CBS News on Thai Hospital, India

At this link: CBS on India Medical Trips is a nice short piece by Sixty Minutes at CBS on Medical Tourism. In this cases they feature one of the world’s most sophisticated and elegant medical tourism destination hospitals, Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. This is one of the world’s largest facilities for Medical Travel and by appearances it surpasses any comfort standards you’d expect in the USA. A friend of mine has raved about his experiences with Thai medical care and I need to follow up to see where he stayed in Thailand.

Here, NuWireInvestor details some of the cost differences and notes what Medical Travel business MedRetreat calls “The $6000 rule”:

A procedure that costs $6,000 in the U.S. would probably “realize a break-even scenario” if the patient elected to go abroad, because the overhead created by travel costs would cancel out the money saved for the actual procedure ….

However I’m wondering about that rule in a scenario like mine where I’m already planning a trip to Vietnam, so throwing in a checkup or even something like a colonoscopy will add few costs above the procedure itself.

I’m not clear yet about the risks and rewards of planning your own medical tourism tour rather than using a service like MedRetreat, where they take care of many of the details for you. This appears to be one of the top services for helping Americans find care overseas. Perhaps a starting point for deciding whether to use them or work with the hospitals directly would be this cost chart from the MedRetreat Website:

PROCEDURE COST IN U.S. COST ABROAD
Orthopedic
Hip Replacement $40,000 – $65,000 $7,000 – $13,000
Hip Resurfacing $50,000 – $60,000 $8,000 – $12,000
Knee Replacement $45,000 – $60,000 $7,500 – $12,000
Neurology
Spinal Fusion $80,000 – $100,000 $6,000 – $10,000
Total Spinal Disc Replacement $100,000 – $150,000 $8,000 – $12,000
Discectomy $20,000 – $24,000 $5000 – $7,000
Cardiology
Angioplasty $50,000 – $65,000 $5,000 – $7,000
Heart Bypass $90,000 – $120,000 $10,000 – $18,000
Heart Valve Replacement $125,000 – $175,000 $13,000 – $18,000
Gynecology
Hysterectomy $18,000 – $25,000 $4,000 – $7,000
Cosmetic
Face & Neck Lift $8,000 – $15,000 $2,500 – $4,000
Breast Augmentation $6,000 – $12,000 $3,500 – $5,000
Tummy Tuck $6,000 – $12,000 $3,800 – $5,200
Liposuction/Area $2,000 – $3,000 $800 – $1,200
Dental
Dental Implants/Tooth $3,000 – $5,000 $800 – $2,000
Dental Crowns $800 – $1,200 $200 – $600
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