23 August 2009

Medical Tourism ~ Cutting Costs, Aiding Growth

Nice piece in USAToday by Tom Murphy of the AP spotting that Insurers aim to save from overseas medical tourism, including this case example photographed by Kent Gilbert of Costa Rican Dr Luis Obando about to root canal Texan patient Bill Jones in a San Jose, Costa Rica dental clinic... This is an interesting emerging phenomenon, writes Murphy...
"Growth has been slow in part because some patients and employers have concerns about care quality and legal responsibility if something goes wrong. Plus, patients who have traditional plans with low deductibles may have little incentive to take a trip. But a growing number of consumers with high-deductible plans, which make patients pay more out of pocket, could make these trips more inviting. In the meantime, the insurance industry's embrace of overseas care has had a pleasant side effect at home: some US care providers are offering price breaks to counter the foreign competition."
Perhaps another compelling consequence is that this boosts the healthcare capacity in emerging markets and keeps a combination of talent at home and brings an influx of dollars into developing country economies.

No comments: