3/15/2006

Medical Outsourcing

I read an interesting post on the Ben Muse blog discussing a new trend, the outsourcing of medical expenses. It discusses a patient who received a medical procedure in India saving himself thousands of dollars. With the enormous medical expenses that we are faced with, and with them continuing to rise at such an alarming rate, this type of outsourcing is surely to gain much more in popularity. Unless the medical companies face the problem head-on and address it, they may begin to lose thousands of dollars in medical expenses due to this new form of competition.

5 comments:

Frank said...

The outsourcing to India for medical procedures maybe because laws and the organ market. I know of extensive medical procedures being performed in Mexico, but not because of liability or cheaper organs but because of the sheltered medical practices in the U.S.A. such as non pharmaceutical remedies.

Blake said...

While the outsourcing of medical procedures could gain popularity, I am still in complete disbelief that anyone living in America should have to resort to such measures. I am adamant in my belief that the US needs universal health care. Medical care is already private, and it's not efficient, so even if people feel like universal health care would lessen the quality of medical care, I say: "isn't something better than nothing?" At this point, society literally has nothing to lose, but everything to gain from the implementation of universal health care.

Seth said...

I saw a program on PBS about “medical tourism” some time ago. Hospitals are opening in countries like India specifically for west patients. They are staffed by doctor who have been trained and have practiced in western countries – like the U.S. – then returned to their native countries. The draw is that you can fly over there, have the surgery done, and have a little vacation for less than it costs to have the surgery done in the U.S. I think it’s a great niche, all though you might run into problems with a malpractice case.

rico said...

I believe that this is something desparately needed for doctors in the U.S. They have more or less had a monopoly in respect to other countries. They know that they can charge high prices so they do it. Hopefully this will spark some concern with doctors in America to do something about their prices. I will give them some credit due to the excess litigation that they face, but this may help solve that problem also.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Frank's and Rico's comments for spelling and grammatical errors.

This phenomenon isn't really new, but it is becoming more prominent. Without being biased, there are two things to recognize about this.

1) This is done by people without health insurance. These are precisely the people who - those in favor of socialized medicine - characterize as uninterested in economizing on costs and unserved by medical care.

2) This is also done for certain operations which are unlikely to be covered by insurance. Anyone who is a believer in socialized medicine really needs to come up with an explanation of why the market for LASIK works so well.