Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Health Tourism Portal Expands Global Provider Partnerships

PlacidWay, a health & wellness tourism web portal, recently expanded its number of partnerships with healthcare providers abroad, following a company directive to increase its offerings to health tourism consumers. Previously, the site has attracted partnerships from healthcare providers in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina, Panama, South Africa and Poland. Recent additions include providers based in Brazil, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala, Singapore, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, United States, and Croatia.

Attention to the needs of both sides of the health tourism coin—consumers and healthcare providers—has been a differentiator for the web portal. “Our partnership with PlacidWay has resulted in an increased interest in our facility by health tourists” said Dr. Ismael Naypa of Yanhee International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. “PlacidWay has worked with us to ensure that we had all the knowledge, resources and tools needed to attract new clients.”

As healthcare providers around the world realize the advantages of marketing on a global basis, they have turned to PlacidWay to establish their brand and gain greater visibility. “We recently identified health tourism as a key strategy for expanding our client base” said Abhik Moitra of Artemis Health Institute in India. “By partnering with PlacidWay, we have stepped out into the world arena and have become more competitively and prominently marketed.”

Health tourism is a centuries-old industry that has recently experienced explosive growth, and one that continues to grow as rising healthcare costs, overburdened public healthcare systems, increased interest in alternative/holistic medicine and less expensive procedures abroad prompt health and wellness seekers to travel beyond their backyard for more affordable options.

PlacidWay has become a leading authority in the field of health tourism through its vision, commitment to service and determination to be the most complete resource possible” said Pramod Goel, President of PlacidWay. “We offer world class healthcare providers in exotic destinations, a formidable knowledge and information base, quick response turnaround and a one-stop approach to booking a health tourism experience.”

For more information on PlacidWay, go to www.placidway.com.

Upcoming Trends in Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery has enjoyed a long and illustrious history not only in the United States but also around the world. Recently, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons released results surrounding the rising numbers of individuals choosing cosmetic surgical procedures since the year 2000. Everything from breast lifts to Botox to tummy tucks, cosmetic surgical procedures are growing in popularity around the world. Medical tourists are able to enjoy a wide selection of minimally invasive, surgical, and reconstructive cosmetic surgical procedures in the future as trends continue to attract the attention of baby boomers, all socioeconomic demographics and genders both domestically and abroad.

Top Five Cosmetic Surgical Procedures
While techniques and methods used in a variety of cosmetic procedures are continually advancing, 2008 saw a large increase in injectable and noninvasive treatments such as Botox, as well as breast augmentation procedures. Studies have shown that over 10 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the year 2005 alone, a nearly 40% increase since the turn of the new century. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the global market now exceeds $30 billion, with a sustainable compound annual growth rate in the range of 25%.

According to recent statistics, the top trends in cosmetic surgery include:

  • Breast augmentation
  • Breast lift
  • Dermabrasion
  • Tummy tuck
  • Botox treatments
  • Laser skin resurfacing

Who Is Having Plastic Surgery?
The trend seems to be showing a desire to minimalize and reduce the effects of aging, and this desire does not seem to be limited to baby boomers. Individuals as young as 25 and 30 years old are engaging in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox and laser skin resurfacing as well as dermabrasion.

Read complete story at PlacidWay.com

Health & Wellness Tourism: The Next Great Healthcare Frontier

Have you ever traveled faraway to an exotic land? Have you marveled at their geography, their culture or way of life? Countries such as Thailand, India, South Africa, Poland, and even Costa Rica & Croatia have hidden treasures of which you may not be aware – treasures that once discovered can change your life and your health forever. This is why Health & Wellness Tourism (or Medical Tourism) is becoming one of the fastest growing industries of the decade. The dual experiences of addressing the needs of your body, mind and soul in locations that offer the lure of foreign and mysterious locales is irresistible. Add lower costs for procedures, cutting edge technology and physicians of the highest caliber, and a healthy, new you is just a plane ticket away.

Some may believe that going outside of the United States for surgeries is risky business, but did you know that many of the most technologically advanced medical centers are located outside of the United States? The growing trend of attracting international patients around the world has evened the playing field, so to speak, and patients around the world have more choices when it comes to choosing surgeons and physicians to treat them and their conditions. Especially in the medical field, borders are dissolving.

