PART 2: Learning from the Competition

11 Feb

Improving medical service packages in the USA are luring local and foreign patients

USA Domestic Medical Tourism - infographic courtesy of http://www.inc.com

Hospitals in the United States are eager to keep American patients in the country, and are willing to offer much lower costs for surgical procedures such as hip and knee replacements and cardiac bypasses.

Outbound medical tourism currently represents $2.1 billion spent by Americans overseas for care, particularly elective surgical procedures, said Dr. Todd, who translates this into “$15.9 billion in lost revenue for U.S. health care providers.

To balance the revenue outflow, U.S. hospitals are offering discount-priced, world-class health care. Some US hospitals generate as much as 10% of their total revenue from international patients, and go to great lengths to attract, cushion and comfort their foreign guests, offering services far above and beyond simply healing and rehabilitating. For instance:

• The Laser Spine Institute (LSI) of Tampa, Florida, markets aggressively to domestic and foreign medical travelers. LSI’s informational seminars bear great results: nearly 70% of LSI’s patients come from foreign countries or other US states.

USA Healthcare Expenditures - Infographic courtesy of http://www.fortishospitalsblog.in

• Philadelphia International Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medicine International have as many as 40 full-time interpreters on staff to help facilitate communication between doctors and patients.

• Miami Children’s Hospital negotiates hotel rates and arranges limousine service, baby-sitting, special meals, and tours.

• The Aventura Hospital and Medical Center near Miami offers a “Weekend at Aventura” package for international executives, which includes a complete physical, three nights’ deluxe accommodations, limousine to and from the airport and shopping discounts at the nearby Aventura Mall.

• By late 2010, The Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine in Southwest Orange County (Florida) was scheduled to open a 126 room Cambria Suites hotel that will invite guests and patients to enjoy spa treatments and detoxification during their stay.

In The Wall Street Journal, Victoria Knight reports that “U.S. employers are encouraging workers to travel domestically for medical care” while other hospitals are using the deals they’ve signed with foreign hospitals in order to force U.S. to give better rates.

NOTE: This is Part 2 of a 3-part report by Jaime Cabrera; it was first published in the international magazine Medica Tourism in December 2010.
 
SOURCES: Andi Atwater can be reached at aatwater@wichitaeagle.com. The Wichita Eagle website is at www.kansas.com. For more details about Richard Miller’s The Healthcare Business Market Research Handbook, see www.epmcom.com. For Hilary Abramson’s full report, visit http://news. newamericamedia.org. The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce website is MiamiHealthCare.org. John Dorschner can be contacted at jdorschner@MiamiHerald. com, his full report is at www.miamiherald.com. The press archive at http://www.pbs.org contains Jeff Yastine’s report, Medical Tourists Flock to U.S. The www.john-goodman-blog.com has John Goodman’s full report, Medical Tourism Reversing Course. For Medical Tourism ~ An Economic Boost to the United States by Dr. Jose Quesada, visit http://www.medicaltourismassociation. com or contact him at jquesada3@med.miami.edu. Dale Van Demark’s report, How will the medical tourism industry in the United States develop? is at http://trusted.md. For information about Economic Report: Inbound Medical Tourism in the United States, contact authors Dr. David G. Vequist IV at vequist@uiwtx.edu or Erika Valdez at eri.valort@gmail.com. For Victoria Stagg Elliott’s More Hospitals Looking to Merge, Buy Physician Groups, visit www.ama-assn.org. For Judy Dugan’s full report, see Medical tourism: Outsourcing your health at www.latimes.com. For the full report An Overview of Medical Tourism and Its Effects on US Providers” by Dr. Maria K. Todd, visit www.floridahfma.org/documents/Maria_Todds_Mini-Handout.pdf.
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