Healthbase looks to expanding its medical travel services to Jordan adding more internationally accredited hospitals to its already wide and rich network of healthcare and dental care providers in the United States and overseas.

Press Release — July 22, 2009

Healthbase , the leading US-based medical tourism facilitator , is gearing up to connect patients to top-notch internationally accredited healthcare providers in Jordan. This comes consequently after the recent familiarization tour (Fam Tour) of Jordan and of its world-class hospitals, an effort that was co-arranged by Private Hospitals Association of Jordan (PHA), Jordan Tourism Board, the Jordanian government and Medical Tourism Association (MTA).

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase, “We are grateful to the organizers for recognizing us as a pioneer and leader in the medical tourism industry and inviting us to the Fam Tour. Through this visit we look forward to establishing partnerships with several health care providers in Jordan. The Jordan Fam Tour has allowed us the opportunity to minutely evaluate the Jordanian healthcare so we can put on offer what’s best for our customers.”

Medical tourism in Jordan is ranked first in the Southwest Asian region and fifth in the world, according to one study by medical tourism experts at the World Bank (WB). The Jordanian government has also implemented processes to make immigration for inbound medical tourists quick and easy.

“Jordan has quite an advanced health care system and highly educated hospital workforce. Hospital staffs consider English as their second language. Furthermore, the country has several Joint Commission International accredited (JCI accredited) private hospitals which prove that the quality of care offered to international patients is on par with what is provided by their American counterparts,” added Mohanasundaram.

Treatment expenses in Jordan are only 25% or less compared to the cost in the United States of America, the amount being inclusive of airfare, patient’s stay as well as sightseeing tours.

“Although the primary reason why our patients travel abroad is to receive affordable top quality medical care, the complete medical plus tourism package that Jordan offers cannot be ignored,” noted Mohanasundaram.

Jordan, which is a popular tourism destination, received over 6 million arrivals in 2008. Tourist attractions in the country range from ancient historical places like Petra to unique desert sightseeing, and natural locations such as the Dead Sea to cultural and religious sites.

With its soon-to-be-announced venture into Jordan medical tourism , Healthbase is poised to continue to offer the most extensive network of healthcare providers covering every continent on the globe. Healthbase clients can currently choose their medical tourism destination from India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, New Zealand, Turkey, Hungary, Belgium, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico, and USA for their low cost high quality medical and dental care needs. Healthbase expects soon to expand its services to include Jordan, Taiwan, South Africa, Canada, UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Australia.

About Healthbase:

Healthbase, an award-winning US-based medical tourism and dental tourism facilitator, is a one-stop source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to leading internationally accredited healthcare providers in 16 countries including India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and USA. Healthbase caters to individual consumers, self-funded businesses, insurers, benefits plan consultants, third party administrators and those using Consumer Directed Healthcare Plans (CDHPs) or voluntary benefit plans. Healthbase coordinates over 200 procedures in various categories like orthopedic, spinal , cardiac , bariatric , urology , oncology , dental , cosmetic and general surgery . Some of the common procedures offered are Birmingham hip resurfacing , total hip replacement , knee replacement , ACL repair , rotator cuff surgery , spinal fusion , spinal disk replacement , heart bypass surgery , lap band , gastric bypass , cancer treatment , liposuction, dental implants, crowns, bridges, etc. for a fraction of the cost in the US with equal or superior outcomes. To ensure that patients receive the best care possible, Healthbase works mainly with hospitals that have international accreditations like JCI, JCAHO and ISO. To learn more, call 1-888-691-4584, email info.hb @ healthbase.com or visit http://www.healthbase.com.

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Medical Tourism Facilitator and International Insurer Partner to Provide New Protection for Medical Tourists

Press Release
January 28, 2009

Seven Corners, one of the industry’s most experienced specialty travel insurance underwriters, announces a new partnership with award-winning medical tourism facilitator, Healthbase Online, Inc. By combining Seven Corners’ experience in underwriting and administering specialty travel insurance plans, and Healthbase’s expertise in matching medical tourism patients with a world-class network of internationally accredited hospitals, the companies have developed the industry’s first custom benefits package covering medical complications to be provided to all Healthbase clients.

