Hospital Costs in America: Opportunity Abroad?

in Press Releases

Want to know what your hospital bill will be in advance? 

PRESS RELEASE (05/10/20130 – Now you can, as the US government has recently released statistics on what the average hospital cost across various hospitals in the United States. This allows patients to compares hospital bill charges for a given procedure, and budget accordingly.

The US Government released the information in an extremely large file (that is difficult to decipher) but one website has already made that information manageable and available online.

Healthcost.co allows you to search by procedure, and sort the hospitals by price – which can provide an accurate estimation for what you would expect to pay for a hip replacement, or a spinal fusion surgery.

The prices are quite disparate across location and even within hospitals, its clear that the price can vary significantly. Some predict that this release of information could lead to a boon in a growing industry known as Medical Travel.

Says author Rachel Livingston who heads the website MedicalTourismToday.com:

There is an increase of American medical travelers heading to Singapore, specifically for the Da Vinci machine – where American educated doctors perform the surgery with no wait time at ¼ the cost.”

She goes on to say:

“This release of health cost information could be a gamechanger. Now facilitators have direct evidence to say look: here is what you would pay at your local hospital, here is what you would pay if you travel. It will revolutionize the industry.”

Opportunity Abroad?

Clearly, given that the cost of care is so obviously available now, the transparency has opened the door for the prevalence of medical travel, both domestically and interstate travel – and also internationally through international medical travel.

MedicalTourismToday has reported that an increasing number of United States travelers are choosing to go abroad for the same surgeries in the US that are much more expensive at home, or have a long wait period.  

Singapore attracts over 400,000 medical tourists per year, many of them coming from neighboring countries. Hospitals, governments and tourism boards are hoping on the ongoing trend, and from large players to smaller time cottage industry facilitators, everyone wants a piece of the medical tourism pie.

Some sites are attacking small niches throughout the industry – such as specifically targeting plastic surgery medical tourism to Thailand When we interviewed owner Chloe Lim – she said that medical tourism from Australia to Thailand has been growing at a rate of 50% year over year, and the site handles a tremendous amount of ladies from Australia looking for plastic surgery in Thailand.

It’s still unclear what the data release means for American healthcare, but whatever the outcome, its clear that more people are starting to take notice of the growing trend of Medical Travel. 

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