Singapore hospitals added to U.S. network

Rick Johnson, for HealthLeaders Media, April 21, 2008

South Carolina-based Companion Global Healthcare added three Singapore hospitals to its network. The deal now allows Americans access to medical and surgical services at ParkwayHealth operated hospitals at pre-negotiated, in-network rates lower than those of U.S. hospitals.

The deal between ParkwayHealth and Companion Global Healthcare is a step in the maturation of the medical travel industry, notes David Williams, consultant and cofounder of MedPharma Partners LLC.

“Conceptually, hospitals halfway around the world will now have the same status to members as those just down the street, so that’s a big step,” he said. “It may be a bit of a wake-up call to the local hospitals in South Carolina, putting them on notice that they are facing a broader set of competitors.”

More than one million members of Blue Cross Blue Shield and BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina now have access to the three Singapore hospitals—Mount Elizabeth, Gleneagles, and East Shore—at preferred network rates. The hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission International, the affiliate of The Joint Commission.

“Patients in increasing numbers are crossing international borders seeking top-quality care at affordable prices,” said Dan Snyder, ParkwayHealth group executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a prepared statement.

Williams points out that the network expansion will aid Companion Global Healthcare’s growth and bolsters the reputation of ParkwayHealth and Singapore as a destination for global healthcare, but he doesn’t expect that this deal will open the floodgates of medical travel to Singapore.

“This marks a significant milestone in the global reach of Singapore’s healthcare,” said Jason CH Yap, director of healthcare services for the Singapore Tourism Board, in prepared remarks. “Singapore has long been the leading medical hub and healthcare destination of choice in Asia.”

For more analysis on Companion Global Healthcare’s network expansion, be sure to read tomorrow’s issue of HealthLeaders Media Global. Sign up today to receive this free, weekly e-newsletter.

Rick Johnson is senior online editor of HealthLeaders Media. He may be reached at

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