Medical tourism and its impact on the US health care system

J Health Care Finance. Fall 2007;34(1):27-35.

Abstract

The health care industry within the United States continues to face unprecedented increases in costs, along with the task of providing care to an estimated 46 million uninsured or underinsured patients. These patients, along with both insurers and employers, are seeking to reduce the costs of treatment through international outsourcing of medical and surgical care. Knows as medical tourism, this trend is on the rise, and the US health care system has not fully internalized the effects this will have on its economic structure and policies. The demand for low-cost health care services is driving patients to seek treatment on a globally competitive basis, while balancing important quality of care issues. In this article, we outline some of the issues facing legislators, health care policy makers, providers, and health service researchers regarding the impact of medical tourism on the US health care system.

MeSH terms

  • Asia, Southeastern
  • Cost Savings
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics*
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Economic Competition
  • Humans
  • India
  • International Cooperation
  • Malpractice
  • Medically Uninsured*
  • Outsourced Services
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Travel*
  • United States