In the past few years, we have witnessed the rapid growth in medical tourism from a fringe concept to the present state as a full-fledged industry with thousands of Americans packing their bags and traveling the world for procedures ranging Hip Replacements, Spinal Fusions, Artificial Disc Replacements, and Hysterectomies, to all forms of cosmetic and dental procedures.
To be sure, price is one of the chief motivating factors in one’s decision to travel thousands of miles to undergo a surgical procedure in a foreign country. Most procedures performed at world-class hospitals and accredited by the Joint Commission International, a branch of the U.S. hospital accreditation organization range in price from 50% to 80% less expensive than in the U.S.
For the uninsured and under insured, the savings of course are tremendous and sometimes mean the difference between filing for bankruptcy and remaining financially solvent. However, when researching options for receiving treatment abroad, there are a multitude of facets about price that must be considered.
- Practically any price can be found for medical procedures on the Internet, so be careful.
- It would probably not be prudent to shop for and select the lowest priced option.
- Sacrificing superior quality for the savings of a few hundred dollars makes little sense.
- Beware of “medical travel package pricing” deals that many companies promote. All inclusive package deals are great for vacations, but not for serious surgical procedures. The logistics involved are simply too challenging to manage as a package deal.
- It is very important to have all the diagnostic work conducted in the U.S. in order to have a specific diagnosis to send to the foreign provider for review and quotation, prior to purchasing an airline ticket. This will prevent potential problems and/or surprises once in the destination.
- As with any product or service it is imperative to evaluate the real value associated with the price. In terms of medical tourism value relates to not only to the doctor and hospital, but also to the destination (infrastructure, sights, sounds, smells, food, language, and culture), the hotels, and the customer service. Carefully consider your options.
For more information about medical tourism, you're welcome to visit MedRetreat, a U.S. owned and operated medical tourism service agency at MedRetreat. MedRetreat was developed to help protect the American health tourism consumer when traveling abroad to receive medical procedures.