The strategic alliance between Seven Corners and Healthbase is founded on a shared vision to unify patients seeking medical treatments abroad with relevant medical insurance benefits specifically designed for medical tourists. By engaging the companies’ unique and expert competencies in their respective markets, the alliance will allow both companies to better serve the unique needs of medical tourists — ultimately transforming the medical tourism business by reducing patients’ medical costs before, during and after treatments abroad.

“We are the only medical travel facilitator to provide a custom insurance program to our clients as a further commitment to providing high quality medical travel services at an affordable cost,” said Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase. “The insurance program enhances our clients’ satisfaction in the economic delivery of quality healthcare; whether they are seeking minor procedures like hernia surgery, or major procedures like knee replacement or spinal surgeries.”

The insurance plan provides Healthbase patients coverage for the treatment of common surgical complications such as adverse reactions to anesthesia, stroke, myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis, infections and other medical complications incurred during and after their treatment abroad. The insurance plan provides first dollar coverage for medical complications, which further reduces follow-up care and unexpected medical expenses for an uninsured or underinsured patient.

“The cost of the insurance plan is a fraction of the overall cost of the treatment, which in and of itself, is significantly less than the expense of treatment in the United States,” said Jim Krampen, executive officer of Seven Corners. “The medical complication benefits we designed for Healthbase clients will provide peace of mind and cover the cost to treat medical complications abroad and when they return home.”

About Healthbase:

Healthbase is a one-stop source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to internationally accredited providers in 14 countries including India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico. Healthbase caters to individual consumers, self-funded businesses, insurers, benefits plan consultants, third party administrators and those using Consumer Directed Healthcare Plans (CDHPs) or voluntary benefit plans. More information at http://www.healthbase.com.

About Seven Corners

Seven Corners is one of the industry’s most experienced international travel, expatriate health insurance and trip cancellation providers. For more than 15 years, Seven Corners has served the medical insurance needs of U.S. citizens traveling abroad and foreign nationals visiting the United States.

Seven Corners is a licensed Third Party Administrator as required in certain jurisdictions of the United States. Seven Corners is a Lloyd’s of London Coverholder and also enjoys underwriting authority from key AM Best “A” rated carriers, such as Nationwide Insurance Company, The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (AIG) and Fairmont Specialty Group.

Seven Corners is a member of the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA), the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) and the International Medical Travel Association (IMTA). More information at http://www.SevenCorners.com.

Cost of surgery abroad

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Now you can get medical tourism type price and quality for procedures received in the US.

How is that possible?
Because Healthbase has partnered with several US healthcare providers that offer procedures at very competitive prices that are comparable to what American-accredited foreign providers offer.

So now affordable high quality medical care is made available closer to home for patients from the US, Canada and Mexico. Patients from European countries and other nations looking for top quality care in the United States also stand to benefit from this partnership.

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase,

Majority of our clients from North America are drawn to medical tourism for the cost advantage it offers. However, some may not be able to take advantage of it due to the travel involved. So Healthbase has negotiated with US-based providers to offer the same top US-standard quality of care to our customers at a much reduced rate than what is prevailing. Hence, those who need quick access to top quality healthcare can avail of the low prices right here at home.

We all know that US providers charge a much higher rate to uninsured patients than they do to insured patients or insurers. But not anymore. A heart bypass tagged at over $100,000 (for uninsured patients) can now be had for an 85% discount. Such rates also closely match the lower foreign rates.

Mohanasundaram adds,

Our US providers offer a complete slew of services in all departments of medicine including cardiac (heart bypass, valve replacement, aneurysm repair), orthopedic (hip replacement, total knee replacement), general surgery, diagnostics, and so on

Who to contact for discounts on major procedures conducted within the US?
Healthbase

Further reading:
News release from Healthbase about this partnership

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WHAT MAKES YOUR BACK?

Anatomy of the human spine
Have you ever wondered what makes your back and neck bend, stretch and even rotate so swiftly and smoothly? These movements are possible due to the spinal column or vertebral column in your body which extends from the skull to the pelvis and is made up of 33 individual bones termed vertebrae. The vertebral column is not actually a column but is sort of a spiral spring in the form of the letter S.

