Sunday, November 15, 2009

Medical Tourism Facilitator Healthbase Announces Partnership with JCI Accredited Hospital in Germany

Healthbase, the leading US-based medical tourism provider, has partnered with a JCI accredited German hospital in order to bring wider options and greater convenience to Americans, Canadians, Europeans and others looking for affordable, timely and high quality medical and dental treatments.

Healthbase Online Inc., the leading and award-winning medical tourism facilitator based in Boston, MA, has announced partnership with a Joint Commission International accredited hospital in Germany. With the addition of this JCI accredited hospital, Healthbase now has a network of over 100 health care and dental care providers spread across 18 countries. For the medical tourist it means more choices, wider variety and greater convenience.

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase, "With growing demands from our consumer base for a quality tertiary medical care center in Europe, we are excited to have our newest Germany-based healthcare provider onboard. Our new member provider is JCI-accredited thereby giving the peace of mind to our patients regarding the high standards of quality that will be delivered by it. Our German provider offers a full complement of services and is an excellent choice for patients looking for orthopedic, spinal and bariatric treatments at a much discounted rate compared to USA and much faster access to service compared to that offered by public health care systems in Canada or the UK."

For patients from Europe, especially from the European Union (EU), this would be as good as going to a local hospital with the advantage of high or higher standard of service and without the inconvenience of the infamous waitlists as seen in government-sponsored healthcare systems such as the National Health Service or NHS in the United Kingdom.

The hospital offers procedures like joint replacement procedures (such as hip replacement surgery and knee replacement surgery), spinal procedures (such as spine fusion surgery and artificial disc replacement surgery), and weight-loss procedures (such as lap band surgery, gastric bypass or RNY procedure and gastric sleeve surgery), among hundreds of other procedures.

The favorable geographical location of Germany means that for patients coming from North America the flight times are shorter compared to other famous medical tourism destinations such as those in Asia. For those traveling from other European countries it is at a stone’s throw.

Mohanasundaram adds, "We have carefully chosen our German provider after a rigorous selection process keeping in mind all aspects of affordable, safe and top quality medical tourism care. Patients can expect as much as 50 to 70% less cost compared to the cost of care in other developed countries such as the United States. Also, the staffs at our German provider speak English, thus, making communication easy."

Healthbase has the biggest and geographically most expanded network of healthcare and dental care providers in the industry. Patients have a wide selection of destinations to choose from for their low cost high quality medical care and dental care needs. These include Germany, India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, New Zealand, Jordan, Turkey, Hungary, Belgium, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico, and USA.

Healthbase serves the American, Canadian, European, African, Asian, Middle-Eastern and Asia Pacific markets, and offers more than 200 procedures.

About Healthbase Online Inc.:
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 18 countries including India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Germany, 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. To learn more, call 1-888-691-4584, email info.hb @ or visit

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Costa Rican Medical Tourism: Interview with Dr. Jim Dudl

by Bret G. Dudl, Costa Rica Views
Click on these clicks for information about Costa Rica Yoga Retreat and Costa Rica Wellness Center.

We recently interviewed one of our professionals, Dr. Jim Dudl, about his thoughts and assessments on a wide range of topics from medical tourism in Costa Rica to wellness in general. This interview is the first in a series.

Q: Dr. Dudl please tell us about yourself and your background at Kaiser Permanente.
A: At the present time, I am the Consultant for Diabetes for the 600,000 diabetic members at Kaiser Permanente national.

Q: How large is Kaiser Permanente today in terms of number of patients?
A: It’s about 8 million patients, 13 regions with multiple hospitals and clinics.

Q: Do you know how many doctors work at Kaiser today?
A: I presume about 2,000-3,000.

Q: Ok. Tell us about your recent visit to Costa Rica and the Costa Rican medical system.
A: The Costa Rica medical tourism is an interesting opportunity for people in the United States who may wish to come to a beautiful place and at the same time have some health care needs enhanced or met. In Costa Rica, they have setup a system whereby they can do many other things that are in demand in the United States but sometimes that insurance does not cover or for people who don’t have insurance.

Q: What was your first impression when you visited the medical facilities in Costa Rica?
A: Well, it was very positive. I think, when people are talking about doing a medical procedure on their body in a foreign country, there are several things they need to consider. But the most important first thing is safety. It is your life and you want to be sure that this place is as safe as the United States.

Q: When we say this place, tell us what places in Costa Rica you went to visit?
A: Well, we visited two hospitals in San Jose, one called Clinica Biblica and the other Cima. And the proof that these places are as safe as the United States is quite evident because they have been inspected by the same group that inspects the US hospitals. In the United States, if you do not pass the Joint Commission Evaluation, you will be shut down and if you do pass, you are accredited in the US.

