Europeans and Canadians have been medical tourists for years, and it’s finally catching on here as a way large corporations can save dollars on high cost surgeries and procedures. In Europe and Canada, it is used to gain access to good healthcare much quicker than they can at home. Here it is being used to contract large facilities who perform certain complex surgeries and procedures well and will perform them for a flat rate.
Companies like 3M, Wal Mart, IBM who have large volumes of employees will contract with Mayo or Cleveland clinics to perform surgeries on their employees for flat rates. They even pay to fly the patients to facilities and pay expenses while there……does that give you a clue as to how much they are really saving?
Large Medical Centers and Hospitals that have expertise in procedures done daily can offer discounts to companies, keep their OR’s busy, and hospitals populated while performing what to them have become routine procedures. There is even a Medical Tourism Association that promotes medical tourism in other countries and offers businesses options that include discounted surgeries and procedures all over the world. And they have a Facebook page if you would like to give them a look.
Of course only the largest companies can actually crunch the numbers to find out if this solution might be plausible for them……..but am wondering if instead of competing, hospitals would become specialists and offer discounted services in large communities instead of everyone offering everything if cost could be realistically reduced and excellent care achieved. Just a thought.
What does your practice do really well? How could you share that expertise with companies in your area needing that expertise? How could your practice become a destination for medical tourism in your community? Innovation in healthcare is just as effective as in any other industry……….thinking outside the box to bring revenue and value is possible.