The following figure illustrates the human spinal column:

Human Vertebral Column or Spinal Column

Human Vertebral Column or Spinal Column

Between each vertebra are strong connective tissues which hold one vertebra to the next, and acts as a cushion between the vertebrae. The disc allows for movements of the vertebrae and lets you bend and rotate your neck and back. The type and degree of motion varies between the different levels of the spine: cervical (neck), thoracic (chest) or lumbar (low back).

The cervical spine is a highly mobile region that permits movement in all directions. The thoracic spine is much more rigid due to the presence of ribs and is designed to protect the heart and lungs. The lumbar spine allows mostly forward and backward bending movements (flexion and extension).

 

WHAT BREAKS YOUR BACK?

Spinal osteoarthritis

Back pain

Back pain

Spinal arthritis or osteoarthritis of the spine is a common cause of back pain. It is the mechanical breakdown of the cartilage between the vertebral joints in the back portion of the spine leading to mechanically induced pain. The joints become inflamed and pain may be felt when performing even the simplest of activities like standing, sitting or walking. Over time, bone spurs – small irregular growths on the bone, also called osteophytes – typicaly form on the vertebral joints and around the spinal vertebrae which may become so large as to cause irritation or entrapment of nerves passing through spinal structures and result in spinal stenosis (diminished room for the nerves to pass).

Classification of spinal osteoarthritis

– Lower back (lumbar spine) osteoarthritis or lumbosacral arthritis, which produces stiffness and pain in the lower spine and sacroiliac joint (between the spine and the pelvis)

– Neck (cervical spine) osteoarthritis or cervical spondylosis, which causes stiffness and pain in the upper spine, neck, shoulders, arms and head.

Causes of spinal osteoarthritis

The most common causes are repetitive trauma to the spine from repetitive strains caused by accidents, surgery, sports injuries and poor posture. Other risk factors include aging, gender (more common in post-menopausal women), excess body weight, genetics, and associated diseases (like infections, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)

 

WHAT REMAKES A BROKEN BACK?

Surgical treatment of spinal arthritis

For spinal arthritis, the only effective surgical treatment is spine fusion surgery, to stop motion at the painful joint. In fusion, one or more of the vertebrae of the spine are united (fused together) using bone grafts so that motion no longer occurs between them.

Interbody Spine Fusion System

Interbody Spine Fusion System

Uses of spinal fusion surgery

Spinal fusion surgery is used to treat:

– a fractured (broken) vertebra e.g. spondylolisthesis

– deformity e.g. scoliosis or kyphosis (spinal curves or slippages)

– pain from painful motion

– instability

– some cervical disc herniations (fusion together with discectomy)

– weak or unstable spine caused by infections or tumors

For more information about spine fusion surgery, check out medical tourism for spine fusion surgery through Healthbase.

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By Brian Wallstin
Seven Days
Vermont’s Independent Voice

By January, Jane Schaeffer could barely manage a walk around the block, which was no surprise: She needed a new hip.

Schaeffer, who is 64 and a yoga teacher in Bennington, didn’t like that prognosis. So, she consulted the oracle of Hippocrates — the Internet — and concluded that what she wanted was a Birmingham Hip-Resurfacing , or BHR, a less-invasive procedure developed in England and approved in the U.S. in 2006.

Unfortunately, Schaeffer’s insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, saw her case differently and insisted that, at her age, she should have her hip replaced . That left Schaeffer, if she wanted to get better, with a choice: Get a new hip on BCBSVT, or pull together $8000 and have the joint “resurfaced” in India.

For Schaeffer, it was no choice at all. On April 18, she underwent a BHR at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi. Two weeks later, she was home, preparing to return to work. “With full hip replacement , I would never have full range of motion in my hip,” she said. “I would never be able to teach properly again.”

Americans have been going abroad for health care for years. Retirement communities in Arizona routinely bus fixed-income residents over the Mexican border, where the prescription drugs and dental care are cheaper. For those with radically different needs, and a certain disposable income, Brazil and Argentina are famous for skilled, cut-rate plastic surgery; a $10,000 tummy tuck in L.A. or Houston might cost a third as much at Plenitas, a boutique clinic in Buenos Aires.

In the last few years, hospitals in exotic locales such as India , Singapore and Thailand have aggressively marketed major surgical procedures — heart bypasses and coronary valve replacements , for instance — at drastically lower prices than are available in the United States. And more and more Americans are taking advantage of it. A 2007 study by the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas estimated that about 500,000 U.S. residents traveled abroad for care in 2005. According to the management consultant McKinsey & Company, the worldwide “medical tourism ” industry was worth $60 billion in 2006, and is expected to reach $100 billion by 2012.