Q: What is this test? Is it annual? How vigorous is it? Tell us a little bit about Joint Commission International and what it means to have this accreditation.
A: It is usually done every two years in the hospital. It is a 3-day ordeal where they probe absolutely everything. They go over your statistics. What are your deaths? What are your success rates? What are your infection rates? What outcomes do you have? And they compare them with all the other hospitals in the US. They go through your facility, they look at it, they ensure that its clean, that it is meeting standards, the drugs are not out of date, the equipment all works. It is done in a minute fashion to looking at detail. The good thing about these two hospitals that we visited, is they are Joint Commission International approved which means all those same rigorous criteria were met by these two hospitals.

Q: And then when you went through these hospitals, and you got the sense, first of all, by knowing that they were joint approved. What were your other impressions that you received from the hospitals that you thought were memorable and worth mentioning?
A: Firstly, of course, safety is just a baseline. Quality is a key. If you are going there to have something done on your body, you want to be sure you have a high quality outcome. The other thing that I was impressed with was their quality statistics. They are again as good as the US. If you are having a plastic surgery, look at the picture, you can see how good they do, if you are having eye surgery, orthopedic surgery, gastric, bariatric surgery, all of those, the outcomes are equal to the US. So the second piece that was important was that they are equal in quality, not just safety. Then the third, which is something that we really value when we are a patient in the hospital, is the service. These places were not crowded, they were clean, the people were pleasant. They treated you very well and I must say, I think actually at a level beyond what I see in a usual hospital in the US.

For FREE cost estimate for affordable surgery in Costa Rica, contact Healthbase.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Domestic Medical Tourism

Domestic medical tourism is the latest concept in the medical tourism industry. It is the practice of traveling from one city to another or one state to another within one's own country for medical care that is either not available in one's own neighborhood or is less expensively available in another neighborhood.

Domestic medical tourism goes by several other names, such as, medical tourism within US, local medical tourism, inbound medical tourism, out of state medical travel, in-country medical travel, etc.

Watch the video below to learn more about this cost-effective way of receiving medical care within the US.

Benefits of domestic medical travel within USA
  1. Low cost for elective high-cost major surgeries

  2. High quality of care as hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission (JCAHO)

  3. Shorter traveling distance compared to international medical tourism

  4. No language or cultural barriers

  5. Access of legal recourse

Hospitals offering domestic medical tourism
Healthbase works with several domestic providers of quality healthcare that are spread across the United States. Find out an accredited hospital near you that offers affordable domestic medical tourism.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Jordan medical tourism: Private sector in talks to attract more patients from Western countries

By Khetam Malkawi, Jordan Times

AMMAN - With Jordan ranking first in the Arab world and among the top 10 in the world as a medical tourism destination, the private health sector is struggling to preserve such a lofty status by attracting patients from new markets.

The Jordan Private Hospitals Association (PHA) has recently launched a marketing plan that is expected to attract more patients to receive treatment in Jordan from the US, Britain and Canada, according to its president, Fawzi Hammouri.

To achieve this goal, the PHA invested in a familiarisation visit that attracted representatives from health sector and insurance companies from the three targeted countries to have a first-hand look at the facilities available in the Kingdom.

“The global financial crisis has hit most of the world's countries, but we are trying to make use of it and attract patients to receive treatment in Jordan through the good quality and fair prices we offer,” Hammouri told the press this weekend.

“Have your surgery in Jordan for 25 per cent or less than you would have to pay in your countries, in addition to the excursions to the Dead Sea and Petra that you will receive as part of the package,” Hammouri said, listing the privileges that a patient from these countries will enjoy by coming to Jordan for surgery .

He added at a press conference held in the presence of a delegation from the three targeted countries that the association is also ready to provide better offers for patients depending on the delegation's recommendations.

“Our customers have three concerns when considering treatment. This includes cost savings, the quality of services and accessibility, all of which are available in the sector in Jordan,” Saroja Mohanasundaram from the US-based medical tourism company , Healthbase , told reporters.

As for accessibility, she said that flying 12 hours from the US to Jordan is not long compared to the 20-hour flights that some American patients take to receive treatment in other countries.

“We are impressed with the high quality of the healthcare system here in Jordan, the physicians, who are well-educated, and the fact that they have English language as a second language and this will make it a better destination for medical tourism ,” Gabriella Vicuna, representative of the Medical Tourism Association in the US, said.

However, despite all the offers to be provided for patients from these countries, the visiting delegation called on the PHA to provide compensation in case of malpractice.

