Medical Tourism "Part of the Solution"

Great BusinessWeek interview with David Boucher, Assistant VP of Health Care Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.

Want medical travelers? Here are a few tips from the article:

  • You need to be accredited by JCAHOs ugly stepchild, the Joint Commission International.

  • Cost: You need to be able to compete with ridiculously low prices ($15,000 for a quadruple bypass)

  • Recruit US Board certified physicians. Pay them well. Keep them.

  • Market to employers (groups) and consumers with higher deductible CDHPs. Few others at this early stage in the market will pay the travel costs out of pocket.

  • Market to women, who "make the medical decisions for families in the US."

  • Harness the "silver tsunami," market to active boomers - "in 2008, 365 Americans an hour will turn 62."

  • Transparency: People will do more research in this "buyer beware" market - provide statistics on complications. This means you'll need in-house personnel to track these stats across time zones. Budget significant dollars for staff positions who track former patients who live overseas.

  • Put your body where your business partnerships lie: undergo treatments at partner facilities. You'll become a physical evangelist - living proof - overseas treatments work to everyone's advantage.

  • Remember a pound of prevention...examine other potential partnerships - how do they help shore you up to face the 'perfect storm' in healthcare (simultaneously increasing demand and decreasing supply)?

Speaking of travel, I'm headed back to Holland this evening and will take a 1 day jet-lag recovery break from blogging.

Tot ziens til Thursday!

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