Healthcare tourism is the symptom of a damaged U.S. healthcare system

The tragedy involving 4 Us residents who were lately kidnapped and two of them murdered — whilst in search of beauty surgical procedures in Mexico has renewed the dialogue of “medical tourism,” a expression that, in my intellect, implies that their vacation was recreational and enjoyable. I desire the term “outward clinical travel” and would argue that these Americans’ journey abroad need to remind us of how inaccessible wellbeing treatment is listed here and the lengths to which people today will go to get the treatment they want or will need.

I like the phrase “outward medical travel” and argue that their journey overseas need to remind us of how inaccessible health treatment is listed here.

It’s not just about plastic operation: Us citizens go wanting for a extensive vary of treatments abroad, from dental care and hip replacements to fertility therapies, organ transplants and cardiovascular care. For the 30 million Americans with no wellbeing coverage, this sort of strategies may possibly be out of their selling price variety right here in the States.

And even those people who have insurance policies may perhaps find that they can get the treatment they request much less expensive or more promptly in yet another state. 

A root canal in Hungary or Vietnam, for illustration, might be a quarter of the price of the technique in the U.S. The exact same goes for an angioplasty in Malaysia

My cousin, Jessica Koller Gorham, a bariatric surgeon at Ochsner Health in New Orleans, advised me Louisiana’s point out prepare only handles bariatric surgical procedure for 300 state approach-insured personnel for each 12 months for the full point out. The ready listing for fat-loss medical procedures, now three years lengthy, is rising. “It’s insanity,” she said. “And so what do some of these folks do? Mexico is not significantly away.” Traveling for healthcare treatment is generally a desperate measure for all those who have tried the typical route and discovered only barriers.

Having said that, outward health care vacation can have many challenges. Top quality and safety requirements, licensure, credentialing and medical standards for getting strategies are not reliable throughout nations around the world and hospitals. If surgical procedures are executed in substandard circumstances, for illustration, the threat of inadequate effects or problems is larger. Some people may possibly depart the U.S. trying to find therapies that have not been approved in the

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U.S. Healthcare: A Conglomerate Of Monopolies

The Taylor Swift ticketing debacle of 2022 left countless numbers of annoyed ‘Swifties’ without a opportunity to see their preferred artist in live performance. And it also highlighted the trouble that arises when corporations like Ticketmaster attain monopolistic command.

In any field, current market consolidation restrictions opposition, preference and access to goods and products and services, all of which drive up costs.

But there is another—often overlooked—consequence.

Sector leaders that develop as well highly effective develop into complacent. And, when that transpires, innovation dies. Health care gives a prime case in point.

An sector of monopolies

De facto monopolies abound in pretty much each individual health care sector: Hospitals and wellness techniques, drug and device companies, and health professionals backed by private equity. The consequence is that U.S. health care has grow to be a conglomerate of monopolies.

For two a long time, this rigorous focus of power has inflicted damage on individuals, communities and the wellbeing of the country. For most of the 21st century, professional medical costs have risen a lot quicker than in general inflation, America’s existence expectancy (and total health and fitness) has stagnated, and the tempo of innovation has slowed to a crawl.

This write-up, the very first in a series about the ominous and omnipresent monopolies of healthcare, focuses on how merged hospitals and impressive health devices have elevated the rate, reduced the good quality and lowered the advantage of American drugs.

Foreseeable future content articles will glance at drug companies who wield unfettered pricing energy, coalitions of specialist doctors who acquire monopolistic leverage, and the payers (firms, insurers and the governing administration) who tolerate market consolidation. The sequence will conclude with a glance at who stands the finest chance of shattering this conglomerate of monopolies and bringing innovation again to healthcare.

How hospitals consolidate electric power

The healthcare facility marketplace is now household to a pair of seemingly contradictory traits. On one particular hand, financial losses in current decades have resulted in report premiums of healthcare facility (and clinic company) closures. On the other hand, the all round sector dimensions, value and earnings of U.S. hospitals are increasing.

