Medical Tourism – U.S. the Next India?
Biloine W. Young • Thu, August 1st, 2013
Forget Singapore or Costa Rica for medical tourism. If patients are looking for a bargain in joint replacement, they should first research the U.S. The Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada, Oklahoma, charges $5,304 for a knee replacement, according to the consumer comparison site nerdwallet.com. Bruce Watson, of Daily Finance, reports that the next most expensive hospital for a knee replacement is Medina Memorial in Medina, New York, where the tariff is $14,788.
Watson calls the variation in medical pricing within the U.S. “stunning” noting that Monterey Park Hospital in Monterey Park, California charges $223,373—or 42 times as much as Chickasaw and 15 times as much as Medina Memorial for that knee replacement.
Hips and knee replacements are not the only high ticket items. Major differences in price exist for most surgical procedures. Watson wrote that prices for angioplasty range from $13,314 to $203,522 and the cost to have a pacemaker installed can vary from $15,128 to $167,628.
Obviously, not all hospitals or surgeons have the same expertise or experience with complex procedures. Patient outcomes vary from institution to institution. But if medical tourism is a temptation, prospective patients should look to what is available in the U.S. before purchasing their tickets to India.