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Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:39 PM

To save money, American patients and surgeons meet in Cancun


U.S. hospital costs are so high that it made financial sense for both a highly trained orthopedist from Milwaukee and a patient from Mississippi to leave the country and meet at an upscale Mexican hospital for the surgery. Ferguson, 56, gets her health coverage through her husband’s employer, Ashley Furniture. The cost to Ashley was less than half of what a U.S. knee replacement would have been. That’s why employees and dependents who use this option have no out-of-pocket co-payments or deductibles; in fact, they receive $5,000 from the company, and their travel costs are covered. Parisi was paid $2,700, or three times what he would get from Medicare.

In a new twist on medical tourism, North American Specialty Hospital, known as NASH and based in Denver, has organized treatment for U.S. patients at Galenia Hospital since 2017. Parisi, a graduate of the Mayo Clinic, is one of about 40 U.S. orthopedic surgeons who have signed up with NASH to travel to Cancun on their days off to treat U.S. patients. NASH is betting that having an American surgeon will alleviate concerns about going outside the country, and persuade self-insured U.S. employers to offer this option to their workers.

The high prices charged at U.S. hospitals make it relatively easy to offer surgical bargains in Mexico: In the United States, knee replacement surgery costs an average of about $30,000 — sometimes double or triple that — but at Galenia, it is only $12,000, said Dr. Gabriela Flores Teón, medical director of the facility.

Officials at Ashley Furniture, where Ferguson’s husband, Terry, is a longtime employee, said they had been impressed. “We’ve had an overwhelming positive reaction from employees who have gone,” said Marcus Gagnon, manager of global benefits and health at Ashley, which has 17,000 employees. Ferguson was the company’s 10th insured person to go to Cancun. Ashley also has sent about 140 employees or dependents to Costa Rica for treatment, and together the facilities have saved the firm $3.2 million in health costs since 2016, he said.



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Reply To save money, American patients and surgeons meet in Cancun (Original post)
question everything Sep 22 OP
dalton99a Sep 23 #1
question everything Sep 23 #3
BigmanPigman Sep 23 #2

Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 01:48 AM

1. Kick

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 08:20 PM

3. What also caught my eye was the pysician was paid $2700, three times as much

as from Medicare.

My spouse had a knee replacement surgery. The surgeon charges were $5,000. Medicare did not pay but the supplemental insurance paid $1500.

The hospital charged $42,000 and Medicare paid $13,000. The insurance and our co-pay were $1,300.

Thus, when we are talking about Medicare for all, is anyone looking at Medicare payments to providers?

John Delaney, in the debate, claimed that hospitals will have to close if they will have to rely on Medicare payments. Was he correct?

There are shortage of general practitioners. Medical students know that they have to choose specialty to make it. Will Medicare for all worsen it?

Just one more way to look at medical costs.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 05:14 AM

2. I worked for an eye doctor who did this sort of thing.

20 years ago Lasik surgery for eyes was very costly so he set up a "field trip"to Mexico for the surgery. It was a day trip since I live at the border in San Diego. We drove the patients down for the outpatient surgery and back when it was done. They saved about 50% this way.

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