People are traveling out of country and even to places within their own country to seek both modern and alternative health services. Places like Singapore, Thailand and India (famous for all surgeries such as orthopedics, heart, cosmetic), Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica and South Africa (cosmetic and dental) use modern technologies and procedures while offering world class treatment for less money. This is because in places such as the United States, doctors have to pay such outrageous rent, medical insurance and licensing fees that they have to hike up their prices just to make ends meet. In other countries the cost for these items is much less and therefore doctors can charge less for their procedures.

For example, a heart surgery requiring the replacement of one or more heart valves costs around $200,000 in the United States. The same procedure is performed for under $15,000 in India or Malaysia–that cost includes the services of a highly skilled and trained heart specialist, transportation and accommodation fees and a few extra days to enjoy the sites of your planned vacation as well. Other procedures follow suit. Facelifts can cost $20,000 in the U.S. but are available in other global destinations for around $2,500. Dental bridges cost around $5,500 in the U.S. but only around $200 in India. The list goes on.

Read complete story on Medical Tourism at PlacidWay.com

Patients with passports | BRIAN NEWSOME | THE GAZETTE

Pramod Goel likens his dotcom to online travel sites Priceline, Travelocity or Expedia. But go to make your travel plans, and the differences between PlacidWay.com and the others soon become apparent. Rather than choosing a departure date and destination, you’ll be asked to:

– Choose a treatment

– Choose a region or country

– Choose a health care option

Depending on your preferences, you will be pointed to places as far away as India and Thailand for procedures that include open-heart surgery and total hip replacement.

The Castle Rock businessman’s startup is just the latest stage in the evolution of medical tourism, a booming industry in which sightseeing and surgery collide – or, as his Web site characterizes it, “Exotic journeys to wellness.”

For years, Americans have been traveling out of the country to get less costly treatment, most notably to Central and South America for elective procedures such as cosmetic surgery. These days, changes in health care – rising costs at home and higher-quality care abroad – have made medical tourism increasingly mainstream. Not only are more people going, but they are going for medically necessary procedures. Some employers are even offering insurance benefits to employees who seek treatment in other countries.

In 2006, about 150,000 Americans traveled overseas for health care, nearly half of them for medically necessary surgeries, according to the American Medical Association. Jonathan Edelheit, president of the Medical Tourism Association, said as many as a million people worldwide will travel out of their home country for medical care by 2010. A May 2008 study by McKinsey & Company, a corporate research firm, came up with a much smaller number – about 60,000 to 85,000 inpatient medical travelers a year internationally – but still acknowledged the likelihood of growth.

Responding to the trend, the AMA on June 16 approved new guidelines regarding medical tourism: “Until there is significant action at home, patients with limited resources may turn elsewhere for care,” said AMA Board Member Dr. J. James Rohack, in a news release. “It is important that U.S. patients have access to credible information and resources so that the care they receive abroad is safe and effective.”

Read complete story at PlacidWay.com

Changes in Attitude: More Insurance Companies Approving Medical Care Abroad

Over a half million Americans travel abroad for surgery on a yearly basis. Escalating health care costs in the United States, as well as difficulty in receiving medical care due to rules and regulations by HMOs, has prompted frustrated Americans to seek health care elsewhere. It is a well-known fact that foreign destinations often offer medical procedures identical to those in the United States for a fraction of the cost.
The reduction in cost is not attributable to any lack of quality, education or retraining. As a matter of fact, many foreign destinations use state-of-the-art equipment and procedures not currently in use in the United States. In addition, many foreign health care providers do not experience the burden of carrying large amounts of malpractice insurance that is now required in the U.S., and which drives up health care costs. Medical tourists have saved nearly $20 billion dollars in health care treatments, procedures and surgeries in the past year by traveling abroad for their medical needs.

For example, heart bypass surgery in the United States may cost an individual over $130,000. The same procedure costs under $7,000 in India or $35,000 in Korea. Likewise, a hysterectomy in the United States may cost between $20,000 and $30,000, while the same procedure in Costa Rica costs less than $5,000.

In many cases, foreign medical destinations are not only luxurious, but include the latest state-of-the-art technology and equipment available in various fields of practice. It is common for medical care contracted through a medical tourism provider to also include 24-hour observation and care as well as private nursing and private room facilities.

Not to mention the fact that individuals who travel abroad for medical care are also able to enjoy a bit of vacation time in unique or exotic locations such as Thailand, Singapore, India, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and more.

Changing Opinions on Quality Health Care
The old saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them”, seems to be holding true for many major medical and health insurance providers in the United States. Because finances are at the bottom of individual decisions to travel abroad for medical care, American health care providers are finally paying attention.

