Medical tourism has been around for quite some time but only recently has it become more of a factor to be considered for US hospitals. Many patients are now traveling overseas to get their medical treatments and procedures not only at cheaper prices but also in a more pleasant and relaxing environment. In this paper, the issue of medical tourism from a US perspective is explored. Why people become medical tourists, where they get their treatments and how this medical tourism trend may affect the US healthcare system is examined. The US healthcare system is currently un-prepared to deal with this new challenge.
Key Terms in this Chapter
U.S. Health Care Industry: The U.S. health care system is comprised of for profit, not for profit, and governmental health care organizations and systems.
Hospitals: Institutions providing medical or surgical care and treatment for the sick and injured.
Medical Tourism Companies: Companies assisting patients to have a medical procedure or treatment in another country.
Health Care Competition: Rivalry between health care organizations and health care systems for patients.
Health Care Insurance: The contractual relationship that exists to provide health care services between the insurer and the insured.
Asian Health Care: Those health care organizations and systems that provide health services in Asia and the Pacific Rim.
Medical Tourism: A need for a medical procedure or treatment in combination with a motive of availability, timeliness, or cost with the desire to travel to another country where the individual chooses another country for care.