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A new twist on medical tourism: American surgeons, patients meet in Mexico
Becker's Hospital Review ^ | August 13, 2019 | Ayla Ellison

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Health/Medicine; Society
KEYWORDS: medicaltourism; mexico
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One way to bend the medical cost curve.
1 posted on 08/13/2019 4:47:48 PM PDT by buckalfa
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To: buckalfa

The tequila anesthesia is awesome!


2 posted on 08/13/2019 4:54:21 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (This Space For Rant)
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To: buckalfa

You get cheap, non-union, staff, and no lawsuits.

Overall, a win-win, from what I can tell.


3 posted on 08/13/2019 4:54:31 PM PDT by BobL (I eat at McDonald's and shop at Walmart - I just don't tell anyone.)
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To: buckalfa

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.


4 posted on 08/13/2019 4:56:33 PM PDT by erkelly
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To: buckalfa

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?


5 posted on 08/13/2019 4:56:38 PM PDT by House Atreides (Boycott the NFL 100% — PERMANENTLY)
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To: BobL

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.


6 posted on 08/13/2019 5:00:18 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: buckalfa

https://northamericanspecialtyhospital.com/our-company/


7 posted on 08/13/2019 5:00:21 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple (Thinking Caps are no longer being issued but there must be a warehouse full of them somewhere.)
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To: buckalfa

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.


8 posted on 08/13/2019 5:07:25 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: BobL

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.


9 posted on 08/13/2019 5:08:54 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: House Atreides

Medicare is running out of money because of high costs of health care delivery and drugs in US. That’s because of monopoly practices by health care deliverers and insurers. Also, the supply of doctors is artificially limited.


10 posted on 08/13/2019 5:09:43 PM PDT by rintintin
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To: PGR88

How about allowing more people into medical school? The numbers are artificially restricted by the MD cartel


11 posted on 08/13/2019 5:11:21 PM PDT by rintintin
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To: buckalfa

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.


12 posted on 08/13/2019 5:11:32 PM PDT by grumpygresh
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To: grumpygresh

A trusted doc of this family contends that you STILL get what you pay for in medicine - anywhere in the world.


13 posted on 08/13/2019 5:13:49 PM PDT by combat_boots (God bless Israel and all who protect and defend her! Merry Christmas! In God We Trust!)
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To: buckalfa

“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?


14 posted on 08/13/2019 5:14:11 PM PDT by cdcdawg (Fact: Dogs can extract more info from smelling a pile of $h!t than humans can from viewing CNN)
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To: buckalfa

Personally I’d 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, there’s something very wrong with a health system so divorced from free market economics that it incentivizes this sort of behavior.


15 posted on 08/13/2019 5:18:54 PM PDT by NittanyLion
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To: rintintin

“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.


16 posted on 08/13/2019 5:20:50 PM PDT by grumpygresh
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To: Brilliant

I guess people can try... But I can’t see it working, at least with my limited legal mind.


17 posted on 08/13/2019 5:25:14 PM PDT by BobL (I eat at McDonald's and shop at Walmart - I just don't tell anyone.)
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To: combat_boots

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.


18 posted on 08/13/2019 5:25:56 PM PDT by grumpygresh
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To: rintintin

That’s why nurse practitioner programs have ramped up and are turning away applicants for lack of teachers.


19 posted on 08/13/2019 5:32:24 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: BobL

No middleman insurers. Straight up cash.


20 posted on 08/13/2019 5:44:13 PM PDT by momincombatboots (Do you know anyone who isn’t a socialist after 65? Freedom exchanged cash, a medicare card control.)
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