How ASCs could benefit from domestic medical tourism: 4 things to know

Domestic medical travel programs may drive patients to surgery centers, according to The Daily News.

The key details to know:

1. Longview, Wash.-based Pacific Surgical Center started participating in a medical travel program in November, and has since seen eight patients from outside the area. The Pacific Surgical Center is the only center in its area participating in a medical tourism program, according to William Turner, MD, co-founder of the center.

2. While some patients find the ASC through their own research, Pacific Surgical Center also relies on third-party administrators working with medical tourism to generate leads.

3. Pacific Surgical Center sets flat fees for procedures on its website, allowing patients paying with cash to see costs upfront.

4. Anita Graves, a patient who underwent a total knee replacement at Pacific Surgical Center, works for a self-insured employer that uses medical travel company Hostcare Resources to save on procedure costs. Hostcare Resources set up Ms. Graves' appointments and paid for a first-class flight to Longview for her procedure. If Ms. Graves would have had the surgery near her home in Omaha, Neb., the procedure would have cost $50,000. By having her procedure at the Pacific Surgery Center, she saved $13,000.

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