Dr. David Crawford, MD: Domestic Medical Tourism
Domestic medical tourism means undergoing treatment abroad, where the procedure potentially costs less than it does in the United States. It was touted as one of the best ways to save money and, a few years ago, was expected to become a major industry. But while many Americans have since enjoyed the perks of medical tourism, many continue to hold back for a number of reasons:
- Like regular travel, medical tourism means having to deal with the usual paperwork. But besides passports and other travel essentials, patients may also have to secure proper documentation from their doctor back home. Traveling with so many documents can be more stressful than regular trips usually are.
- Language barrier. Communication is important in medicine and while most doctors, even abroad, are able to speak English, some patients become fearful that they won’t understand or be understood as well as they are back home.
- Travel woes. Factors like food, accommodations, currency, and transportation need to be arranged beforehand while taking the patient’s condition into account. Medical tourism can be more expensive in these areas than regular trips because of the extra considerations.
Domestic medical tourism means sourcing treatment from high-quality but lower-cost providers within the U.S. It offers all the benefits of conventional medical tourism. Some employers have found that sending their employees to specialized providers, like Ohio’s JIS Orthopedics, and under the care of experts like JIS’ Dr. David Crawford, has allowed them to save 20 to 40 percent on hospital costs. Conversely, the tactic has little to none of its predecessor’s drawbacks, making it a more feasible choice for more Americans. In fact, some experts are calling domestic medical tourism the answer to the rising medical costs in the country today.