This ad will close in

New Hip Destination

Medical tourism for the everyman

After a career on the business side of the medical industry, Steven Lash was intrigued when he saw a May 2006 story in Time magazine, headlined "Outsourcing Your Heart." He mulled over the idea, but could never figure out how to turn medical tourism into a moneymaker. "All the articles were talking about people who got terrific care internationally," says Lash, 50. "But these were all people who didn't have insurance. I didn't see that as a good business model because what's to stop them from traveling to buy their health-care on their own?"

Then, the epiphany: Roughly 17 percent of employer-sponsored health insurance policies now offer health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), which let employers pay into a tax-deductible fund that employees can tap to pay for health-care costs.

"When I learned about HRAs last year, I had my "aha" moment," Lash says. That's when San Diego-based Satori Medical was born. When an employee applies HRA funds to a procedure (hip replacement and cardiac surgery are some of the most cost effective) at one of Satori Medical's International Centers of Excellence, the savings are dramatic. "Say somebody needs a hip procedure that costs $60,000 in the U.S.," says Lash, who has set up centers in 7 countries including Costa Rica, India and Turkey, and projects sales of $4 million this year. "If they decide to have the operation at a Satori Center, they can travel with a partner and have no co-pay. Turns out to be $40,000 in savings. Everybody wins."



Keep an eye on:

Access Nurses: This is an up-and-coming staffing agency in a country soon to be starved for nurses: the U.S. It's also building a community of nurses through its popular sister site, nursetv.com.

Affymetrix: Affymetrix's "whole-genome" devices are the lynchpin in analyzing genetic information (a key market) and taking personalized medicine and prevention into the 21st century.

American TeleCare: The telemedicine market--video conferencing with doctors and specialists--is set to explode, and American TeleCare has this market wrapped up.

Eliza Corporation: Eliza's outreach phone system does everything from informing patients that their prescription drugs are available in generic forms to pre-screening for colon cancer.

Executive Healthcare Services PLLC: Patients of this health-care provider pay a monthly membership fee ranging from $150 to $450, effectively cutting out the insurance company hassle and saving everyone loads of cash.

Minit-Medical Urgent Care Clinic: Vacationers to Hawaii usually have good medical insurance, but the waiters, bartenders and surf-bum locals need a cheaper option. This clinic specializes in low-cost, high-quality urgent care.

MinuteClinic: This chain of retail medicine clinics is competing with Wal-Mart and QuickHealth to earn a share of the 40 million uninsured Americans who rely on urgent-care.

MxSecure: With a presidential mandate calling for electronic medical records, MxSecure, which transcribes records using a 24-hour Internet-based system, is poised for growth.

RadiSys: RadiSys engineers and embeds the chips that make home medical devices work so doctors can monitor vital signs remotely.

Loading the player ...

Get People to Download Your App

Ads by Google

0 Comments. Post Yours.