Medical Tourism and Corruption

Elizabeth Rosenthal, who is writing a series of articles for the Times examining why the U.S. leads the world in health care expenditures, reported a story about medical tourism for her third piece, which begins with 67-year-old Michael Shopenn discovering he needed a hip replacement and learning that it would cost him more than $65,000 in the U.S. because his health insurance determined his degenerative disease as a pre-existing condition and would not cover the surgery. Shopenn looked for places outside the U.S. for a more affordable solution and eventually found himself at a hospital outside of Brussels, which charged him $13,660 for his hip joint replacement. One of the reasons for the higher price tag in the U.S. was due to transparency.