Watson said they have been in discussions with large insurance companies that are seeking to reduce costs. In the past year, Medtral has signed partnership deals with Pinnacle Health, a Boston-area preferred provider organization providing healthcare services to self-funded employers, and California-based Global Medical Conexions, a leader in the self-funded group health field.
The potential financial savings medical travel offers large health insurers and self-insured health funds is enormous when considering the striking cost differences in health procedure costs between the U.S. and New Zealand. For example, a mitral heart valve replacement that can cost up to $140,000 if done in the U.S., costs $24,500 in New Zealand. Other costs for common procedures Medtral provides include: hip replacement for $11,500 inclusive of high quality implants (U.S. price: $75,000-$100,000), robotic prostatectomy for $20,000 (U.S. cost: more than $100,000), a radical hysterectomy for $8,500 ($60,000 in U.S.) and coronary artery bypass for $22,500 compared with a U.S. price of $125,000. Even after adding airfares and accommodation costs to these procedure costs the total travel and treatment package costs provided by Medtral New Zealand often come out at around 30-40% of the equivalent procedure cost alone in the US
Additionally, with the recent currency exchange rate for New Zealand, medical procedures cost 15-20 percent less that they did several months ago.
"Our price includes everything not just the procedure," said Watson. "Other medical travel organizations operating in a first-world environment would be hard pressed to match our overall package."
New Zealand is certain to be a leader in medical travel destinations for Americans. This is hardly surprising with health costs expected to top $8,000 per person this year according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Hum
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