“There are many countries competing with Jordan in this sector,” a representative of a UK-based company said, adding that a patient should be aware of what he will receive in the event of a failed surgery to decide which offer and which country to choose.

The delegation members mentioned that citizens of their countries seek treatment in other countries in the fields of orthopaedics , cardiology , neurology and cancer .

Considered one of the main contributors to the national economy, medical tourism brings in revenues that reach $1 billion annually, and the sector has been witnessing a steady annual increase in foreign patients of around 10 per cent.

A study conducted by the PHA shows that 210,100 patients from 48 countries received treatment in the Kingdom last year, compared to 190,000 in 2007.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Statement on medical tourism by ACS (American College of Surgeons)

Today, medical tourism is a widely accepted and proven formula for top quality care at low cost. Given the manifold increase in the number of patients traveling overseas for medical and surgical care from the US, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has recognized that surgical care has become more readily available in a wider global market, and that this phenomenon is here to stay. So, the College recently developed an official "Statement on Medical and Surgical Tourism", which according to ACS is "consistent with the College’s longstanding advocacy position of promoting an environment of optimal care for the surgical patient".

The College has developed several key principles (listed below) for those who choose to seek surgical care abroad. The College:
  • encourages patients to seek care of the highest quality and supports their rights to select their surgeons and health care institutions without restriction.

  • encourages its Fellows to assist all patients in reaching informed decisions concerning medical care, whether at home or abroad.

  • advises patients to consider the medical, social, cultural, and legal implications of seeking medical treatment abroad prior to deciding on a venue of care.

  • encourages patients electing to receive treatment abroad to seek care at health care institutions that have met the standards for accreditation established by recognized accrediting organizations.

  • encourages patients electing treatment abroad to seek care from surgeons and anesthesiologists certified in their specialties through a process equivalent to that established by the member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.

  • encourages patients receiving treatment abroad to obtain a complete set of medical records prior to returning home so that the details of their care are immediately available to their physicians and surgeons in the U.S. Follow-up care at home should be organized prior to travel whenever possible.

  • encourages patients contemplating medical tourism to understand the special risks of combining long international flights and certain vacation activities with anesthesia and surgical procedures.

  • opposes the imposition of provisions for mandatory referral of patients by insurers to health care institutions outside the U.S., unless such provisions are clearly and explicitly stated in the insurance contract and accepted by the subscriber.

  • supports the view that payors referring patients for mandatory treatment abroad should be responsible for the coordination and reimbursement of follow-up care in the U.S., including the management of postoperative complications, readmissions, rehabilitation, and long-term care.

Source: Statement on Medical and Surgical Tourism by ACS

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Domestic medical tourism - saving money on surgery in US

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

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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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Healthbase featured in the Wall Street Journal

By Victoria Knight, Dow Jones Newswires

A post recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal Blog which talked about Healthbase, Healthbase's customers and the latest trend in medical tourism - traveling from one state to another within the United States in search for cheaper prices for major surgeries. Healthbase is one company that has been helping American patients connect to affordable hospitals in the US for major surgeries. The author writes,

Uninsured Americans also are shopping around for surgery in the U.S. in record numbers, and using new services such as Healthbase Online Inc. , a Boston-based medical brokerage that arranges treatments for patients at health-care facilities worldwide. Rodney Larson, a self-employed electrician from Minnesota, used Healthbase Online to arrange a triple heart bypass at Galichia Heart Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. He paid $13,000 flat fee for the surgery, about $90,000 dollars less than the rate for uninsured patients in Minnesota.

The current economic conditions...

Worsening economic conditions have made employers and workers more inventive in dealing with ever-rising health-care costs. Some are taking advantage of new health services that offer fixed rates for surgery to patients willing to travel to get care.

The financial benefits of domestic and international medical tourism cannot be overlooked and some insurers have taken active steps to reduce the health care costs for their clients in this slowing economy by offering them medical tourism options. The author mentions about the forward thinking by some health insurers and writes,

It’s a strategy that giving some insurers food for thought. WellPoint Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer, is currently evaluating programs and benefits where customers can "elect to seek certain services at designated facilities for a fixed per-case rate ," according to a spokeswoman, Jill Becher.

Others insurers aren’t sold on asking customers to travel for health care. Aetna Inc. says it already negotiates significant discounts with medical providers. Typically, it pays physicians within three days of submitting a claim, so up-front cash payments aren’t a strong incentive for achieving additional discounts, according to a company spokesperson.

Request FREE quote for affordable major surgery within US or overseas

More at: Wall Street Journal Blog

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