More and more, patients are leaving home for care, whether within their own country (domestic medical travel) or outside of it (outbound medical travel). The reasons are many but include lower cost, access to avoid long waiting times, access to technologies not available in their area, higher quality, a better patient experience, a requirement by their self-insured employer and some element of secrecy. Some call it "medical tourism", but you shouldn't find surgeons and facilities on Expedia.
While, like most procedures done locally, elective surgery has a relatively low complication rate wherever it is done, sometimes things go wrong and treating those complications can, in some instances, bankrupt you.
Here is an example.
If you plan to leave home for care, be sure you complete this "7 Cs" checklist before heading out:
Leaving home for care can be a good decision under the right circumstances. However, whether it be a place you drive to in your own country in two hours or another country you fly to in 2 hours, be sure you leave prepared to deal with an adverse outcome. Surgery is not a vacation so hope for the best and be prepared for complications.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.