Recently, a friend of mine received a hospital bill from a hospital they stayed at in Spain after suffering a life-threatening condition that kept her in the country longer than she expected.
The bill for her DVT/PE included a Chest x-ray, CT of the lungs and 2 nights of observation. The total in Euros was 1475.61. In US dollars, that translates to $1,641.02.
One reason given by a commentator on LinkedIn was that “the hospital (v. the US) is that they’re only billing you for incremental cost — there’s no capital expenditure or labor costs they need to recapture as that comes from other budgets. So, instead of your fractional share of billing, doctor’s salaries, etc., they’re just trying to keep the budget whole from the fact that you were there v. the bed being empty.”
But we know that hospitals are run like businesses, and many of them are owned by businesses, so they try to squeeze every last drop of profit out of the patient, or their insurance company.
Spain is not the only country that has lower cost medical, but travelling there for care is not yet practical until we can fly on suborbital commercial planes.
But there are places closer to home that will be much lower in cost, and not just for emergency care. But like the three monkees, we Americans are deaf, dumb and blind to reality, and unwilling to see that we are not No. 1.
Thanks to Laura Carabello of Medical Travel Today.com for alerting me to this blog. And you wonder why I keep telling the workers’ comp industry to open their eyes, their minds and the system to less expensive health care overseas.
Wake up, guys! Stop kidding yourselves with fee schedule discounts, domestic medical tourism sleight-of-hand tricks, negotiated prices that are still too high. Surgery is less expensive overseas and they are using the same medical devices we do here, because they are made here. Stop playing games with other people’s health.