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The Flourishing Medical Tourism Business in America

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2014

To drive potential medical tourists to their website and hospitals, Jackson reaches out to international patients in several ways.

"Jackson's international program focuses on marketing strategies to reach out to international patient referral sources through academic exchanges with foreign physicians," Valdez says. "[We also use] traditional brand awareness activities, such as industry conferences and tradeshows, which have both proven to be successful in fostering the Jackson Health System brand abroad."

For other healthcare organizations in many parts of the country, it could be worth the extra investment to learn more about how to attract and cater to these patients, many of whom pay cash.

"Hospitals in geographic areas with high tourism will always have international patients seeking medical attention," Valdez says. "Any hospital would benefit from expanding those services to patients seeking expert medical treatment on an elective basis."

So will Florida become America's Bangkok of medical tourism? The jury is still out, but one enthusiastic state lawmaker thinks the state has been for quite some time.

"Medical tourism has existed in Florida since Ponce de Leon set out in search of the Fountain of Youth," says state Sen. Aaron Bean, who is co-sponsoring the Florida legislature's bill, told the Miami Herald.

Move over, Mickey—Disney might not be Florida's main draw for international tourists much longer.

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2 comments on "The Flourishing Medical Tourism Business in America"

Todd (4/23/2014 at 11:44 AM)
Hard to see how a facility in Florida could come close to matching the total value (Cost/Quality) offered by many Joint Commission International Accredited facilities such as Anadolu, Bumrungrad or even perhaps Severance.

Joseph Harkins (4/17/2014 at 2:53 PM)
In the minds of world travelers, Florida is already a known commodity. Advertising won't be enough to increase and sustain medical tourism patients to Florida. Stakeholders – the hospital administrators, the physicians, the hospitality entities – interested in strengthening Florida's position as a medical tourism destination need to identify niche areas of healthcare and promote those services offered to patients who need them most.