Medical Tourism is no longer restricted to outbound medical tourism i.e. Americans seeking care outside of the country. Domestic medical tourism is gathering pace as more and more Americans are now crossing state borders to take advantage of cheaper prices available for quality health care out-of-state. It’s amazing to know that the price differential on healthcare within the same country can be tremendous if only you take the trouble to shop for it.

Recently Healthbase partnered with many health care providers in several states within the United States. The prices on major procedures that these providers offer to Healthbase clients are as low as 10% of the prevailing cost of those procedures in other typical hospitals within the country. Read more about this partnership.

So how can some US providers offer such low rates?
Patients can avail of such low rates if they choose the one-pay option. AARP Bulletin Today recently covered the story of Rodney Larson, an uninsured Minnesota resident and a Healthbase customer who had his triple bypass surgery at a heart care hospital in Kansas.

According to the bulletin,

As a father to nine daughters, electrician Rodney Larson always looks for ways to cut costs. So in 2008 when he was told he needed triple bypass surgery – totaling $80,000 or more – he shopped around.

Rodney Larson traveled within the United States for heart surgery

Rodney Larson traveled within the United States for heart surgery.

Larson, 56, of Boyd, Minn., searched the Internet and found a hospital that would do the surgery for $13,200. The facility, Galichia Heart Hospital in Wichita, Kan., participates in a domestic medical tourism program run by Healthbase Online.

Located in Boston, Healthbase is one of a handful of companies reaching out to U.S. hospitals to provide specialty surgeries at much lower costs than traditional providers. The company also offers international medical tourism – in which patients travel abroad for procedures – but is finding a market for U.S. specialty hospitals.

Most patients who use medical tourism companies are uninsured and must pay upfront for procedures. Larson liked the one-pay option.

“They saved me a lot of money, but the point is, it was excellent care,” he says.

Source: AARP Bulletin Today

Available procedures
Most major procedures are available at discounted rates within the US through Healthbase. Procedures fall in the categories of cardiac, orthopedic, bariatric, spinal, etc.

Want to know if the procedure you need is available and how much it costs?

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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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IMPLANTS-IN-A-DAY

Implants-in-a-day, as the name implies, really means implants in a day. They are also known as immediate loading implants.

Normal dental implants involve a couple of stages for implantation. First, your dentist will examine your condition and implant a titanium screw into your jaw. After some months the implant is uncovered and a healing abutment and temporary crown is placed onto the implant. This encourages the gum to grow in the right scalloped shape to approximate a natural tooth’s gums and allows assessment of the final aesthetics of the restored tooth. Once this has occurred a permanent crown will be constructed and placed on the implant. In all, this process requires two to four visits to your dentist over a span of 3 to 6 months.

In recent years, an increasingly common strategy to preserve bone and reduce treatment times includes the placement of a dental implant into a recent extraction site. This technique called “implants in a day” allows the implant to be put into place and become functional in a matter of hours. This is made possible through the use of improved scanning technology which allows the dentist to make a precision custom crown which can be put on the implant instantly.

Implants in a day are becoming more common as success rates for this procedure are now acceptable. This can cut months off the treatment time and in some cases a prosthetic tooth can be attached to the implants at the same time as the surgery to place the dental implants. Immediate loading technique eliminates the need for making model templates used in normal implants thus requiring only a single trip to the dentist.

Implants in a day are especially beneficial for dental tourists who can now save travel and lodging costs as their implants can be done in a single trip, and the lost aesthetics and funtionality can be restored faster than with normal implants.

On the down side, implants in a day tend to be more expensive than normal implants.

For affordable dental implants-in-a-day or normal dental implants, log on to Healthbase.com. Healthbase is a dental tourism facilitator and medical tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

Register to view extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more.

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TOP 10 REASONS WHY MEDICAL TOURISM IS POPULAR

Medical Tourism dates back to the times when wealthy Europeans and Asians would travel within their continent or to other continents to seek health related treatments. But, of late, the trend has been popularized by Americans, Canadians, British and others who travel to far-off countries in search for low-cost high quality health care or for care that’s not readily available in their country.

Following are the top 10 reasons why people travel to far-flung developing countries for medical care:

1. Incredible Savings
The top on the list is savings. Depending upon your destination country and the cost of the procedure back home, expect to save at least 50%.
For example: A cardiac bypass surgery is estimated at well over $100,000 in the US. But in India, at a 5-star type hospital, you can have the same surgery for only about $10,000. That’s 90% savings even after you have paid for your travel, accommodation and vacation for yourself and a companion.

2. No Wait-Lists
Access to immediate service is what attracts those from countries that have public health care system towards medical tourism . A case at hand is that of a Canadian who suffered from chronic back pain for 16 years and was given medication to deal with it for all those years. Tired of the system and of the worsening pain, she went to India to get her spinal surgery. She now tells everyone how she got her life back by going to India .

3. Excellent Quality
To demonstrate their commitment to quality many international providers choose to be accredited by organizations such as JCI, JCAHO and ISO or by their local accrediting organizations. Read testimonials by medical tourists who vouch for the high quality treatment they have received overseas.

4. World-Class Facilities
International providers offer luxurious accommodation, private spacious rooms, and access to hospitality services 24 x 7. The facilities are immaculate and there are no infections that we so often hear about being present in UK hospitals.

