As out-of-pockets costs for medical treatment climb in the U.S., more and more overseas health providers are catering to American patients who seek to save money on their procedures. The number of foreign hospitals certified for having met U.S. quality and safety standards has been rising steadily since 2004, points out Josef Woodman, an expert on medical tourism and the author of Patients Beyond Borders.
While the savings are tempting (most procedures costing $6,000 or more in the U.S. can be done for less overseas, including travel expenses), going abroad for medical treatment is nothing to take on lightly, Woodman advises, and should only be done after patients have extensively researched their options, vetted the foreign hospital and practitioners and taken a realistic assessment of their own ability to travel.
So where are patients going to save? It depends on the treatment or procedure. For example, Costa Rica and Hungary are the world capitals for quality discount dental work. Click on the infographic above to see which other countries have a niche in the booming health tourism market.