This is no incongruity. It is what happens when hospitals and well being techniques

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Transformative impact of inflation on the healthcare sector

The once-in-a-century pandemic thrust the healthcare industry into the teeth of the storm. The combination of accelerating affordability challenges, access issues exacerbated by clinical-staff shortages and COVID-19, and limited population-wide progress on outcomes is ominous. This gathering storm has the potential to reorder the healthcare industry and put nearly half of the profit pools at risk. Those who thrive will tap into the $1 trillion of improvement available by redesigning their organizations for speed-accelerating productivity improvements, reshaping their portfolio, innovating new business models to refashion care, and reallocating constrained resources. The healthcare industry has lagged behind other industries in applying these practices; players who are able to do so in this crisis could set themselves up for success in the coming years. This article is the second in our five-article series addressing the gathering storm.

Consumer prices have rarely risen faster than healthcare inflation, but that’s the situation today. The impact of inflation on the broader economy has driven up input costs in healthcare significantly. Moreover, the likelihood of continued labor shortages in healthcare—even as demand for services continues to rise—means that higher inflation could persist. Our latest analysis estimates that the annual US national health expenditure is likely to be $370 billion higher by 2027 due to the impact of inflation compared with prepandemic projections.

Pressure on healthcare input costs

Healthcare supply input costs spiked in late 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 crisis. Labor costs per adjusted hospital discharge grew 25 percent between 2019 and 2022, closely followed by pharmaceuticals at 21 percent, supplies at 18 percent, and services at 16 percent.

While these costs have moderated in 2022, they continue to be above the norm; in particular, growth in labor cost remains high.

Clinical labor

The worsening clinical labor shortage is a significant contributor to our projected increase in healthcare costs over the next five years. By 2025, we expect a gap of 200,000 to 450,000 registered nurses and 50,000 to 80,000 doctors (10 to 20 percent and 6 to 10 percent of the workforce, respectively).

These shortages underpin our estimate that healthcare labor cost growth will outpace inflation. We expect clinical labor cost growth of 6 to 10 percent over the next two years, about three to seven percentage points above the prevailing rate of inflation, before a correction to

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What Does a Good Health-Care System Look Like?

I make a good living. I should have a larger retirement portfolio than I do, as my husband and I keep our living expenses within bounds, and I am a moderately successful self-employed professional. However, every few years, or sometimes a few years in a row, I find our household being bankrupted by the medical-industrial complex.  

This year has been uniquely devastating. My husband is a 75-year-old bone-cancer survivor. Two years of radical chemotherapy left him with a suppressed immune system, which means for most of the pandemic we’ve been hiding from people the way Gremlins hide from sunlight.

A few years ago he had a two-year bout of C. diff, for which the drugs cost thousands. He finally beat it.

A long-term result of the C. diff left him with bacteria in his teeth and gums, which resulted in him needing $25,000 worth of dental work. He lost his upper teeth, now has upper dentures, and had serious gum work done on all his bottom teeth. Medicare covered a tiny bit of this. Dental work is not considered worthy of proper insurance in this country. And without the dental care he would have developed sepsis and died.

This cost was on top of his Medicare deduction from his Social Security and his $471-per-month drug-plan copay.

We’ve had some truly INCOMPETENT primary-care physicians over the years.  We found a great doctor in 2006. He was an independent. Didn’t take insurance. Fee for service. Had studied at Loma Linda hospital. Great credentials. Finally a great primary-care physician. His wife, a Harvard-trained attorney who had retired from the law, ran his practice. Well, with the COVID pandemic, his wife burned out on medical administration, partly from all of the death they had to deal with. And she had a few COVID deaths in her own family. With his wife retiring from medical administration, he joined a boutique primary-care practice starting January 1, 2022. He’s no longer fee-for-service.  He went concierge. He takes insurance now. But the annual “concierge fee” for 2022 was $3,000 per patient per year. It is going up to $4,000 per patient for 2023.

