"The health insurer Wellpoint is testing a new program that gives
covered patients the option of going to India for elective surgery,
with no out-of-pocket medical costs and free travel for both the
patient and a companion.
The program is being tested at Serigraph, a printing company in
Wisconsin whose managers have been looking for ways to curb rising
health care costs, said Dr. Razia Hashmi, chief medical officer for
national accounts for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is
affiliated with Wellpoint.
"This is a first for us," Dr. Hashmi said. "We will be monitoring
every aspect of this very closely, to make sure everyone is satisfied
and there are good clinical outcomes."
By the year 2010, more than 6 million Americans annually will be
seeking medical treatment abroad, according to the Deloitte Center for
Health Solutions, a consultancy. The potential savings are
significant. Knee surgery that costs $70,000 to $80,000 in the United
States can be performed in India for $8,000 to $10,000, including
follow-up care and rehabilitation, Dr. Hashmi said. Similar savings
could be achieved for such common procedures as hip replacements and
Read the full article at--