With the continuing improvements of the international medical travel industry
It’s not a surprise that many US hospitals are losing significant revenue to the tune of $70 billion in 2010. Those numbers are on the rise, especially as American patients are looking for top-quality care and are willing to travel internationally to get it at discounted prices.
Many of these traveling patients are baby boomers. This aging population is living longer than ever as the life expectancy age is over 80. Some say that there will be 115 million people who are 50 years or older in the U.S. by 2020.
That’s a lot of health care to be had and money to be spent. While baby boomers are making healthy lifestyle choices and maximizing their health, they still need to visit the doctor, receive medication, and take advantage of products and services that will help them reach their budget. Lately, medical travel has been a considerable saving to what is available in US Hospitals.
Competition Has its Advantages
In any industry, competition stimulates improvement, and many US hospitals, doctors, and patients are counting on this for improved treatment and affordable health care costs. The competition from hospitals as well as governments who are promoting their medical travel resources is significant. Nations such as Mexico, Panama, Colombia, India, Turkey, Thailand, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Singapore, and several other countries are welcoming traveling patients with open arms. And why not as their economies are enjoying the influx of money and the increase of medical jobs for their people.
In addition, the competition has helped to lower costs, especially since many US medical clinics offer patients discounted bundled care that is both convenient and high in quality. Outpatient services have considerably risen over the years, providing cost savings by eliminating expensive hospital admission. You can think of it as the “alternative” in health care, and a number of US physicians are hoping that this will entice Americans to stay local. In fact, many clinics are hoping to attract patients from around the country with their deep discounts and extensive treatment options.
Also, US hospitals have partnered with local businesses to make their destination all the more attractive for national and international patients. With improved infrastructures, worldwide doctor and facility accreditation, state-of-the-art facilities, and governmental stability, medical travel candidates find it an enticing competitor.
Medical Treatment Done in Style
One appealing aspect of medical travel is that patients are able to enjoy the adventures of international travel. Together with family and loved ones, they can see the sights in metropolitan areas that are highly developed with tourist-friendly hotels, resorts, restaurants, shopping, night clubs, and excursions.
Also, US hospitals are creating new ways to make their services and facilities more appealing to those who demand a bit more luxury than what they have been accustomed to. An increasing number of hospitals are developing hotel- or spa-like accommodations, turning industrial-style hospital rooms into something more welcoming.
On the Other Hand
And yet with all of the savings and advancements in the technology of global health care around the world, some patients are still concerned about leaving their country. US hospitals do have some advantage in keeping patients within the nation’s borders. However, they will also need to continue improving what they offer to keep them coming back. Here are some of the areas in which improvements have and will continue to be made:
- Higher quality of services
- Improved operation efficiency
- Reduced costs
- Improved patient privacy
- Increased personalized care
As domestic hospitals continue to “up the ante,” not only is their profit margin increased, but there are other wide-reaching benefits. The local economy is stimulated, and medical jobs are readily available. Thousands of new medical jobs are created by those patients who travel within the US for treatment.