Skip to comments.A new twist on medical tourism: American surgeons, patients meet in Mexico
Posted on 08/13/2019 4:47:48 PM PDT by buckalfa
Some U.S. companies are paying for employees to travel to other countries for medical care. To alleviate concerns about quality of care, American surgeons are traveling to perform their procedures, The New York Times reports with Kaiser Health News.
The report highlights the story of one patient who traveled to Cancun, Mexico, for knee replacement surgery. The patient, Donna Ferguson, gets her health coverage through her husband's employer, Ashley Furniture Industries. In exchange for having her surgery performed in Mexico, Ashley Furniture paid Ms. Ferguson $5,000 and covered her travel costs. She also received the surgery free of out-of-pocket copayments or deductibles, according to the report.
An orthopedic surgeon flew from Milwaukee to Cancun to perform Ms. Ferguson's knee surgery. The surgeon was paid three times the Medicare rate for performing the procedure. He is one of roughly 40 orthopedic surgeons in the U.S. who have teamed up with Denver-based North American Specialty Hospital to treat patients abroad.
When patients are deciding whether to travel abroad for surgery, a key consideration is the quality of care they will receive. NASH hopes having American surgeons perform the procedures will alleviate quality of care concerns for patients and self-insured employers considering whether to offer this option to their workers, according to the report.
The tequila anesthesia is awesome!
You get cheap, non-union, staff, and no lawsuits.
Overall, a win-win, from what I can tell.
I wonder if this is also a way to get an adequate pain relief prescription? I had a procedure done not too long ago and my surgeon told me that Tylenol would be enough but it was not.
Damn... if this catches on how are we going to pay the high salaries, generous benefits and early retirements for all the highly paid bureaucrats at Medicare headquarters in Baltimore?
What makes you think it avoids the lawsuits? I suspect a US court would take jurisdiction of a dispute between an American doctor and an American patient.
There is no reforming the present US medical system - particularly medicare and medicaid. Too many people are totally dependent on it, and the bureaucratic and financial vested interests are absolutely huge.
The only way to help Americans and allow choice is to allow some kind of laissez-faire system to develop around it - cash-only payments, medical tax-free and reduced regulation zones, reduced tort liability. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know our present system will bankrupt us and will eventually turn into a 100% state run system.
One of the milestones of America becoming a 3rd world country - people fleeing the country to get medical treatment because government makes it unavailable or too expensive at home.
Medicare is running out of money because of high costs of health care delivery and drugs in US. Thats because of monopoly practices by health care deliverers and insurers. Also, the supply of doctors is artificially limited.
How about allowing more people into medical school? The numbers are artificially restricted by the MD cartel
The reason this works is because is that the U.S. hospital costs are overpriced and the doctor’s fees are underpriced.
In the end everyone wins because overall price for patient is less and quality is preserved. Here we gave an example of free market prevailing over a market distorted by overrgulation.
The 2 major reason for high hospital prices are government regulation and litigation, with regulation as the chief burden by far. The regulatory costs in healthcare are disgusting because federal government takes a predatory approach to regulation. The regulation only adds cost and does not have any positive effect on patient safety. In fact much of the regulation detracts from safety because of the numerous delays and denials of care.
A trusted doc of this family contends that you STILL get what you pay for in medicine - anywhere in the world.
“To alleviate concerns about quality of care, American surgeons are traveling to perform their procedures, The New York Times reports with Kaiser Health News.”
Why is the quality of care in Mexico a concern?
Personally Id worry more about the cleanliness of the OR than the doctor performing the knee surgery - I doubt there are Americans sterilizing the facility to eliminate post op infections.
Having said that, theres something very wrong with a health system so divorced from free market economics that it incentivizes this sort of behavior.
“How about allowing more people into medical schooll?”
That might help to improve access, but I don’t believe that costs would be lower because physician fees account for only a small percentage of total healthcare costs and the costs of school and training programs would have to be absorbed somewhere.
The answer is to reduced the unproductive costs from overrgulation and allow a free market system to develop that allows competition and real price discovery. The other thing to consider is that self employed physicians are more productive than employed physicians so the shift to employed physicians is reducing man power. Anyone that runs a small business knows that the owners always work the hardest.
I guess people can try... But I can’t see it working, at least with my limited legal mind.
That’s exactly right, you get what you pay for and in the U.S. and that means lots of counterproductive bureaucracy.
The other corollary is that if you’re not actually spending your own money, you have a lot less say in the matter.
That’s why nurse practitioner programs have ramped up and are turning away applicants for lack of teachers.
No middleman insurers. Straight up cash.
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