Medical Care Outsourced to Mexico

Newsweek has a story that's quite amazing. US Hospitals building facilities right across the border in Mexico to drop costs from 30,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars for a procedure.

How could that possibly be?

Meanwhile, medical tourism worldwide continues to grow. The industry grossed an estimated $60 billion in 2006 and is expected to hit $100 billion by 2012, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry and McKinsey and Co. Generally, people travel to foreign countries for better deals on procedures ranging from breast implant surgery to in vitro fertilization cycles, or for access to experimental surgeries that haven't been approved at home.

Beyond the lower cost of living of Mexico and India in comparison to the United States, one must ask why is it the health care is so much more affordable in these countries?

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Supply and demand

What else? A lack of sufficient regulation & malpractice law creates a glut of barely competent doctors, which lowers cost.

Where in the United States, draconian regulation & malpractice law, combined with an overabundance of insurance companies, reduces the number of doctors one is able to see to those who have specific deals with one's insurance company, which yields a smaller supply. Thus prices go up.

Supply and demand, not just a good idea, it's the LAW.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

I question that

"Tort" reform argument as being the reason. I've read that primary care, general practice, internal medicine they can't stand it because of the insurance bureaucracy. It's the insurance companies themselves who are driving up the costs and much of this is their attempts to deny benefits.

Both have their place

And you're right to call me out on it. Some states haven't seen the tort reform happen yet, but you're right, a MUCH bigger share of the pie is the duplicate paperwork aspect of having multiple insurance companies with different filing requirements. I'm willing to bet for every doctor, a hospital probably needs two to three people in accounting just to do the billing.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Even the basics

are very expensive. My mother suffered a heart attack two years ago. Spent three days in the hospital. The cost just for her room, not counting the doctor or procedures or what have you, was $56k.

First Hand Experiences

When I lived in the southwest, cross border medical tourism was common back to the 60's. If the procedure is not major, it can be considered.

Major medical is something you really want to consider carefully considering how risky it can be in the U.S. We are talking about an underdeveloped country. I remember when my aunt was traveling with us a number of years back, and ended up in a hospital in northern Mexico. They advised to medi-vac her out of there.

But in the meantime, my aunt got to enjoy the bedside manner of the local care. In one instance, an orderly wheeling her bed stopped me pointed her out, ran his finger across his throat and proclaimed, "Muerte". I can still see is gold-toothed grin to this day.

Burton Leed

Outsourcing health care

Insurer Offers Option for Surgery in India

Friday 21 November 2008
by: Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times

" The health insurer Wellpoint is testing a new program that gives covered patients the option of going to India for elective surgery, with no out-of-pocket medical costs and free travel for both the patient and a companion.

The program is being tested at Serigraph, a printing company in Wisconsin whose managers have been looking for ways to curb rising health care costs, said Dr. Razia Hashmi, chief medical officer for national accounts for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is affiliated with Wellpoint.

"This is a first for us," Dr. Hashmi said. "We will be monitoring every aspect of this very closely, to make sure everyone is satisfied and there are good clinical outcomes." "

full article at

Call 1-800-911-INDIA

Can you imagine, 911 calls routed to India and there is a dire emergency where one going to little subsidiaries in the US who then put people onto airplanes, like cargo, for hospitalization in India? 20 hour delay, hey, no problem it's cost effective to do things this way.

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