Health Plans
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Domestic medical travel is taking off for surgery deals

USA Today, July 7, 2010

Forget about traveling to Thailand or India for low-cost surgery. More employers and insurers are offering financial incentives to encourage workers to consider "domestic medical travel." By steering workers to facilities with high-quality care and lower prices, employers say they can reduce their costs 20% to 40% — more than enough to cover the travel expenses. A lot is at stake. Hospital care accounts for more than one-third of the nation's $2.5 trillion annual health spending tab. And spending on hospital care — which rose nearly 6% last year — is expected to accelerate, government data show, driven both by increased use and rising prices. Employers with domestic travel programs say they save money in part by negotiating a single rate, which includes fees for surgeons, anesthesiologists and all medical care up until the patient is discharged.