Say what you will, when competent surgery can be proposed and completed at 2% of the cost in the US, this is inherently disruptive.
Some differential can be explained by salaries, but this level of difference, unless there is a significant outcome difference, should get the attention of all.
There used to be a clothing and shoe industry in the US. Not any more. They are virtually all off-shore and many a mill town in the Northeast has seen an economic decline as a result of the loss of industry and jobs.
Of course, there are many more barriers to obtaining health care from other countries than purchasing goods, which only need to be loaded onto a container or the hold of a plane and purchased in a local store. Health care requires a personal interaction, and in this case would mean that patients go to India. And licensing restrictions curtail the ability for health professionals to cross state lines and work, let alone international borders.
Any student of business can’t read this article without thinking about ways to take advantage of this remarkable cost spread. Just as insurance carriers make it more expensive for patients to buy drugs that are not generic or in an approved formulary, there are any number of ways to create alliances with foreign facilities, and design incentives for patients to get on an airplane and obtain services in these less costly settings. Whether medical tourism will be a one-up situation for those lacking coverage and possessing a sense of adventure, or it will become a common option for non-emergent procedures remains to be seen. Read more…