MEDICAL TOURISM RISK

Escalating Health Care Cost in the US is the main reason for Medical Tourism.

When you look at a medical bill, it’s easy to see why Americans might look to other countries for less expensive medical alternatives. To give an example, seeing the cost of $500 to $650 for one hour of basic physical therapy on a medical bill leaves a lasting impression.

A patient at Geach Dental recently asked me:

“I’ve heard that lots of Americans travel to Mexico for medical treatments. Is this really a good idea?”

Since medical professionals are familiar with the topic and we are looking to find ways to provide the highest quality medical care at an affordable cost in the US, Geach Dental has looked into Medical Tourism, and dental tourism in particular.

So the simple answer regarding Medical Tourism was:

“You can certainly find countries where medical and dental services cost less than here in the U.S.”

The longer answer provides a more complete picture:

“Most patients are looking for quality medical care. But “high-quality” is a subjective term, involving many personal considerations beyond just the cost—especially short term medical risks and long term durability of the care provided.”

So our recommendation to protect yourself before traveling to another country for dental work is to see your local dentist FIRST. Let us know your plans and we will talk about your options and advise you on things to be weary of.

The Basics

Let’s take a look at Medical Tourism. The idea behind it is simple: Travel to a destination where medical services are less expensive than here in the U.S. and you get to combine your treatment with a well-deserved vacation. Travelers can sometimes pay for both the treatment and the travel – and pay the same as for the treatment by itself in the United States.

When just looking at initial cost, Medical Tourism is most attractive for two kinds of treatments:

First, elective medical procedures that are not covered by your medical insurance. Secondly major medical procedures, for which some people have no insurance at all.

Unfortunately both carry the highest amount of risk as well. In addition to possibly having to deal with complications, you won’t know if you actually saved money on medical care until months or years down the road.

Risks

Clearly, medical treatments overseas add new risks to healthcare:

The Conclusion

Looking at Medical Tourism as a whole, every patient should consider both possible financial benefits and medical risks.

Talk to your doctor in the US about alternatives. Care Credit, Health Insurance, Financing and sometimes Concierge Medicine can be viable options.


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