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The Dramatic Cost Savings of Hip Replacement Abroad


Posted by skymedicus STAFF on 7/26/2017 11:43 AM | Last Modified: September 26, 2017


As noted by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2.5 million Americans are living with an artificial hip. However, if you think that all of these people are having hip replacement surgery performed in their home city, state or even somewhere else in the US – think again!

That’s because a growing number of people each year are opting to head abroad to Mexico, Costa Rica, Singapore, India, Belgium, and many other countries to get hip replacement surgery. In fact, according to the AARP, 7 percent of all medical tourists from the US are booking orthopedic surgeries such as hip and knee replacements – and the number is climbing each year.

While there are many reasons why people are heading to the airport instead of their local hospital – such as the desire to avoid waiting lists – without question the number one motivation is to save money. With that in mind, below we highlight the dramatic cost savings of hip replacement abroad.

Hip Surgery Cost Factors

There are many cost factors included in hip replacement surgery. According to Healthgrades.com, these include:

  • An initial evaluation with an orthopedic surgeon (this can require multiple visits)
  • A series of pre-surgery appointments to conduct tests and diagnostics
  • The actual hip implant itself
  • Operating Room
  • Surgeon
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Post-operative hospitalization
  • Post-operative rehabilitation
  • Post-operative in-home recovery (including Physical Therapist, fitting the home with safety bars and other medical equipment, etc.)

The cost of each of these factors varies based on the needs of each patient, and also on location as well. However, it is not uncommon for the final price tag for surgery in the US to fall between $50,000 and $100,000. Frankly, this is not just excessive for most people, but it is prohibitive

In the past, this was an agonizing situation for patients, and many reached a point where they couldn’t get hip replacement surgery at any price due to joint and bone health deterioration. But today, the situation is profoundly better, because as noted above people can head abroad and get the hip replacement surgery they need for a fraction of the cost.

For example, an article by Harvard Law School highlighted that the costs of hip replacement surgery in the US was approximately $75,000 – and yet just $9,000 in India. And the New York Times featured the story of Colorado native who was quoted a price of $65,000 to have hip replacement surgery in the US (and surgeon’s fees weren’t even included in the quote!). He decided to have the procedure done in Belgium, and paid a grand total of $13,360 – including airfare, accommodations, and an extra week in rehab that would have been completely unaffordable at home.

The Bottom Line

Nobody wants to get hip replacement surgery – it’s not a preference. It’s a need and, frankly, it’s a right. Unfortunately, many of the factors that drive health and medical care costs in the US have nothing to do with quality of care, and everything to do with steep profit margins. That may be acceptable to hospitals, surgeons and insurance companies. But it’s not acceptable for the millions of Americans who require and deserve a solution to their pain and deteriorating health. Fortunately, heading abroad is a viable and increasingly common option, because it’s safe, it’s common, and the cost savings are nothing short of astonishing. 

To learn more about possibly heading abroad for your hip replacement surgery – or for information on how you can help and support a loved one– contact the SkyMedicus team today.  

For more information about medical tourism in general and how you can ensure a safe and successful trip, download our FREE eBook:

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Topics: Surgery Abroad



 
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