Concerns about the quality of care abroad have all but disappeared, thanks to improved standards of care that are monitored by accreditation bodies, such as Joint Commission International and the International Society for Quality in Health Care. Studies have shown that mortality rates at hospitals that specialize in medical tourism are as low as, or lower than, those at U.S. hospitals.

Jane Schaeffer said Apollo Hospital in New Delhi “was really a whole different universe.

“The whole situation there is set up for people who have hip resurfacing,” she said. “I had [physical therapy] twice a day, the surgeon came in twice a day to visit . . . I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Schaeffer made her own travel arrangements to New Delhi but relied on an online broker, Healthbase , to find a doctor and hospital for the operation. Saroja Mohanasundaram, Healthbase’s chief executive officer, said her company has formed “partnerships” with major hospitals in 11 countries . Her staff handles everything from digitizing and transferring patient medical records, to arranging airport transfers and hotel accommodations.

“The medical part is the main thing,” Mohanasundaram said. “Once they like the facility and the doctor, then we try to help them with the logistics.”

Schaeffer said she arranged any needed follow-up care with an orthopedic surgeon in Bennington prior to her trip — a practice the AMA lists among its guidelines for those considering traveling abroad for health care. But, since her return from New Delhi on April 30, she has been walking without crutches and has full range of motion in her hip.

Her next step is to ask Blue Cross Blue Shield, which declined to authorize the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, to reimburse her for the surgery.

“I’m going to appeal it, based on: I saved a lot of money, I can still continue with my work, and they were wrong,” she said. “We’ll see what happens.”

More at: http://www.7dvt.com/2008vermont-yoga-teacher-tries-out-medical-tourism

To arrange your medical travel trip overseas for any medical , dental or cosmetic procedure , contact Healthbase. Healthbase is an award-winning medical tourism facilitator connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide . Cost of surgical care at Healthbase’s partner hospitals is a fraction of the cost of similar care in the US for equal or superior outcomes.

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Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

007 TOP SECRETS OF MESSING UP YOUR MEDICAL CARE OVERSEAS

Ever heard of botched cosmetic jobs in Brazil or crappy dental work in Mexico? Such situations are very real. Here are the 007 top secrets of messing up your medical care overseas.

Top Secret # 001: Not doing research
Don’t do any research and you will successfully fail in your quest for achieving safe and healthy medical treatment overseas. However, if you do want to go abroad and get quality health care while saving some bucks then consider doing thorough homework and collecting enough information. Some sources of information are: websites offering medical tourism services like Healthbase, news, articlestestimonials, etc. Satisfied medical tourists claim proper research to be a sure-fire way of happy and healthy medical tourism.

Top Secret # 002: Going abroad for a wrong procedure
Your ambulance will not drive you to India during an emergency (or even otherwise). Reasonably, only non-emergency treatments can be considered for medical tourism but not all such treatments fit the criterion as sometimes the travel costs can outweigh the possible savings achievable by going abroad.

Top Secret # 003: Choosing the wrong place
How about going to Thailand for your half-yearly dental cleaning? Superb idea? Not exactly. How about going there for dental implants? Maybe. And for full mouth restoration? Definitely. Choose a wrong place and you will waste your money on medical tourism instead of saving some. Wise medical tourists consider travel cost, lodging cost and number of visits required for full treatment when calculating potential savings.

Top Secret # 004: Choosing an unqualified doctor
Thanks to the power of the Internet, it’s very easy to choose a doctor qualified at accomplishing botched jobs. If you wish to not fall prey to them, better do your homework properly. Check your doctor’s credentials, ask people around and get recommendations from reliable sources to avoid scheduling an appointment with “Dr. Quack”.

Top Secret # 005: Not doing proper planning and preparation
Allowing time for surgery but not for recovery and recuperation? That will require you to modify your itinerary. As a medical tourist you should prepare yourself to stay longer/shorter than expected. If you have travel or tourism on mind, allow time for that as well. A word on arranging your essential documents: Put together your medical records and financial records, acquire passport and visa, and have the information of your important contacts handy. Also, book your travel tickets and hotel rooms well in advance.

