The phenomenon of medical tourism is gaining a fast momentum with the growing interest from everyone including patients, providers, employers, and law makers. Many consider this phenomenon as a solution to the rising cost and demand of the United States healthcare system. Many others, however, find it detrimental as it competes with the local healthcare system outside the constraints of the local health policies and legislation. This paper discusses the steps healthcare providers, both academic and nonacademic, need to take in order to better negotiate their prices and be prepared for this new competitive era. It also discusses the urgent need of law-makers as to better manage and regulate medical tourism.
Healthcare management reaction to bargaining consumers
To better deal with the threat presented by the rapidly growing trend of medical tourism, administrators need to be aware of all aspects of the problem. Essentially, they need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of medical tourism from everyone’s perspective, the changes needed to ultimately establish a higher edge and superiority in the field, and the possible ways to lower their prices to or close to an international competitive level. Evidently, medical tourism has many significant ethical and physical downsides (Cohen, 2012) which administrators can use to defend their position when negotiating prices. For example, Cohen (2012) claims that medical tourism exposes patients to relatively poor medical care abroad in comparison to the proposed care available in their home countries.
Also, claims presented by companies pushing or marketing for medical tourism, like IndUShealth, are not fully supported by evidence and often allude biased beliefs. For example, s...
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Cohen, G. (2012). How to regulate medical tourism (And why it matters for bioethics). Developing World Bioethics, 12(1), 9-20.
Hill, T. L. (2011). The spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria through medical tourism and transmission prevention under the international health regulations. Chicago Journal of International Law, 12(1), 273-308.
McLaughlin, C. & McLaughlin, C. (2008). Health Policy Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Tuohy, C. (2009). Single payers, multiple systems: The scope and limits of subnational variation under a federal health policy framework. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, & Law. 34(4), 453-496.
William, J. R., Matthews, M. C., & Hassan, M. (2007). Cost differences between academic and nonacademic hospitals: A case study of surgical procedures. Hospital Topics, 85(1), 3-10.
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