5. Access to Latest Technology
The technology and equipments used by them are the latest and the greatest. It’s not uncommon to see surgeons working with billion dollar robotic machines in operating rooms.

6. Surgeon Expertise
Most surgeons catering to international patients have either been educated or have received professional training at top schools in the US, UK or in other countries in Europe. They have colleagues in the US, UK and elsewhere, so it should not come as a surprise if they know your local surgeon at home.

7. Personalized Service
Most medical traveleres vouch for the genuine and excellent service that they receive from surgeons, nurses and other medical staff alike. The staff to patient ratio is low making high level of personal care possible.

8. Longer Hospital Stay
One of the advantages of medical travel is you get to stay in the hospital for long without incurring hefty room charges. You can have a longer hospital stay than possible in your local hospital back home under the supervision of your surgeon and physical therapist.

9. Great Convenience
Given the ease of international travel combined with low airfares, your life-changing surgery is just a flight away. Another convenience that you get is not having to leave the comforts of your home until the surgery is due. You can research all you want on the Internet about hospitals and surgeons, share your medical records online with them, book and plan your itinerary on the web, etc.

10. Travel Opportunities
While the primary motivation for most customers is affordable surgery the opportunity to visit exotic destinations is an additional draw for some. You can choose to have a relaxing recovery in a resort setting or if your surgeon allows you can even enjoy outdoor tourist attractions.

You can learn more about the growing trend of medical tourism , international healthcare facilities and surgeons and the details of the medical tourism process 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.

To learn more about medical tourism, read the medical tourism blog.

For the latest news, interviews, videos, etc, about medical tourism, check out the surgical tourism blog.

Before embarking on your medical travel trip, do read the overseas medical travel blog.

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MEDICAL TOURISM GUIDE

Today, cheap yet world-class surgeries are just a flight away. But the deluge of information available out there can overwhelm anybody. So, here is a quick guide to medical tourism to answer most of your questions about the phenomenon.

WHAT IS MEDICAL TOURISM?
Medical tourism is the process of traveling abroad to receive superior medical, dental and cosmetic care by highly skilled surgeons at some of the most modern and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world…all at a fraction of the price in the US, UK and Canada.

MEDICAL TOURISM OFFERINGS
1. Incredible Savings: Compare a $7,000 hip resurfacing in India with a $48,000 one in the US. In general you are able to save 50% to 90%.
2. Excellent Quality: Many international providers are accredited by JCI, JCAHO and ISO or by local accrediting organizations. They have world-class facilities, have access to the latest technology and provide personalized service. If in doubt, read testimonials by patients who have experienced treatment overseas.
3. Surgeon Expertise: Most surgeons catering to international patients have either been educated or have received professional training at top schools in the US, UK or in other countries in Europe.
4. No Wait-Lists: Access to immediate service is what attracts those from countries that have public health care system towards medical tourism.
5. Longer Hospital Stay: You can have a longer hospital stay than possible in your local hospital back home under the supervision of your surgeon and physical therapist.
6. Travel Opportunities: While the primary motivation for most customers is affordable surgery, the opportunity to visit exotic destinations is an additional draw for some.

WHO SHOULD BE INTERESTED IN MEDICAL TOURISM?
In general, most medical tourists are either uninsured, underinsured or those seeking elective surgeries. Others resort to medical tourism due to the long wait-lists or unavailability of certain procedures in their country.

WHICH COUNTRIES OFFER THE BEST SERVICES?
The most popular medical travel destinations are India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Belgium, and Argentina amongst others. Some of these countries are considered best for cardiac surgery, others for orthopedic surgery and yet others for plastic surgery. You should base your selection on: quality, distance and cost.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROVIDER
When choosing a provider, don’t get swayed by attractive packages and fancy websites. Read and watch what others are saying about the particular hospital, clinic or surgeon. Check out the facility pictures and videos. Consider the provider’s accreditation, awards and recognitions, facility and equipments, statistics like success rates, etc.

WILL MY HEALTH INSURANCE PAY FOR IT?
Insurance companies are keenly looking into medical tourism as an option though most haven’t adopted it into their plans yet. So check with your health insurer for details.

SHOULD I COMBINE “SUN, SAND, AND SEA” WITH SURGERY?
That depends.
Usually after a cosmetic surgery, you are advised not to expose your body to the sun or to sea water. But, you can always choose to enjoy them before your surgery.
With certain other medical procedures, it’s best for you to stay indoors and relax after your surgery.
In any case, you should always consult your surgeon if you have travel or tourism on your mind.

WHAT ARE MEDICAL TOURISM FACILITATORS?
Medical tourism facilitators like Healthbase are specialized facilitators that connect you with the hospital of your choice while providing all or some other valuable services like detailed information about various procedures, detailed hospital profiles and surgeon profiles, medical records transfer, free surgery quote, pre- and post-consultation with the overseas hospital, feedback and testimonials from previous patients, medical and dental loan financing, passport and visa, airport pick-up and drop-off, hospital escort, tickets, travel insurance, hotel booking, tourism services in the destination country, etc.

This medical tourism guide is just a starting step. You should do the proper required research before you fly to your medical tourism destination.

You can learn more about the growing trend of medical tourism, international healthcare facilities and surgeons and the details of the medical tourism process 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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