MANAGED CARE Q&A
Can “Travel Practice” Help Cut Orthopedic Surgery Costs?: Page 4 of 4
Can you discuss how NASH helps to lower the overall costs of a procedure?
In the United States, hospital facility fees, in particular, have escalated to vaulted levels of hyperinflation. For a routine hip or knee replacement surgery, the cost of one hour in the operating room and one night in the hospital might easily reach $30,000 or more. Concurrently, costs for clinical supplies in the United States have escalated remarkably. By contrast, at NASH, facility fees are set at a reasonable level within our bundled payment fee, providing very high value in terms of quality over price. Clinical supplies, when purchased outside of the United States, are typically much less expensive. Away from the culture of the infamous $900 toilet seats in the United States, NASH is able to purchase the same US-manufactured clinical supplies as those in domestic Centers of Excellence, but at a fraction of the price.
Can you anecdotally walk us through what a patient experience would be like?
Continuity-of-care is the hallmark of NASH. To illustrate this, a hypothetical employee named Bob who works for XYZ Company in Chicago learns from his primary care physician that he will likely need a knee replacement. Bob knows that, under the health care plan at XYZ, he can stay in Chicago for the surgery, but that the procedure will almost certainly trigger his maximum patient-pay portion, set by his health care plan at $5000. Instead, Bob chooses NASH, an option provided to him by his employer.
To get underway, the concierge staff at NASH helps Bob to select one of several local NASH orthopedists who is US-fellowship trained and who rotates to Cancun periodically throughout the year. This local doctor evaluates Bob pre-operatively in the local Chicago clinic, accompanies him to Cancun for his operation in partnership with the local on-site medical team at NASH, and treats him post-operatively back in Chicago upon his return. As a result, Bob receives excellent medical care, and his out-of-pocket cost for the procedure is zero.
While in Cancun for a week or so, Bob and his wife, as his companion caregiver, stay comfortably and conveniently at a hotel, directly attached to the hospital, paid for by his employer, along with the cost of airline travel.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
One more word about Cancun. To maximize both safety and comfort, NASH looked for a familiar location where it’s quick to arrive and easy to enjoy. Cancun certainly fits the bill. Direct, nonstop, year-round airline service to Cancun is provided, price-competitively, by multiple airlines from most major airports throughout the United States. Once a passenger has arrived, Cancun offers more than 100,000 hotel rooms, English fluency, an easy-going, tropical atmosphere, and a reputation for excellent customer service. NASH is proud to offer its services in Cancun, and we welcome the opportunity to speak with any self-insured employer in the United States about how to include its employees within the NASH program.