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Medical Tourism: Update and Implications - 2009 Report

Cost-saving medical tourism projected to grow 35 percent annually


With health care costs increasing at six percent per year for the next decade, and medical tourism offering savings of up to 70 percent after travel expenses, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions estimates that the medical tourism industry will recover from the current economic downturn and attain 35 percent annual growth in coming years. This growth holds important implications for U.S. health care providers, health plans, consumers and the government.

A new study, “Medical Tourism: Update and Implications,” updates the Center’s 2008 report on the industry and examines the many factors that have influenced the growth and regulation of patients traveling for medical care, including Washington’s search for ways to control the country’s soaring health care costs. This timely study already has generated coverage by news media, including the Associated Press and USA Today.

This new report features: 

  • Medical tourism guidelines
  • The role of health plans to incentivize medical travel
  • States’ initiatives to adopt legislation
  • Growth of foreign medical sites
  • Impact of the U.S. economic downturn

Medical tourism has transitioned from a cottage industry to an acceptable alternative for elective care that’s safe and cost effective if coordinated by reputable health plans and providers. The emergent technologies of distance medicine combined with insurance coverage for certain low-risk procedures provide a backdrop for health growth in this sector.

To read the full report, please download the attachment below.

Series on “Disruptive Innovations” in Health Care

This paper is part of a series of reports by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions about “disruptive innovations” in health care. Learn more about the series.

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John Pappas
Deloitte Services LP
Job Title:
+1 212 492 3922

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