Archive for the ‘Medical Expenses’ Category

Healthcare Expenses Leading to Increase in Medical Tourism

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Medical tourism is a term that describes the practice of traveling across international borders to obtain health care. The term also loosely defines the practice of healthcare providers delivering healthcare across international boundaries. Dental surgery, cardiac surgery, joint replacement and cosmetic surgeries are common healthcare services performed internationally. Medical tourism may also encompass psychiatry, convalescent care and other alternative treatments.

What Countries Participate in Medical Tourism?
Over 50 countries recognize medical tourism and participate. Some countries or medical schools have different levels of accreditation. These countries may not have state of the art equipment and ideal medical standards that may be dangerous for some of these “tourists”. If student volunteers, health professional trainees or researchers from economically developed countries are working in the country where they surgery is performed, then the same level of service may be provided in a resource-poor country.

India, Mexico and Thailand are some of the most popular locations for medical tourism. For instance, in India, they entice medical tourists by offering a $6,700 heart surgery. In another example, patients saved 80 percent on their hip resurfacing surgeries. The surgery in America would cost $48,000. The same surgery in India will cost $7,000 for equally adequate care.

Many hospitals in other countries meet or exceed the criteria set forth by institutions such as the Joint Commissions on Accreditation’s of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the Joint Commission International (JCI) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Millions of Americans visit Asia, South America and Mexico for medical tourism. Exotic vacations also accompany these trips to calm the patient and make the experience more palatable.

Select a Network that Can Verify the Hospital’s Standards
Patients that intend to receive healthcare abroad should consider joining a healthcare network. These networks can verify the level of service that they will receive once they arrive at the hospital. The quality of the hospital is listed on the website for the patients to peruse. The proficiency of the physician will also be described so that patients can monitor and select their level of care.
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Are Canada Pharmacies really cheaper?

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

It may seem like too much of a hassle to use a Canada pharmacy to save a few dollars on prescriptions.  I tried to use CanadaPharmacy.com the other day and I saw that  you have to first register on their site, snail mail them your prescription you got from your doctor and wait for them to re-write the prescription from a Canadian doctor.  Physically sending in your prescription seems like more of a hassle since you have to mail it to their Canadian address.

Online pharmacies used to be simple where you would talk to a doctor online and they ask you your symptoms and then you could request a certain drug or have them recommend one.  Those days were the beginning of the online pharmacies and you may have noticed hundreds if not thousands of sites disappear from those two years of medicine online.  The government has cracked down hard on these sites and shut them down or made sure they are not liberally offering pain pills and  what the DEA considers drugs that should be safeguarded.

Drugstore.com was one of the leaders in the fight against online pharmacies and they helped clean up the space pretty fast.   It really was out of control with some places sending out fake Viagra.  I had an online pharmacy send me huge looking blue pills instead of the real smaller Pfizer branded Viagra.  I was scared to digest the pills because the appearance did not seem real but never had them examined to see what they contained.  Probably not something that would help with an erection or anything that would do my liver any good. Most likely a bunch of filler and bi-product.

Unfortunately, the dismiss of many online pharmacies led to the higher prices in leading pills and now we have fewer choices and more hassle.  There are now so many steps we have to go through to order our meds online that it can take days longer.  When it is so convenient to pull into the drive thru of my local Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy why would I want to mess with shipping and other obstacles.

Pricing is the leading reason people want to order their prescriptions online.  Canada pharmacies are known for their cheaper prices but this is limited to some drugs there are many that may be in fact more expensive.  You must compare to your local pharmacy and call around and see who is the cheapest.  The best thing to do is compare at the listings off of the Wal-Greens website.  They list the prices and the specific drug you are trying to order that way you can see who gets you the most savings.

What about US Pharmacies such as Drugstore.com.  These sites can save in some cases and provide a convenience of having it shipped to your door.  A problem with having to go through the drive up windows at CVS and Walgreens is having to wait.  You sometimes have to wait at 11pm or always guaranteed a long wait when it’s normal daytime hours.  The best thing to do is order them online or go up to the drive up at 2am when no one is up but other people picking up their Ambien CR.