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ERIC Number: EJ797320
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0894-1912
Medical Tourism: The Trend toward Outsourcing Medical Procedures to Foreign Countries
York, Diane
Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, v28 n2 p99-102 Spr 2008
The rising costs of medical treatment in the United States are fueling a movement to outsource medical treatment. Estimates of the number of Americans traveling overseas for treatment range from 50,000 to 500,000. Charges for common procedures such as heart bypass can be $11,000 in Thailand compared to $130,000 in the United States. Knee replacement in the United States can cost $40,000 compared to $13,000 in Singapore. A new industry, medical tourism, has been created to advise patients on the appropriate facility in the right country for their condition, handle all travel arrangements, teleconference with physicians, and send medical records. To respond to the growth in medical travel, the Joint Commission (formerly the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations) initiated the Joint Commission International (JCI) to accredit hospitals worldwide. Although outcome statistics from hospitals outside the United States are rare, first-person reports on quality are numerous. Making surgery possible for uninsured and underinsured individuals or self-insured state, municipal, and private entities is a major benefit of medical tourism. Mitigating against medical travel are the lack of legal remedies in place for malpractice and the possibility that travel itself can impose risk to patients. For example, lengthy air flights where the patient is in a fixed position for hours at a time can cause embolisms. If the trend toward medical tourism continues, continuing education, credentialing, and certification services may be required to help assure patient safety. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore; Thailand; United States