Friday, December 17, 2010

Domestic Medical Tourism

As health costs continue to rise, some entrepreneurial doctors and patients are taking advantage of domestic medical tourism for elective procedures. From the article:
Employers who fund their workers' health coverage are also eager to contain mounting medical costs, Stephano says. They may offer a range of inducements to persuade a patient to have a more affordable procedure, she says.

A $100,000 heart bypass could be had for as little as $32,000 at hospitals working with a facilitator (according to figures provided by BridgeHealth).

Bob Ihrie, senior vice president for employee rewards and services at Lowe's Companies Inc., led a group of five large employers who negotiated special rates with the highly respected Cleveland Clinic to perform heart, back/spine and knee/hip surgeries. While the other companies have not yet announced their plans, Lowe's has already sent 16 employees to Cleveland for surgery since the program launched on April 1, with 14 others scheduled for procedures or awaiting approval.
(Read the full text of "Healthcare: Pay Less, Travel Less".)

As with overseas medical tourism, patients can shop around for quality care at heavily-discounted prices. And one advantage of domestic (as opposed to foreign) medical tourism is that US malpractice laws still apply -- thus giving patients legal recourse if something goes wrong.

This isn't a complete solution to the problems raised by ObamaCare. But it may help in the short-to-medium turn until our politicians finally repeal that law.

For other strategies patients can adopt in the meantime, see "How to Protect Yourself Against ObamaCare" from the Summer 2010 issue of The Objective Standard.

(Article link via J.G.)