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  #41  
Old 10-22-2012
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Re: Our Medical Experiences in Mexico

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Originally Posted by cupper3 View Post
......I suspect YMMV depending on where you live, but I'm sure that is the case in United States.......
Not really. If more expedient or appropriate medical care is too far away in the US, and you don't have the means to get to it, we have an infrastructure to fly you there for free on private aircraft. I know, because I volunteer to fly for them.
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  #42  
Old 10-28-2012
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Re: Our Medical Experiences in Mexico

I am in the military so I am the recipient of socialized medical care here in the United States. My wife recently had a significant surgery. It was handled expeditiously, outsourced to a top-notch surgeon in Nashville. No issues, but Tricare capped the payment to the doctors at approximately $9k. It was billed at $38k, so there must be a pretty significant markup.

We also lived in Canada for a year, as part of an exchange program. My younger daughter was born in Toronto. The experience was excellent. Our first doctor was an ass - we immediately requested a new ob/gyn and got one who was much more in tune with my wife's needs/desires (second birth).

Our first child was born in Germany. Not a great experience, but the quality of the care was very good. Still, setting the mood with candles in the delivery room was unique. We also visited a pediatric emergency room in Sicily once, and left after great care and didn't owe a cent.

We intend to head out in a few years when I retire, and are actively following threads like this, discussing the kind of care available in other countries in the Caribbean and Central America and Mexico. We have high expectations about the potential care we will receive.

While living in Korea several years ago, my wife saw a doctor on the economy on very short notice and received excellent care.

Americans need to get over the idea that we are always the best and everything is done the best way possible here. Our experience is that medical care isn't too shabby in lots of other countries, and while sometimes you need to manage expectations, often the care is just as good as, if not better than, the US.

Steve
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Last edited by tankersteve; 10-28-2012 at 02:36 PM. Reason: addition and clarification
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  #43  
Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Our Medical Experiences in Mexico

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
More people immigrate to the US than nearly the next four countries combined. Overall, on average, we have something more attractive than anywhere else on the planet. Warts and all. Mexico didn't make the top 15. Canada, with their nationalized health care, made a good showing at about a quarter of the US. Seems to take more than nationalized health care.

I know this is an old discussion but I have been off sailing. My comment is not about foreign healthcare, although we have been pleased on the few times we have needed it in places like French Polynesia and Fiji. Rather it is about chart reading and the conclusions that one can and should draw. This looks like a chart from The Economist (great publication by the way, not sure why they call it a newspaper though). There are two sets of stats in the graphic. You use the bars graphs to suggest that the US is the most attractive destination for immigrants by saying that there are more in the US than in the next four countries combined. This is true, but the point is moot since the population of the US is more than 4x that of the other four. More instructive are the numbers to the right (foreign-born popn). Using this measure the US is not close to the highest so this would suggest that other places are highly attractive (Switzerland, Canada and Australia stand out). Don't know if this data includes illegal immigrants or not, but I suspect it does.
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Last edited by killarney_sailor; 10-31-2012 at 02:24 AM.
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  #44  
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Re: Our Medical Experiences in Mexico

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Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
......the point is moot since the population of the US is more than 4x that of the other four. More instructive are the numbers to the right (foreign-born popn). Using this measure the US is not close to the highest so this would suggest that other places are highly attractive (Switzerland, Canada and Australia stand out)......
While graphs can be misleading, I think this one is correct.

As the world's population considers where it might emigrate to, its decision is not based upon how many people are already in the destination country. The proper denominator would be the planet's population. More people on the planet chose to go to the US during that decade than any other country. That's what the graph is saying. The US would still be in the same relative attraction, whether it's population doubled or halved.
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  #45  
Old 11-07-2012
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Re: Our Medical Experiences in Mexico

my two cents... and this will have nothing to do with which country has better care, is more affordable, provides faster care, or who has lower taxes. This isn't in response to anything anyone has said in particular, but a general response to comments about greed and/or money.

Care is based on the individual care provider, and there are good and bad people everywhere you go (in every way). There are good doctors everywhere you go, just more of them in some places...

On the point of the cost of healthcare, no matter where you go: don't be upset that your surgeon or physician wants to make good money. Doctors have worked incredibly hard to obtain their education and training, and sometimes the things they do are just plain amazing.

Frankly, if a pediatric heart surgeon who can repair the still-beating heart of a premature neonate by hand and see that child become well enough to leave the hospital and live a healthy life, then if he or she wants to drive a Porsche or Ferrari and live in a huge house then I have absolutely no problem with that what-so-ever. Now let me contrast that with the money an NBA basketball star is making and I'll ask you which one is contributing more to humanity? People are willing to spend thousands (and thousands and thousands) of dollars on season tickets to professional sports while wearing their team sweatshirt they paid $100 for because it's got a licensed logo don't seem to have an issue with it. But then if they have to pay a co-pay for a surgery they're upset.

Again, this is not in direct response to anyone or any post. Just an observation of where we spend our money and how I feel it's misdirected at times.

