other countries, the issue might be cost or waiting time to obtain services). A website from Wockhardt Hospital This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using . in India describes cost differences for several procedures it offers. (2) For example, at Wockhardt Hospital, open heart surgery for coronary artery bypass grafting coronary artery bypass graft
n. Abbr. CABG
A surgical procedure in which a section of vein or other conduit is grafted between the aorta and a coronary artery below the region of an obstruction in that artery. costs $7,500, versus $100,000 in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . Knee-replacement surgery costs $6,300 at Wockhardt Hospital, versus $48,000 in the United States. Even after travel and accommodations are added, the cost differences can be staggering. A broad range of operations (e.g., cardiac, dental, eye care, orthopedics, and neurosurgery neurosurgery /neu·ro·sur·gery/ (noor´o-sur?jer-e) surgery of the nervous system.
Surgery on any part of the nervous system. ) as well as diagnostic procedures are available.
The initial reaction of most people who are unfamiliar with medical tourism is to question the quality of the care. Interestingly, many of these foreign hospitals have U.S.-trained and American board-certified physicians. Some hospitals tout Tout
To promote a security in order to attract buyers.
To foster interest in a particular company or security. For example, a broker might tout a security to a client in the hope that the client will purchase the security. Joint Commission International (the international unit of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations,
n.pr the United States body that accredits healthcare organizations.
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO/TJC),
n. ) accreditation. Many of the hospitals were specifically built to serve foreign tourists. Based on photographs of some of the facilities, they look as nice as my local county hospital, and in fact, many look like high-class hotels. At least two of the health systems I saw on the Internet had relationships with Harvard Medical (Boston) and John Hopkins (Baltimore). With careful research, one might find facilities and physicians with comparable training to physicians performing surgery in U.S. hospitals. It is also possible that service levels are higher, given the lower labor costs.
Medical care in a foreign country is not without concerns. Recovery in a foreign country from major surgery may be stressful, and arrangements must be clear regarding the handling of complications. Most people also worry about making health care decisions based on price (even though we do this in this nation all the time), and fear-mongering by health professionals who are worried about competition can be expected. Patients must also be aware that other countries might have different malpractice laws, and reasonable precautions for personal safety when traveling should be understood. However, an entire medical travel industry facilitates patients' needs in these areas.
My link to this topic and disease management is obvious. Although uninsured patients and self-insured employers have opted for medical tourism, it could easily become mainstream as U.S. corporations face rising health care costs. Princeton University Princeton University, at Princeton, N.J.; coeducational; chartered 1746, opened 1747, rechartered 1748, called the College of New Jersey until 1896. Schools and Research Facilities
Economist Uwe Reinhardt, PhD, said, "This (medical tourism) has the potential of doing to the U.S. health care system what the Japanese auto industry did to American carmakers." (3) Progressive insurers might be willing to negotiate medical tourism with patients and qualified foreign hospitals as a method to contain costs while continuing to provide an acceptable quality of care. Disease management programs could have a role in facilitating medical tourism for willing patients, and medical tourism could be a viable option for insurers who adequately screen potential patients. It may save money and improve satisfaction for some.
(1.) Herrick D: Medical tourism prompts price discussions. The Heartland Institute The Heartland Institute is a free-market oriented public policy think tank based in Chicago. It is a non-profit organization, designated 501(c)(3) by the IRS. Contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations make up the bulk of its funding. (www.heartland.org/article.cfm?artid=19748), 2006.
(2.) Wockhardt Hospitals. (www.wockhardthospitals.net), 2006.
(3.) Kher U: Outsourcing your heart. Time (www.time.com/time/ magazine/article/0,9171,1196429,00.html), May 21, 2006.
Chris M. Kozma, PhD
Senior Research Director
Strategic Outcomes Services, Inc.
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Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop.
sonica chhachan (Member): Medical Tourism a Role in Disease Management 5/7/2010 7:19 AM
its actually good to find that more n more ppl are getting intrested in this field.i would personally like to know some detailoed info on phd in medical tourism india,like an article or something of that sort.