Top Secret # 006: Working with a substandard medical tourism agency
There are new agencies cropping up each day. Some of them are there to genuinely help you while others are affiliated with “Dr. Quack”. A good medical tourism agency like Healthbase will have partners that are certified by international or domestic accrediting organizations. It will offer a variety of medical travel services, it will offer numerous medical procedures in many countries, it will have patient testimonials on its website, it will have been covered by media, and much more. Your research will help you identify the good ones.

Top Secret # 007: Failing to follow the right aftercare
Planning to play football the day after your total knee replacement surgery? Ouch, that will hurt! Physical therapy, rest, diet, medication, etc. are all as important as the surgery. Your local doctor might be able to help you with your aftercare so always keep him informed. You might also need his help, for example, for removing sutures or for taking X-Rays.

Remember to avoid the above 7 mistakes and your medical tourism abroad will be happy, healthy and successful.

Register to get your FREE personalized quote for any medical procedure abroad.

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Brought to you by Healthbase www.healthbase.com info.hb@healthbase.com 1-888-MY1-HLTH


Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

MEDICAL OUTSOURCING

Dictionary.com defines outsourcing as “a practice used by different companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers rather than completing it internally”. The term which has been generally associated with the automobile industry was popularized during the past decade by the computer or IT industry. But when it is the health industry in question, how does outsourcing work there? What is outsourced and how?

If you are thinking it’s the drug manufacturing that is outsourced, you are wrong. Nor is it the bookkeeping that is outsourced. What is outsourced is the patient himself or rather he chooses to have his treatment done offshore. The driving cause is the high cost of health care in his home country. Or in certain other cases, the long waits before he can get the needed treatment.

So, medical outsourcing or offshore medical which is also commonly known as medical tourism is the practice of seeking health care abroad. But, who provides these outsourcing services?

There are lots of offshore health care providers in the form of hospitals and clinics participating in this business. Some of them can be found on the other side of the border while others may be a few oceans across. Examples include those in India, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, Turkey, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, and so on. Some of them give excellent service – even superior to what you can get at home using the latest technology and by world-renowned surgeons – while others may not be as great. To show their commitment towards top quality, many providers also have international accreditations like JCI, JACHO, ISO, etc. Some have strategic alliances with well-known US health care providers like Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical International and Johns Hopkins.

International health care providers are able to provide you with high quality treatment at an affordable cost mainly because of low labor cost, low administrative cost, low malpractice cost and low living cost in their country. That’s the same reason why IT companies started outsourcing.

Now the obvious question arises – how do you find the right provider for your needs? The answer is do research. There are lots of resources available – news, articles, blogs, forums, testimonials, etc. Many people find it useful to work with a health tourism facilitator or medical tourism facilitator like Healthbase (http://www.healthbase.com). They are specialized facilitators who carefully screen and partner with international healthcare providers that meet up to the high standards of patients from the US, the UK, Canada, etc. They also help patients with all the logistics involved in getting a surgery abroad.

There are a few other things that you will need to do for a successful experience in getting your surgery overseas. Getting into the details of all of them is beyond the scope of this article. Here are some of them: doing a thorough research on the surgery in question to establish your suitability for it as well as for medical tourism, getting to learn about your medical travel destination, arranging all your medical records and sending them to the international hospital, securing passport and visa, booking tickets, and more. You may want to start here: http://www.healthbase.com/resources/medical-tourism/medical-tourism-information.

Earlier, people would go abroad mostly for elective cosmetic procedures which were not covered by insurances. Today, people outsource their orthopedic procedures as well as cardiac surgeries as well as organ transplants. It’s not just individuals who are interested in this trend to save money. Medical outsourcing has also received attention from health insurance companies who have started offering overseas treatment plans to expand their customer base, and from employers who have included it as a benefit to their employees.

At the time of writing this article, neither Merriam Webster nor Dictionary.com had an entry for “medical outsourcing”. But given the speed with which the trend is spreading, pretty soon they will have to update their dictionaries.

You can learn more about medical outsourcing, the details of the process, international healthcare providers and arrange your surgery by logging on to http://www.healthbase.com. Healthbase.com is a medical tourism facilitator committed to providing low-cost high quality medical travel services to the global medical consumer.

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