Mention digitizing slides and pathologists will voice concern about outsourcing. While the technology would allow for this the business models in my mind are not there and will not occur on any scale for a number of reasons. Pathologists can also prevent this from occurring with sound business practices and client service. Other specialties may face similar challenges. A recent article covers the growth of medical tourism touted as being more cost effective with comparable or better clinical outcomes. I predict the number of 1.6 million patients is a conservative figure and may be greater. So while your slides may be read in the United States, your definitive surgery may be done elsewhere…Interesting.
The Houston Chronicle (2/14, Simons, Lochhead) reported on the growing trend of medical tourism, where Americans head "overseas to escape the high cost of US care." According to Deloitte Consulting, "560,000 U.S. residents went abroad for care last year — and the number likely will rise to 1.6 million by 2012." In addition, the medical tourism industry "may be on the cusp of major expansion as governments from India to Singapore invest in state-of-the-art hospitals, vying for a global market." The Chronicle explained that "overseas providers…have lower costs because doctors often get free medical education, and don't have huge debts to pay off. Wages and living standards are often lower, and U.S.-style malpractice lawsuits are rare."
Category: Pathology News