Then there are MY medical costs. My insurance is $1,189 per month for second-from-top-level insurance. It goes up 14 percent next year. I have arthritic knees from being a 10-to-15-mile-a-week runner from my late teens to early 30s. At 6 foot 1, I am a

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GAO appoints 7 healthcare leaders to HITAC

Seven new healthcare leaders from diverse industry backgrounds will be joining the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee, the federal group working to implement a health IT infrastructure that advances the electronic access, exchange and use of health information in the U.S. healthcare system.


Established by the 21st Century Cures Act, HITAC and its subcommittees provide recommendations to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on policies, standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria. 

The new members, appointed by the Government Accountability Office, have served healthcare in both public- and private-sector capacities at organizations across the United States. 

Dr. Kikelomo Belizaire, the chief medical officer at Pegasystems, is also a practicing hospitalist in the Charlotte, North Carolina, region. She previously served as the medical director of Anthem’s commercial unit and as a physician treating high-acuity patients in several hospital systems in North and South Carolina, and as a healthcare consultant. 

Dr. Shila Blend is the health information technology director of the North Dakota Health Information Network, a statewide HIE. She also serves as a subject-matter expert with the Rural Emergency Medical Services Counts project, which is working to develop quality measures for emergency medical services in rural areas. She previously served the state in a number of preparedness and coordination roles, including as the deputy chief of staff for COVID-19 response.

Dr. Hannah Galvin is the chief medical information officer of Cambridge Health Alliance, an academic public safety net health system, where she leads the division of clinical informatics and practices as a pediatrician. She is the co-chair of the board of directors of Shift, an independent task force focused on enabling patients to manage how their health data is shared to promote equitable interoperability. Previously, Galvin was the medical director of informatics at Lahey Health and cared for underserved and vulnerable populations at hospitals in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Dr. Bryant Thomas Karras, the chief medical informatics officer and senior epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, guides informatics and HIE efforts. He has spearheaded state healthcare initiatives, including efforts to increase adoption of health information technology, detect disease outbreaks in their early stages and more. Previously, Karras served as an internal medicine physician at a number of hospitals in Connecticut, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. 

Anna McCollister is a patient advocate, entrepreneur and advisor on various health technology, data use

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The Top 5 Healthcare Trends In 2023

The world is a very different place than it was ten years ago, and nowhere is this more evident than in healthcare. The aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic, combined with the financial downturn and an acceleration in the adoption of technology and digitization, have dramatically changed the landscape for everyone, patient or practitioner.

Here’s my overview of what I believe will be the most important trends of the next 12 months:

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

The market for Artificial intelligence (AI) – specifically, machine learning (ML) tools in healthcare is forecast to top $20 million in 2023. Various AI-aligned technologies, such as computer vision, natural language processing, and pattern recognition algorithms, are already deeply embedded in the healthcare ecosystem and will continue to be adopted as evidence of their usefulness grows throughout 2023. Some examples of areas where AI is used include drug discovery, where it can assist with predicting outcomes of clinical trials and potential side effects of new drugs, as well as analysis of medical imagery, which involves using computer vision algorithms to spot early warning signs of disease in x-rays or MRI scans. It has also successfully been used to detect and treat neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Outside of frontline clinical work, AI also has applications in clerical work, such as processing insurance claims and management or analysis of medical record keeping. It can also be used to analyze data collected from patient wearables or in-home sensors used in virtual hospital settings (more on that in my next trend) to provide early warning or predictive diagnosis of various conditions. Put together, all of these use cases indicate that AI and ML will continue to be a prominent trend in healthcare throughout the coming year.

Remote Healthcare – Virtual Hospitals, Healthcare Communities, and Telehealth

Healthcare delivered remotely increased significantly during the pandemic. Even now that it’s generally safe to resume face-to-face routine appointments, many patients and providers have realized that for many conditions, care can be provided more efficiently and cost-effectively at a distance.

Remote healthcare falls into a number of different categories. There is an increase in home-based care driven by evidence that shows that a familiar environment and proximity to a family can have a positive effect on patient outcomes, as well as being hugely cost-efficient compared to inpatient care. Then there is

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