What's the Latest Development?
After a world-wide search for inexpensive hip-replacement surgery not covered by her insurance, Jayne Lytel was surprised to settle on Oklahoma City. "Competitive fees at doctor-owned hospitals and the high quality of surgery are responsible for turning Oklahoma City into a health-care hub, said Richard Baker, founder of Timely Medical Alternatives." Baker's firm negotiates prices between US hospitals and patients in the US and Canada. American patients typically look for low-cost care while Canadians want care faster than their single-payer system typically provides.
What's the Big Idea?
Medical entrepreneurship is a budding way for doctors and hospitals to attract patients while healthcare costs continue to rise. And while foreign destinations like Dubai, Hungary, Bangkok and India offer competitive prices, there may be other risks associated with poorer healthcare systems and intense travel before a medical operation. The trend of competitive pricing has not caught on everywhere, however. Johns Hopkins, for example, does not offer quotations for medical procedures without seeing patients first, citing an individual's unique medical history as an important factor in determining the cost of treatment.
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