You may remember back in December I wrote a post about rising hospital costs. It was called “Rising Hospital Costs: What they mean for Workers’ Compensation and Medical Tourism“. That post was courtesy of Joe Paduda. This post is also courtesy of Joe, who wrote today on his blog about a study conducted by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).
What this means for medical tourism and workers’ compensation is that as facility costs rise in these 20 states, due to changes in Medicare and Medicaid hospital reimbursements, cheaper, more cost-effective forms of treatment will become valuable to the payers who are now looking at higher facility costs, even for outpatient services.
Bottom line, the US health care system, in its inpatient and outpatient hospital services, is going to get more and more expensive.
Should costs rise too much for even most workers’ compensation payers to pay, alternatives in medical tourism will be more and more attractive, especially for more serious cases, and perhaps, for those that otherwise would have been treated on an outpatient basis domestically.
Factoring in the cost of treatment, travel and accommodation expenses, medical tourism, if packaged correctly, could compete quite favorably with US hospitals in these states, and others, where facility costs have skyrocketed out of control. Workers’ Compensation insurance carriers and their employer insureds will need to take a long hard look at such an alternative, which will be a boon to the medical tourism industry.