Tag Archives: Baby Boomers

How to make money investing in the medical travel industry

By now, you’ve heard all the hype about the potential growth of the medical travel industry and how US patients are fleeing the country to get affordable care. Unfortunately, the experts agree, that there are few reliable statistics about the size and growth of the market, there are no common definitions of a medical traveler, comparisons of revenues and costs are hard to make, and there remain persistent, nagging barriers to widespread adoption by patients, payers and physicians.

That said, investors are still clinging to the promise of big returns fueled by patients losing their health benefits because of high unemployment, the aging population requiring more units of care and exploding costs of healthcare. If you think the medical travel industry is set to explode, there are some areas of investment to consider:

Foreign Healthcare infrastructure

  • Hospitals and systems
    Ambulatory surgery centers
    Clinical labs and imaging centers
    Disease specific treatment facilities like cancer centers, stem cell centers, etc
  • Foreign Travel and hospitality infrastructure

  • Hotels and Surgical Hotels
    Airport development

  • Tools and support companies

  • Players in global healthcare information exchange
    Data analytics and business intelligence
    Quality, price and value determinations
    Companies offering alternative pricing mechanisms

  • Supporting global healthcare insurance and travel products

  • Trip cancellation
    Follow up care
    Emergency evacuation
    Professional liability
    Infectious disease management
    Geopolitical risk insurance
  • Firms in the medical travel supply chain

  • Travel medicine clinics
    Medical travel facilitators and specialty travel agents
    Medical concierge ground operators
    Currency exchange risk managers

  • Expatriate retirement health cities and communities

    Like other industry sectors, gold, for example, you can invest in the product itself, the people who create the product, or investments that pools risks, like mutual funds or exchange traded funds.

    Look for companies in markets where the supply of care does not meet the demands of a growing middle class, that provide products and services delivering low, cost high volume care, and that provide platforms and infrastructure designed to reduce transaction costs for billing and collecting and value-based information.

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    Challenges in U.S. healthcare — Why MedicalTourism

    The U.S Health Care Industry is facing more challenges than ever before due to some of the following significant factors. I have tried to list below few items

    •Based on the National Center for Health Statistics data, life expectancy in the United States continues to increase and at the same time, U.S population is aging rapidly.
    •America’s 78 million Baby Boomers begin turning 65 in 2011.
    •The number of Americans less than 65 years who are uninsured remains staggering at more than 42 million.
    •The number of patients waiting for transplants is rapidly increasing. The number of new registrations on the kidney transplant waiting list increased more than 300% between 1988 and 2006, and 67% between 1996 and 2006.
    •In 2005, the United States spent 16% (up from 14% in 2000) of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on health care, a greater share than any other developed country. In 2005, the United States spent $1.7 trillion on health care, an average of $6,700 per person.
    •Almost half of the two-million Americans who file for bankruptcy do so because of medical expenses. Please see the U.S Bankruptcy data for the year 2001.
    •Managed care providers continue to struggle to contain costs while employers are hit hard by vast increases in the cost of providing coverage to employees and retirees. Physicians are caught between the desire for quality care and the desire for cost control on the part of payers, including HMOs, Medicare and Medicaid. Patients and insurance companies are also dealing with sticker shock as the nation’s prescription drug bill soars. At the same time, hospitals and health systems write off record amounts of revenues to bad debt, which increases costs for bill-paying patients.

    All of the above factors clearly indicate the severe problem of continuous increases in the cost of U.S health care and how it affects the various actors in the industry namely patients, physicians & care providers, insurance companies, employers, hospitals, health systems and government.

    Medical Tourism is one solution but not a replacement for U.S. healthcare system.

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