Critics won over by medical tourism options

Evidence continues to mount that medical tourism isn't just a novelty, but rather a real and increasingly-popular option for many patients. Currently, 150,000 Americans annually receive treatment in foreign countries, and that number is expanding a remarkable 15 percent to 20 percent per year--boosted by middleman companies like MedRetreat, IndUShealth and Planet Hospital which help patients find the right provider. Critics have argued that despite this growth, medical tourism is still a questionable venture, one that could prove risky and physically taxing.

However, even these critics have begun to admit that leading medical tourism destinations such as India, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Malaysia and Singapore can offer excellent care, sometimes in comfortable settings that rival U.S. luxury hotels. Then there's the savings, of course, which can be anywhere from 30 percent to 80 percent over U.S. prices. In 10 to 15 years, it will be standard for top foreign hospitals to be included in health insurance networks for Americans, according to Arnold Milstein, chief physician for consulting firm Mercer Health & Benefits.

To find out more about this trend:
- read this piece from the Los Angeles Times

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