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Transparency in medical pricing

December 22nd, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel

One of the draws of medical tourism – alongside low costs and high quality care – is the transparency in pricing. In many cases in the United States, patients find it nearly impossible to get an accurate price quote before undergoing treatment. In many cases, hospitals in the United States offer different prices to patients with health insurance than the prices offered uninsured patients. Because of this, many hospitals are unwilling to provide a transparent pricing scheme. Oftentimes, insurance companies forge agreements with hospitals to charge patients a certain price within a certain “physician network,” and an entirely different price if patients choose a surgeon outside of the network. Uninsured patients often have to go into treatment without knowing what they will see on the final bill.

Overseas hospitals, including those in medical tourism destinations such as Taiwan, are much more transparent in their pricing plans. Patients are always provided with an itemized bill – which includes every single item the patient is expected to pay for, including medication, food, surgeon fees, and ward fees. The price quoted in the initial estimate is almost always the price paid after care is administered – except in cases where further treatment is required.

The hospitals in Formosa Medical Travel’s network offer all-inclusive knee and hip replacement packages, which include the price of treatment as well as accommodation and all other necessary expenditures. Patients who arrange surgery through Formosa Medical Travel will pay the exact rate they are quoted, and are provided with a fully-itemized bill.

Medical tourism to experience resurgence, says Deloitte

November 11th, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel

In a new report, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions projects medical tourism to rebound strongly from the effects of the economic recession in coming years.

The report, entitled “Medical Tourism: Update and Implications”, says that while outbound medical travel from the United States fell by nearly 14% between 2007 and 2009 as a result of the recession, it is predicted to show a strong resurgence as economic conditions improve. The number of outbound medical travelers could be as much as 5 million per year by 2017, the report suggests, if the industry continues to grow at the expected rate of 35% per year.

Paul H. Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions,  expects outbound medical tourism to continue its rapid growth despite the efforts at healthcare reform in the United States. “There is nothing in current health reform bills that decelerates the cost of care,” said Keckley, “so that contributes to the appetite that people have.”

Healthcare costs will continue to rise by six percent per year for the next decade, the report says, making medical tourism an increasingly attractive option for the aging US population. With medical tourism “offering savings of up to 70 percent after travel expenses, we anticipate that the industry will recover from the current economic downturn,” said Heckley.  ”Medical tourism represents an important option for patient populations who need care but lack adequate out-of-pocket funds to afford a procedure in the U.S., or those who seek lower prices for purposes of savings.”

Medical tourism represents an important option for patient populations who need care but lack
adequate out-of-pocket funds to afford a procedure in the U.S., or those who seek lower prices
for purposes of savings.

Healthcare Reform in the United States May Actually Increase Medical Tourism

October 13th, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel

More medical tourists may also contribute to further globalization of lab testing

Medical tourism continues to be a force with the potential to exert significant influence on healthcare in the United States. For that reason, experts have weighed in recently on how efforts to reform healthcare may either inhibit or encourage growth in the number of Americans opting to become medical tourists.

Just as medical tourism has the potential to be transformative to certain aspects of healthcare here in this country, Dark Daily believes that medical tourism may also encourage greater globalization of pathology services and clinical laboratory testing. For both reasons, pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will find recent commentary to be enlightening…

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