Tonite on the globally broadcast Bob Pritchard Radio Show at 5pm California time is a replay of one of the most requested interviews in our nine years of broadcasting the show. Steven Marchat has represented some of the most controversial talent ever, including Phil Spector. He was also the producer of Bird on a Wire, the Leonard Cohen documentary. His book Gods, Gangsters and Honour is legendary. Take a listen. Great guy, but a nut job !
For years, desperate American medical patients have traveled outside of the US in search of cheaper healthcare. Now, companies are offering “medical tourism” services that sometimes involve flying American doctors out to foreign hospitals for less than 24 hours.
A novel twist on medical tourism to avoid the high cost of U.S. health care saves an employer money and even earns the patient a bonus. For example, an American citizen traveled to a private hospital in Cancún, Mexico, to have a knee replacement. Her surgeon, a graduate of the Mayo Clinic, flew in from the U.S. the day before, For her total knee replacement, she would not only receive all travel costs, free operation and care, but would receive a check for $5000 when she got home. The surgeon who spent less than 24 hours in Mexico, was paid $2,700, or three times what he would have received from Medicare in the United States. It makes financial sense for both a highly trained orthopedist and a patient from the US to leave the country and meet at an upscale private Mexican hospital for the surgery.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans seek lower-cost care outside the United States each year in high quality facilities. Hundreds of U.S. surgeons travel to Mexico on their days off to treat American patients. The American surgeons work closely with a Mexican counterpart and local nurses. In the past, medical tourism has been mostly a blind leap to a country far away, to unknown hospitals and unknown doctors with unknown supplies, to a place without U.S. medical malpractice insurance. That has now completely changed.
The high prices charged at American hospitals make it relatively easy to offer surgical bargains in Mexico: In the United States, knee replacement surgery costs $30,000 —$60,000, but in Mexico it is only $12,000. The standard charge for a night in the Mexican hospital is $300 compared with $2,000 on average at United States hospitals. The same medical device used in the knee replacement surgery costs $3,500 in Mexico, compared with $8,000 in the United States.
One US company with 17,000 employee has sent about 140 employees or dependents for treatments saving the firm $3.2 million in health costs. The company also coordinated her medical care and made travel arrangements, including obtaining passports, airline tickets, hotel and meals for the couple.
Mexico captured more than half of the overall market share in 2017 and is expected to maintain its revenue lead through 2023. Mexico is one of the top 10 preferred destinations for medical tourism globally. The main factor which drives the growth of the market in the region is its proximity to the U.S. Other factors such as availability of cheaper healthcare facilities when compared to the U.S. contributes to the growth of medical tourism industry in Mexico. In addition, the involvement of the Mexican Government for the promotion of medical tourism has further propelled the market growth.
Traditionally, “medical tourists” have taken their health into their own hands, gambling on unknown hospital systems without medical malpractice insurance in order to save big on medical procedures. But now, there are medical travel agents. Colorado-based North American Specialty Hospital (NASH) offers American patients concierge services that are designed to eliminate any uncertainty. When one of its patients undergoes surgery, NASH arranges for the patient and an American doctor to travel to the foreign hospital providing extra quality control for the patient and additional malpractice coverage for their doctor.
A brilliant idea where everyone wins.
A dwarf goes to a very good but very busy doctor and asks “I know you are busy but do you treat dwarves?”The doctor replies “Yes, but you will have to be a little patient”