A company called NASH arranges itineraries for America’s ‘medical tourists’
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, reportsThe New York Times.
Medical tourism is nothing new…
High, unpredictable healthcare costs in the US have driven thousands of Americans south to places like Mexico and the Caribbean to get surgery over the past several decades.
Traditionally, these so-called “medical tourists” have taken their health into their own hands, gambling on unknown hospital systems without medical malpractice insurance in order to save big bucks on medical procedures.
But new businesses want to reduce the risks of medical tourism
Colorado-based North American Specialty Hospital (NASH) offers American patients concierge services that are designed to eliminate the uncertainty of foreign surgery.
NASH has assembled a team of 40 American orthopedic surgeons who are willing to travel to Mexico on their off days to treat American patients.
When one of its patients undergoes surgery, NASH arranges for the patient and an American doctor to travel to a foreign hospital (usually in Mexico), providing extra quality control for the patient and additional malpractice coverage for their doctor.
Care can be so much cheaper that patients actually get paid
In one case where a NASH patient got knee surgery, the doctor made 3x what he would have in the US, the patient’s employer paid less than ½ what it would have in the States, and the patient paid nothing — and got a $5k check for saving her employer so much.
So, where do all these savings come from?
It’s simple — Mexico’s hospital system charges considerably less than America’s for the same exact procedures and identical medical devices.
In the US, where hospital prices are usually not transparent, knee surgery often costs between $30k and $90k; in Mexico, it’s just $12k.