For example, CIGNA, a large carrier in the United States, is considering offering reimbursement for hip and knee surgeries in foreign destinations. Other insurance companies and their subsidiaries, such as Companion Global Healthcare Inc., of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, is beginning to offer international care as an option available in their basic health insurance plans. Indeed, many healthcare service providers are expecting and anticipating that medical tourism will be standard in the healthcare field by 2015.

Read complete article at PlacidWay.com

Dental Implants Details

Dental Implant Procedures Overview
Healthy teeth, bones, and smiles are not just important for social needs, but for overall mouth, and body health. Dental implants meet the needs of tooth loss through the insertion of artificial tooth replacements. While generally categorized as cosmetic dentistry, it is also known as prosthetic or artificial replacement dentistry.

Dental implants are one of the most common dental procedures performed not only in the United States but also around the world. Dental implants replace teeth lost due to trauma, gum disease, tooth decay, and imperfections of the root canal.

Common Dental Implant Types
Dental implants generally fall into one of two basic categories. Endosteal implants are attached directly to bone to provide an anchor for artificial teeth within jawbone structures. A Subperiosteal implant is a metal framework that fits over the jawbone to help provide anchors for artificial teeth in the event that bone support structures are damaged or inadequate.

Common types of dental implants are composed of different materials and procedures.  However, the most common type of dental implant is called a root-form titanium dental implant. This is a type of endosteal implant that is placed directly into the jawbone structure. Artificial teeth are attached to this structure with nails, screws, or cones. This type of procedure is recommended for those with minimal to moderate tooth loss.

Other types of implants, such as sub-periosteal, plate-form, and ramus-frame are also commonly used for a multitude of artificial teeth insertion procedures. Such implants are used to help correct and provide tooth placement, chewing ability, and of course, an attractive smile. A sub-periosteal implant is generally used on patients who don’t have enough bone left in the jaw to support a root form implant. Sub-periosteal implants are placed over the jaw and not in it. 

Learn more about getting Dental Implants Abroad at PlacidWay.com

Passports for Global Health Care

Cross-Border Medical Tourism
Cross-border medical tourism has become increasingly popular within the United States in the past few years.  The trend for regional travel for elective surgeries and procedures has shown a definite increase in not only the Americas, but in Western Europe, Australia and throughout Asia. As a matter of fact, over 500,000 Americans travel out of the country every year, not only to Mexico and South America, but also to various destinations in order to procure affordable, quality health care for critical care and medical procedures as well.

What It Is?
Cross-border medical tourism is a term that defines crossing another country’s borders to obtain medical treatment. In various regions throughout the world, growing numbers of natives are not only packing their bags for a vacation, but also to undergo medical procedures at the same time. The fact that such medical services in other countries can cost 10 to 90% less than it does in the United States is a mitigating factor for this influx of medical tourists.

Medical practitioners and associations within the United States are perfectly aware of this growing trend. Indeed, many health carriers and insurance companies are now offering out of country procedure coverage.

Everything from cosmetic surgery to dental needs, to hip replacement surgeries are available in countries like Mexico, Argentina, India, Malaysia, Hungary and Thailand. Many of the facilities found in those countries are regulated and accredited by medical Association accrediting boards in the United States.

Why It’s Happening?
The rising cost of health care, insurance, and demand has forced many natives to seek help across borders. As such, more and more Americans are traveling to Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica for cosmetic and dental procedures. Natives from Australia and New Zealand travel to Singapore and Thailand to save on orthopedic and dental procedures as well. Even Western Europeans from England, France and Germany are traveling to Hungary and Poland for premium vision and dental care procedures, as well as the most common elective surgical procedures like cosmetic and plastic surgery.

Why this growing trend in cross-border medical travel? Most often, it’s finances.

The attraction of saving money is what propels most medical travelers to cross borders or travel across the ocean when seeking treatments. For example:
• One quarter of uninsured citizens will travel abroad for medical care if savings of $1,000 to $2,500 can be realized.  Medical tourist tends to travel regionally to seek such savings.
• Nearly 40% of uninsured citizens will travel abroad for care if those savings amounted to $10,000 or more.  Medical Tourist will travel beyond regional boundaries for best healthcare options and prices.

Wouldn’t you?

International Medical Facilities and Standards
State-of-the-art facilities, high standards in training and expertise, as well as Board certification from United States providers sets many at ease.  Some of the most popular destinations for medical tourism surgical procedures include Mexico, Thailand, Singapore and India.

