Medical Tourism is a multibillion dollar industry with millions of patients traveling each year to different countries or regions for medical care. One of the most overlooked aspects of medical tourism is domestic medical tourism, often referred to as regional medical tourism, where patients do not leave their country but travel to another region within their country, and inbound medical tourism where foreign patients travel to the US for healthcare. US Hospitals and healthcare providers will discuss both inbound and domestic medical tourism at this year’s 3rd Annual World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress, September 22-24th, 2010 in Los Angeles, http://www.medicaltourismcongress.com.
“Geography should not be a barrier in terms of getting the best medical care,” said Michael McMillan, Executive Director of Market & Network Services at Cleveland Clinic. “It is the idea of getting it right the first time. By ensuring the patient gets the best outcome, it results in more efficient and cost-effective care. Employers are increasingly seeking value-driven models of healthcare delivery, and Cleveland Clinic specializes in providing high-value healthcare.”
Domestic Medical Tourism is starting to grow in the United States much like it has done throughout Eastern and Western Europe as American and EU patients start understanding the healthcare that is offered outside of their home town or city. American domestic medical, sometimes referred to as domestic medical travel, is where medical tourists are starting to travel to other cities and states across America either to receive higher quality of healthcare or healthcare at more affordable prices. Domestic Medical Tourism presents a huge opportunity for US hospitals and for surgeons who specialize in specialized procedures such as orthopedics, heart procedures, eye surgery and other specialized procedures.
“More employers and insurance companies are providing incentives such as waiving deductibles, coinsurance and travel expenses of the insured if they will travel to another region or city for medical care. Lowe’s and the Cleveland Clinic’s domestic medical tourism program for heart procedures is a perfect indication of the trend of employers offering this type of benefit. The savings are significant and can be as high as twenty to fifty percent,” Said Renee-Marie Stephano, President of the Medical Tourism Association and Editor of Medical Tourism Magazine.
Inbound Medical Tourism, where patients from other countries travel to the US for healthcare is also growing significantly. Hospitals in the US are looking for new revenue sources especially in the face of reduced revenues under healthcare reform.
Foreign patients represent the potential for high profit revenue for hospitals in the form of cash paying foreign patients or patients covered by a global health insurance policy of an international insurance company.
“As more people around the world understand the importance of the transparency in the quality of medical care, many are demanding that their global health insurance policies permit reimbursement for overseas medical care. American Hospitals are looking to regain some of their inbound patient flow by creating greater visibility through marketing in medical tourism. It is more challenging now for hospitals to stand alone on their reputations as more hospitals enter the global marketplace. More affiliations and academic relations are emerging to unite their facilities with overseas referral centers,” adds Stephano.
The 3rd Annual World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress will have a special focus on domestic medical tourism and inbound medical tourism to the US. Several top US hospitals will be speaking and there will be a special panel session featuring Lowe’s Companies and the Cleveland Clinic talking about their domestic medical tourism program. http://www.medicaltourismcongress.com.
Domestic Medical Tourism is sometimes referred to as domestic medical travel.
The World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress includes two additional conferences which are the Expatriate Healthcare, Travel Insurance and Global Health Insurance Conference, http://www.expatriateconference.com and the Sustainable Healthcare and Hospital Development Conference, http://www.healthcaredevelopmentconference.com. Speakers listed above are from all three conferences.
The conference is the official conference of the Medical Tourism Association™ (Global Healthcare Association) which is the international non-profit trade association for the medical tourism and global healthcare industry made up of the top international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies, and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting the highest level of quality of healthcare to patients in a global environment. http://www.medicaltourismassociation.com.
The conference is also the official conference of the Medical Tourism Magazine (Global Healthcare Magazine). The MTM’s printed version on average is distributed to over 90 countries around the world in all 5 regions inclusive of thousands of International Hospitals, International Health Insurance Carriers in the Middle East, US, UK and Canada, healthcare providers throughout the world, the travel industry, potential medical tourism patients considering going overseas for surgery, and anyone with an interest in the industry. The magazine is also distributed to a majority of the health plans which administer Self Funded Employer health plans in the U.S. Medical Tourism Magazine can be read at http://www.medicaltourismmag.com/.