Medical tourism craters after COVID-19

The elective surgery ban earlier in the year has left a permanent mark on medical tourism as hotels built next to, and occasionally in partnership with, hospitals sat relatively empty throughout the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Baltimore Sun reports.

What you should know:

1. "Unfortunately, the future looks bleak," said Trey Hulsey, a co-founder of medical tourism company Hayakoum. The elective surgery ban left hotels that cater to medical tourism in a complicated position, but hasn't halted future developments.

2. Miami developer Royal Palm Companies is in the process of building a 256-room hotel with an attached 100,000-square-foot hospital that also has mixed retail and living space. The hospital would discharge patients to rooms in the hotel, and while condo sales in the development are tracking well, the developer hasn't found an operator for the outpatient-only hospital.

The pandemic has also caused the developer to rework the project to address concerns from residents about sharing a space with the hospital. The developer is installing a medical-grade air filtration system throughout the entire development, even though it was previously planned for just the hospital, and is adding ultraviolet light disinfecting solutions at high-traffic areas.

3. While medical tourism has yet to recover, some medical tourism-facing hotels, like a Hilton in Hilton in Miami-Dade County affiliated with Coral Gables-based Baptist Health South Florida, were allowed to operate through the pandemic. Hotel staff also had access to personal protective equipment because of the hotel's affiliation.

More articles on surgery centers:
Top-paying jobs in 2020 — Surgeons are No. 1
The state of ASCs in June 2020: 10 observations on supply chain, payers, staffing & future growth
Optum leads $26M funding round for digital therapeutics startup

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