Medical technology as well as quality and standards of care in most countries around the world are on a level with those expected and demanded within the United States. The International Division of the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and facilities within the United States, also accredits facilities internationally. Many physicians who practice in European and Asian hospitals and medical centers have been trained and board-certified within the United States.

Comparison Shopping
The cost of procedures around the world drastically differs.  For example, bypass surgery in the United States can cost up to $35,000. The same procedure provided in India costs $6,000.

Transplant procedures in the United States and Britain can cost up to $200,000.

Types of Procedures Available
Mexico is a popular destination for cosmetic surgeries and dental care as well as lower pharmaceuticals costs. Uninsured Americans, as well as those who are willing to pay in cash find it hard to turn away from deals with our southern neighbor. Many United States-based hospital corporations own medical hospitals not only in Mexico City, but along the United States border, as well in South American destinations such as Panama, Costa Rica and Argentina.

Cosmetic surgery as well as plastic surgery is a reason why many Americans travel regionally to Argentina, Brazil, and Columbia. As a matter of fact, Argentina and Brazil are known for advanced treatments in these areas.

One of the most popular procedures that draws Americans to other countries, especially India and Thailand, are orthopedic procedures such as partial hip and knee replacement surgical treatments. Hospitals in Asian countries generally charge half the price of the same surgical procedures in the United States and many countries in Europe.

Cardiac surgeries such as heart valve replacement and bypass procedures cost Americans well over $200,000. It is not difficult to wonder why a cardiac patient would be interested in traveling to India or Singapore, where the same procedure costs about $10,000.

Critical Impact
The growing trend in global healthcare is certain to bring about changes within the American healthcare system, but Americans are not holding their breath in the hope for a rapid change. It will take years to revamp the medical coverage and health insurance system in the United States, as well as tackling current malpractice insurance necessities.

However, as long as the cost of medical care in the United States continues to rise, more people will be traveling internationally to receive quality health care.

For additional information, please visit www.placidway.com

Smart Global Healthcare Choices

Superlative and affordable medical care is drawing more and more people from around the world to seek medical treatments abroad.  Why not, when medical bills, transportation and lodging cost less than the deductibles and fees for surgical and hospitalization care in your own country.

As we all know, the cost of medical procedures is rising at a dramatic rate within the United States.  Medical malpractice insurance for physicians and surgeons has driven medical costs for consumers through the roof.  So, it’s not surprising that Americans are fighting back, and in an unusual way.  A growing trend called medical tourism finds more Americans seeking medical help outside of the country.  Now, if you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you have at least heard of the concept, though Europeans and Asians have been practicing medical tourism for decades.

Traveling to another country to have a wide variety of procedures done has grown increasingly popular as costs for procedures continue to cause financial hardship and strain on Americans.  If you haven’t really seriously considered traveling to another country to have your procedure done, you should.  Traveling outside of national borders saves patients thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on various surgeries and medical procedures.  In some cases, choosing to have surgery abroad costs about a tenth of what you’d pay for the same procedure in the U.S.

However, the low cost of these procedures in other countries is not due to a lack of expertise or training, nor facility equipment, but because of the different ways these countries or private practices run their health services departments.  International private healthcare systems have price transparencies that are not overburdened by malpractice insurance and pressures from third party payers such as health insurance companies.

People believe that going outside of the United States for surgeries is risky business, but did you know that many of the most technologically advanced medical centers are located outside of the United States?  The growing trend of attracting international patients around the world has evened the playing field, so to speak, and patients around the world have more choices when it comes to choosing surgeons and physicians to treat them and their conditions.  Especially in the medical field, borders are dissolving.

In addition to lower costs, the concept of medical tourism also offers patients a wider selection of techniques and experiences than many local health care services do.  Surgical and medical facilities outside of the United States, including those in Asia, e.g., India, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia, and North American cross border countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Latin America; and Eastern Block/European countries such as Hungary, Norway, Poland, are increasingly luring medical tourists with the best trained physicians, higher service standards and yes, the opportunity to save money.

For example a heart surgery requiring the replacement of one or more heart valves costs around $200,000 in the United States.  The same procedure is performed for under $15,000 in India or Malaysia – that cost includes the services of a highly skilled and trained heart specialist, transportation and accommodation fees and a few extra days to enjoy the sites of your planned vacation as well.

Other procedures follow suit.  Facelifts can cost $20,000 in the U.S. but are available in other global destinations for around $2500.  Dental bridges costs around $5500 in the US but cost only around $200 in India.  The list goes on.

