- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
Get Fair Costs for Medical Procedures in the U.S. and Overseas - View Video
Having surgery is a pretty scary proposition. You do tons of research about the benefits of having a particular surgery. You research the best surgeons who have had successes with your particular surgery. You research the best facilities in which to have your surgery, and you even speak with individuals who have had the surgery you are considering. But have you investigated the cost of the surgery you are going to have? Is it a fair price? The medications you may have to take pre and/or post-surgery are they at a fair price too? Have you investigated where you will purchase your medications possibly from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved on-line drug warehouses, if you reside in the U.S.? Yes, your insurance will cover some or all of your surgery costs, but still you need to be an informed patient about your insurance costs and other areas concerning your surgery.
There are at least 7 things to consider when having surgery
- Where to have your surgery
The cost of your surgery
Pre and/or Post surgical care
Is the surgical facility accredited?
Is the doctor reputable/board-certified?
Types of pre and/or post-surgery medications
Costs of pre and/or post-surgery medications
Where to Have Your Surgery
Do you want to have your surgery in the U.S. or overseas? Why would you consider an overseas surgery? It might be much cheaper than having it done in the U.S. By now you must be thinking are physicians overseas “up” on surgical technological advances and are the surgical centers up-to-date? What about language barriers? What about post-surgical care? Your healthcare travel can be successful if you arm yourself with the proper information. Let’s take a look at some helpful information.
First, the proper terminologies for having something medical performed anywhere other than your own country is called Medical Tourism or Medical Vacations. There are thousands of accredited surgical facilities around the world and a great place to begin your search is with the American Association for Accreditation for Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) which developed and maintains programs and a checklist to make sure surgical facilities in the U.S. and abroad are safe, clean, provide for patient safety, and make known board-certified physicians. The program through AAAASF is a voluntary one – surgical facilities do not have to place themselves under its scrutiny – see accredited clinics at http://aaaasfi.org/accredited.html. To find an internationally accredited surgical facility also visit The Joint Commission International (JCI) at http://www.jointcommissioninternational.org/JCI-Accredited-Organizations/. Surgical facilities abroad can apply to be accredited by the JCI by meeting extremely high standards set forth by the Commission.
Patients Beyond Borders is a trusted source for individuals seeking information on international health and medical travel. You will find guides on excellent surgical centers, hospitals, clinics, and physicians abroad. Visit them at http://www.patientsbeyondborders.com.
Other wonderful resources for you if you choose to have your surgery abroad are:
If you are having plastic surgery abroad make sure the doctor and the facility are accredited by visiting http://www.plasticsurgery.org which can help you locate a board-certified plastic surgeon overseas.
If you choose to remain in the U.S. http://www.zocdoc.com is a great resource too.
Get a Fair Price for Your Surgery
Obtain Good Prices for Pre and/or Post-surgery Medications or All Your Medications
It's a good idea to get a list of FDA approved on-line drug stores. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) who in turn recommends the following websites. These on-line drug stores have been verified by The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as having a valid pharmacy license and meeting state quality standards. Visit The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy at http://www.nabp.net/programs/consumer-protection/buying-medicine-online/.
Internet Pharmacies that are recommended
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy suggests that patients use websites that have been accredited through the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites or Veterinary - Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites program. These websites underwent and completed the rigorous NABP accreditation process. These Internet pharmacies had to go through a review of all their policies and procedures as well as have facilities in which they use, inspected in order for them to receive, review, and dispense medicine. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy awards sites that have successfully completed their process with a seal of approval or logo that they can display on their website letting patients know they are reputable – see http://www.nabp.net/programs/accreditation/vipps/ which stands for Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites.
Drugstore (Drugstore.com’s licensing extends to all 50 American states)
PharmacyChecker (This site will allow you to look up price comparisons for your medications)
Pharmahelper (lists Internet pharmacies that adhere to the recognized standards of The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy)
Would you have surgery in a country other than your own?
Surgery can make anyone anxious, but that anxiety can be lessened if you are a patient who is well informed about their surgery and surgical costs, the surgical facility, the medications, and most of all, about your physician.