Teaching hospitals form international partnerships to expand brands

Some of the biggest names among U.S. hospitals are forming international partnerships to expand their brands globally. 

Demand for U.S. healthcare knowledge is growing, according to an article from Hospitals & Health Networks, so hospitals and health systems like Johns Hopkins, UPMC, UCLA Health, Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic are offering consulting and other needed health services in areas around the world.

UCLA Health, for instance, according to the article, is trying to reach patients abroad and better treat foreign patients who come to the U.S. for care. Regions like China and southeast Asia have been of particular focus, and system officials like Mike Burke, its director of international services, have traveled to China to explore ways that UCLA Health can provide services like consulting and training to Chinese providers.

Stanford University Medical Center is following a similar strategy, according to H&HN. Barbara Ralston, vice president of international medical services, told the publication that Stanford spent 10 years studying international markets before building consulting centers in regions like Asia and the Middle East. The centers will look at proposals from both the financial and risk management angles, Ralston told H&HN.

These well-known hospitals and health systems also treat thousands of international patients each year, according to a second H&HN article, so expanding internationally may help them find better ways to treat those patients. UCLA Health, for example, sees between 2,500 and 3,000 international patients a year, and Stanford treats about 2,700--with 8,000 international patients reaching out to the hospital about its treatment options.

Chuck Bogosta, president of UPMC International, said that international development may be too complex for many U.S. health systems. However, UPMC--which counts among its international offerings consultants in China and a cancer center in Ireland--has seen the benefits of building relationships with governments, clinics and businesses abroad.

“It both generates an alternate revenue source and it has been very important for our reputation," Bogosta told the publication.