Jan 14, 2015 • 25M

The Rise of Medical Tourism: An Interview with Renee-Marie Stephano (December 22nd)

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Appears in this episode

David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: •Implementation of the Affordable Care Act •Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues •Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA •Healthcare research •Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues •Public health issues including the social determinates of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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Medical tourism has been defined moreover as people traveling from less developed to more developed countries to receive medical treatment.   Today, well over one million Americans travel both within the US and worldwide to receive a wide variety of medical interventions.  Medical tourism originating in the US is growing dramatically, it is today considered one of the fastest growing segments in our health care industry.  The primary reason for its popularity is of course cost or cost savings (though wait times can play a factor as well).  A recent NYT poll found for example 46% of respondents describe paying for health care as a "hardship".  Both self-employed companies as well as private insurance plans have offered tourism coverage for certain procedures for several years.  However, like all medical care, procedures received abroad are not without risk.

During this 22-minute interview Ms. Stephano provides a brief overview of her organization, the range of medical services sought, typically where and at what cost savings, its increasing use among self-insured employers, the quality of care received and what recourse patients have in the event of an error.  

Ms. Renee-Marie Stephano is the President and Co-Founder of the Medical Tourism Association and editor-in-chief of the Medical Tourism Magazine.  She works closely with governments, hospitals, business leaders and travel and tourism entities to develop sustainable medical tourism/international patient programs and strategies throughout the world.  She has authored and co-authored several books, has been a keynote speaker at hundreds of international conferences and is a resource regarding medical tourism initiatives for media outlets worldwide.  She earned her JD degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

For more onthe Medical Tourism Assocation see: http://www.medicaltourismassociation.com/en/index.html