Why Buying Health Care Should be More Like Buying Cars

“If domestic hospitals actually had to compete with international hospitals the way American car companies have to compete with Toyota and Honda, they might be forced to become more efficient.”

That’s the thesis of James Surowiecki, contributor to The New Yorker’s Financial Page, who suggests in his recent Club Med article that, in an economy with the cost of health care on the rise, 40 million uninsured and Obamacare possibly set to be overturned by the Supreme Court, the popularity of medical travel will reach a Gladwellian tipping point.

Mr. Surowiecki conjectures that remaining barriers to medical travel – also known as destination health care  – have eroded.   Already a popular practice (some  hospitals treat more than 400,000 foreign patients per year), destination health care is set to become commonplace as a matter of economic necessity.

Americans will, as a matter of course, include international hospitals in Latin America, Europe and Asia among their consideration set when reviewing treatment alternatives.  Their employers and American medical device manufacturers will lead the way.

They will be  motivated as much by the 5 star care of international surgeons and hospitals as by the significant savings over the US health care system’s steep costs.   Read the whole story “Why the Logic of Free Trade In Medicine Is Becoming Harder To Resist” over at The Health Traveler.

Learn more about destination health care for treatments as varied as adult stem cell treatment for COPD,  metabolic surgery for Type 2 diabetes, dental care and more here.

Why Ginger Grant Would Never Marry a Dentist

The Professor, Yes! A Dentist, Never!

…once off the island, that is!  Because *on* the island, Ginger and the dentist-like Professor were clearly destined to be.

Maybe it was a perceptive dentist and not a garden variety school yard bully who first coined the famous couplet that has been annoying we Titian-haired types since time immemorial:

“I’d rather be dead than red in the head!”~observant dentist of yore

That was my conclusion when I read the recent study detailed in Prevention.  The study found that red heads have a specific gene (MC1R) that may be at the root of why they are twice as likely to report avoiding dental appointments due to fear and anxiety. The study’s authors speculate that redheads with the MC1R gene may be resistant to certain pain medications, and therefore more likely to anticipate a pain that is more intently felt when compared to their fairer- and darker-haired friends and family.

What it means: It’s possible, say the researchers, that redheads with the gene in question tend to be resistant to certain pain medications and therefore really do feel more pain, and, justifiably, more anxiety, during their dental treatments.

But fear of the red-headed variety or not shouldn’t prevent you from getting a twice-annual check up: research links periodontal disease to a wide variety of chronic illnesses including stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

The article had a special reassuring message for redheads:

“Things don’t hurt as much anymore,” ~Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association.

Gain, With No Pain

Are Redheads More Scared of the Dentist?!

With anesthesia  much more effective, say the ironically named Harms, patients no longer experience the pain that was common to common dental procedures – an opinion that dentists from around the wrld share.

“It is not like the old saying, No pain no gain,” says Dr. Alberto Meza. D.D.S. who has a private practice in Costa Rica that bustles with so-called American ‘dental tourists’ – a favored destination for patients of Dental Travel Guides. (877-505-5303)

“Our tools and techniques and improved so much in the past decade, it is no pain and all gain!”

Hollywood actor and fitness guru to the stars (George) Russell Reynolds agrees. After a lifetime of insecurity about his smile, Russell took the plunge and had a smile makeover with Dr. Ceballos in his upscale Tijuana Mexico practice located just 20 minutes from San Diego, in the Rio business district of the bustling city. Dr. Ceballos is another popular dentist in the Dental Travel Guides premier dental network.

Click My Pic to Read My Story!

“I knew that not only was Dr. Ceballos using the latest and best technologies available in dentistry, but that I was safe in his care and in my decision to do this work with him and Dental Travel Guides.” ~Russell Reynolds, actor and personal trainer

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