Another thing to consider is that health care in the US is often expensive to make up for those that aren't paying for it. You go the emergency department here and you cannot be turned down based on your ability (or inability) to pay due to Federal law. Many of those bills go unpaid and the cost is recouped in other revenue streams. Nope, it doesn't actually cost a few grand to get an x-ray, but the last three people might not have been able to pay for theirs. Fair? nope... not saying it is, just saying it's a reality. Also, bear in mind hospitals have non-revenue departments that need to be paid for... like security, IT, grounds/maintenance.... They don't make money for the hospital, but that's going to have to be paid for too, thus procedures and care start looking expensive.

Anyway.... just wanted to interject a few of these thoughts. How any country pays for healthcare is not a simple equation. It's complicated stuff and is different from one region to another. I personally don't have any experience as a patient outside the US, but have taught emergency medicine in South America and feel confident that we take a lot of things for granted in North America, whichever country you're in.
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  #46  
Old 11-08-2012
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Re: Our Medical Experiences in Mexico

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Originally Posted by biology View Post
my two cents... and this will have nothing to do with which country has better care, is more affordable, provides faster care, or who has lower taxes. This isn't in response to anything anyone has said in particular, but a general response to comments about greed and/or money.

Care is based on the individual care provider, and there are good and bad people everywhere you go (in every way). There are good doctors everywhere you go, just more of them in some places...

On the point of the cost of healthcare, no matter where you go: don't be upset that your surgeon or physician wants to make good money. Doctors have worked incredibly hard to obtain their education and training, and sometimes the things they do are just plain amazing.

Frankly, if a pediatric heart surgeon who can repair the still-beating heart of a premature neonate by hand and see that child become well enough to leave the hospital and live a healthy life, then if he or she wants to drive a Porsche or Ferrari and live in a huge house then I have absolutely no problem with that what-so-ever. Now let me contrast that with the money an NBA basketball star is making and I'll ask you which one is contributing more to humanity? People are willing to spend thousands (and thousands and thousands) of dollars on season tickets to professional sports while wearing their team sweatshirt they paid $100 for because it's got a licensed logo don't seem to have an issue with it. But then if they have to pay a co-pay for a surgery they're upset. Again, this is not in direct response to anyone or any post. Just an observation of where we spend our money and how I feel it's misdirected at times.

Another thing to consider is that health care in the US is often expensive to make up for those that aren't paying for it. You go the emergency department here and you cannot be turned down based on your ability (or inability) to pay due to Federal law. Many of those bills go unpaid and the cost is recouped in other revenue streams. Nope, it doesn't actually cost a few grand to get an x-ray, but the last three people might not have been able to pay for theirs. Fair? nope... not saying it is, just saying it's a reality. Also, bear in mind hospitals have non-revenue departments that need to be paid for... like security, IT, grounds/maintenance.... They don't make money for the hospital, but that's going to have to be paid for too, thus procedures and care start looking expensive.

Anyway.... just wanted to interject a few of these thoughts. How any country pays for healthcare is not a simple equation. It's complicated stuff and is different from one region to another. I personally don't have any experience as a patient outside the US, but have taught emergency medicine in South America and feel confident that we take a lot of things for granted in North America, whichever country you're in.
biology,

You are so right!

And the bolded part is why I do not and will not support professional sports of any kind. (I also hate t-ball through high school stuff too).
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  #47  
Old 11-09-2012
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Re: Our Medical Experiences in Mexico

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Originally Posted by tankersteve View Post
My wife recently had a significant surgery. It was handled expeditiously, outsourced to a top-notch surgeon in Nashville. No issues, but Tricare capped the payment to the doctors at approximately $9k. It was billed at $38k, so there must be a pretty significant markup.
'Glad that this worked out ok but you are only seeing this from one side. It’s not that there is a significant mark up as such, it’s that insurance companies demand large discounts, which has created inflated charges. (Tricare is effectively acting as a government medical insurance company).

Not so long ago, if you were sick or injured, you went to a medical provider (doctor, hospital, etc.) where you were treated. There was some flexibility but mostly there was a charge for whatever you had done and you paid it.

Then someone figured that they could take the uncertainty out of your personal medical costs and make a profit, by providing a service – you paid them a regular amount and they paid for your medical treatment. Medical insurance was born and it created some upward pressure on medical costs because they were no longer as constrained by how much you could afford to pay. But this was minor compared with what happened next.

As employers started to contribute to medical insurance and more and more people were covered, the insurance companies, with an eye on their profits, created networks of approved medical providers and negotiated discounts for services with those providers. As the insurance companies got bigger, it reached the point where doctors and hospitals couldn’t survive if they weren’t part of the network, so the insurance companies negotiating power became greater and greater and they demanded bigger and bigger discounts. But the medical providers still had to make a living, so they started increasing their fees to compensate. This created an upward pressure on “published” prices across the medical community.

We are now at the stage where published charges are much greater than are actually being paid - as long your medical costs are being paid my an insurance company, that is. The problem is that some poor smuck who is uninsured or not covered by their particular insurance, ends up paying a very inflated price. Sometimes a doctor will try to help those who pay out of pocket and who don’t have much money by “cheating” on the billing but it is a big risk for them.

And this is only one of the problems. But of course, we don’t need healthcare reform.
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