Orthopedic surgery is a procedure that is gaining popularity among baby boomers for treatment abroad.  Hip or elbow replacement surgery is common for those who have suffered from arthritis or other forms of bone and joint damage.  Hip or elbow joint replacement involves removing damaged bone tissue and replacing it with a ball-type joint made of a special metal alloy.  Hip resurfacing is not a replacement of the hip joint, but a type of surgery that allows most of the original hip joint to be saved.  In this procedure, performed not only in the United States but around the world, the surface of the head of the femur, the part of the upper thighbone that fits into the hip socket, is covered with a plastic shell – type covering.  Hip resurfacing is usually suggested for active patients less than 55 years of age. 

World-class medical facilities offer not only skilled surgeons for this type of procedure, but also physical therapists to aid in recovery as well as superior patient support capabilities until patient discharge.  Everyone demands excellent standards in healthcare, and global medical facilities are also being held to high American and western standards.  If you or a loved one is considering medical tourism, take the time to research the subject.

Medical tourism is the wave of the future, and may compel changes within American medical practices.  Until then, take advantage of the best the world has to offer in the way of skills, treatments, procedures and healthcare.  Make the most of the growing number of healthcare methods in the 21st century and take back control of your own healthcare.

PlacidWay is the health information portal that offers medical vacation planners all the information they need to make informed choices and decisions.  Finding information on affordable health centers from around the world, alternative treatments, and wellness programs has never been easier.

Making the right choices relies on knowledge, and PlacidWay offers that and so much more.  Visit PlacidWay.com at www.placidway.com for additional information on the topic of medical tourism or health vacation planning.

Are you “Hungary” for a new smile?

Medical tourism is a growing trend among Americans, Canadians, and Europeans who are looking for medical procedures that cost less money and can be scheduled right away.  However, have you heard of dental tourism?  Dental Tourism involves traveling to another location to seek affordable dental care, dental treatment, surgery or dental procedures, which are normally expensive in one’s own country.  Flat world, disappearing borders, and the ease of travel today make dental tourism easily accessible and attractive from anywhere. 

While the exact statistics on dental tourism aren’t available, it is estimated that over one million people from around the world travel to get dental treatment such as cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, crowns, and root canals abroad.  There are a number of countries such as India, Thailand, Costa Rica, Hungary, Panama, South Africa, and Mexico that are marketing low cost, high quality dental services to medical tourists.  

Dental tourism is rapidly growing in the United States due to the fact that over 108 million Americans and 25 million American children lack dental insurance.  As children grow to be adults they may have a number of serious dental problems that need significant dental attention.  Poor dental care can lead to serious health problems.  The lack of dental insurance compels us to pay outrageously high dental bills from our pocket for even the simplest of procedures.  To address cost, availability, and quality, dental tourism is gaining momentum as low cost, high quality alternative. 

Even if you have medical or dental insurance and want a dental implant or any cosmetic dental procedure, you may find that your dental insurance at work does not cover high-priced dental implant or dental cosmetic services.  If you look at the fine print, you will find that most employers offer dental insurance that only offers routine dental coverage as part of a package of health benefits.

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Health Tourism, the Next Great Health Care Frontier

Have you ever gone to another country on vacation?  Have you ever marveled at their culture and their way of life?  There are many countries such as Thailand , India, and even Costa Rica that have hidden treasures you may not be aware of.  Treasures that once discovered can change your life and your health forever.

There have been medical treatments that have been practiced for centuries in Asia and other parts of the world.  The use of these techniques has been proven to work and are continued to be practiced today. The great thing about these ancient remedies is that they usually do not have all of the health side effects that some more modern techniques and medications have today. Just turn on the television. It is full of commercials promising that the new pill that just hit the market is a miracle drug.  While you see images of healthy happy people, the announcer tells you how people’s lives have been changed by this new life saving drug.  Then toward the end of the commercial, in an almost whisper, the announcer rattles off a whole list of side effects that sound like a horror show.  The only thing that is a miracle is that someone would actually take the risk of trying that new drug of the day.

Are you, like many others, tired of this roller coaster of being sick and never really getting better?  Some people have found the key to getting healthier, health tourism.  What is health tourism?  People are going to other countries to seek alternative, yet proven treatments of getting healthier and better.

Instead of just going to see the sites in other lands, people are going to places such as the Jiva Ayurveda  and Indus Valley Ayurveda Center  in India to get treatments not available to them where they live.