Alert
Close

Introducing AARP RealPad: The Wi-Fi Tablet That Makes It Easy to Share, Learn, Connect and Play. Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
10,000 Games Galore Sweepstakes from AARP
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Medical Travel in the U.S.

Here's what you need to know about finding and financing the care you need

En español | If you want to explore domestic medical tourism for an elective procedure, check with your insurance company or human resources department to see whether your plan offers this as a benefit. If you’re paying out of pocket, you can contact a medical tourism company directly, but use common sense, because it is a new and still largely unregulated industry. Be sure to ask about how long the company has been in business, how many patients it has assisted and whether you can speak to some of them. Likewise, check online rating services to see how other patients view the doctor and hospital you have selected.

If you’re thinking about traveling out of town for surgery, there are a few things to keep in mind, say those familiar with domestic medical tourism. First and foremost, you should educate yourself about “what’s involved and what is required,” says Joe Holt, vice president of Auxiant Inc., a third-party health plan administrator that manages employer-funded health plans.

Surprisingly, patients don’t always take time for due diligence. “People will do more research on buying a set of tires than choosing a doctor,” Holt says. Michael D. Horowitz, M.D., a former cardiac surgeon who consults with health care providers, says it’s easy to do some sleuthing online, even for medical providers in other states.

Patients “should investigate a physician in another community in the United States in exactly the same way as they would investigate a physician in their own community,” Horowitz says. “That’s part of the allure of this.”

You can start by using online rating services, such as HealthGrades or the Medicare Hospital Compare  website to see what other patients think about doctors and hospitals, Horowitz says. While the reports on these sites aren’t perfect, “it’s a start,” he says.

He suggests that patients also check to see whether a physician is really board-certified (just visit the American Board of Medical Specialties website). In addition, almost all U.S. facilities are supposed to be accredited by the Joint Commission, Horowitz says.

Finally, ideally, local follow-up care should be arranged beforehand, he adds. Some of the larger medical tourism facilitators include:

BridgeHealth Medical
5299 DTC Blvd.
Suite 800
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
1-800-680-1366
www.bridgehealthmedical.com

HCS Navigator
777 Brickell Ave.
Penthouse 70
Miami, FL 33131
305-459-4882
www.hcsnavigator.com

Surgery Planet
2280 Diamond Blvd.
Suite 300 -304
Concord, CA 94523
1-800-780-8460
www.surgeryplanet.com/united-states/united-states.html

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get 25% off lens upgrades at glasses.com.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.