Medical Tourism: Uncharted Territory for Patients

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Navigation Chart. Photo by Jeremy Keith/Flickr.

Navigation Chart. Photo by Jeremy Keith/Flickr.

James R. Goldberg, Author of The American Medical Money Machine, Is Offering a New Consulting Service to Medical Patients Considering “Medical Tourism” Treatment.

The New Wave of Exporting American Patients for Foreign Medical Care, as a Part of Public and Private Insurance, Holds Significant Risks and Decisions for Patients and Their Families!

(PRWEB) 28 June 2012

James R. Goldberg, author of, The American Medical Money Machine: The Destruction of Healthcare in American and The Rise of Medical Tourism, released a statement through his publisher, Homonculus Press representative Robert Marshall, “Via accreditation by the Oakbrook, Illinois based Joint Commission (JC), offshore hospitals are now eligible to often receive reimbursement payment from Medicare and private insurers for the medical treatment of American patients. Some call this carefully packaged “program” Medical Tourism; Goldberg calls it Medical Outsourcing.”

In response, Goldberg announced a new consulting service—Medical Tourism Patient Advisory Services—formed to assist patients considering traveling overseas for medical care. “We are focusing on qualifying hospitals and doctors which patients are considering for treatment,” Goldberg said in a recent press conference held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Many medical insurance companies are now covering care costs delivered by U.S.-JC-accredited foreign hospitals,” Goldberg said. “Since there are no international regulations governing the credibility of these hospitals it is imperative that a patient considering foreign treatment fully understand what they are facing. They must make informed, complex decisions.”

Goldberg added, “Medical Tourism has gone far beyond the accidental tourist or business person who breaks a leg while out of the country. This coverage is being sold by some of America’s largest medical insurers or can be privately purchased at rates far below that which is available in the US: this seems to be a God send, but the risks are considerable. Few people are qualified to assess the integrity of a hospital and the training and qualifications of a doctor, that’s where we come in! There is no free lunch whether paid for by insurance or privately out of pocket.”

Robert Marshall, of Homonculus press said that “A tsunami is building wherein American patients are being encouraged in waves to seek overseas, unregulated health care. Therefore, as one of the few experts in this arena, Goldberg has established an advisory service to help navigate through Medical Tourism waters which are often confusing, misleading and potentially very dangerous.”

In his book, “Goldberg relates the tragic story of his young son, Joshua, who died on February 24, 2006 at the epicenter of Medical Tourism, Bumrungrad Hospital, in Bangkok, Thailand. His death came under highly suspicious circumstances. After having forensic experts examine Joshua’s hospital chart, many non-standard practices and outright fabrications became apparent: the hospital would not cooperate nor turn over a post-mortem blood sample that was collected at Goldberg’s request,” according to Robert Marshall, publisher of Homonculus Press.

The author explained, “The circumstances surrounding my 23-year-old son’s death changed my life and transformed me from an executive into an investigative reporter.” Three years later, Goldberg published the 450-page non-fiction book, The American Medical Money Machine. The book details not only the nefarious circumstances surrounding my son’s death, but also delves deeply into how American medical insurance and hospital corporations, working hand-in-glove with the U.S. government, have been laying the foundation for exporting patients for cheaper, unregulated foreign health care. Patients are at great risk, with little recourse in the event of a medical mistake or malpractice.”

Additionally Goldberg said, “When an American citizen is a victim of medical malpractice or malfeasance overseas, the U.S. legal system has no jurisdictional authority. Victims are forced to litigate in foreign countries, such as Thailand, whose legal system is arcane and designed to frustrate and make the realization of justice an expensive pipe dream.”

Goldberg went on to explain, “More than 400 hospitals have been accredited by a look-alike American accreditation (through the JC)—except that the standards and performance of foreign hospitals and doctors are not monitored or policed! The JC foreign accreditation ‘seal of approval’ is a near-exact replica of the logo used by American hospitals. The dupe is intended to provide assurance that these foreign hospitals are operating on the same standards as US hospitals. This is false advertising and, I allege, in many cases, outright fraud.”

Goldberg said that “patients must take special precautions and inform themselves in detail of the qualifications and history of the hospital and the doctors who will treat them. Most are not qualified to make this assessment. We are.”

Robert Marshall said, “Of particular concern to Goldberg is the lack of International treaties that could and should govern the liability of foreign doctors and hospitals. Medical Tourism, to date, is uncharted legal territory. With the onslaught of aging Baby Boomers seeking affordable medical care abroad, new legal precedents need to be set as these Medical Tourism practices take hold. At least insurance policies governing mishaps should be made mandatory for any hospital or doctor offering overseas care for American patients. No such policies or protections currently exist.”

Goldberg said that since there is “no infrastructure that exists which is objective and reliable, an extra burden falls on the patients to do their homework meticulously. Most people are not prepared to do this and taking the advice of an insurance company or a medical tourism travel agency affords no assurance that their information is accurate. This is serious business, it is a matter of life and death.”

Marshall of Homonculus added, “The initial consultation is complimentary with the purchase of the book by James Goldberg, The American Medical Money Machine.” Goldberg has a background in bio-medical engineering and has spent a large part of his career as a principal and partner of one of the world’s leading healthcare consulting firms.

Goldberg went further to say, “We dig deeply into the qualifications of a hospital and whether their representations are truthful. Often they are not! There is a lot of huffing, puffing and boasting. They can basically say anything they wish without fear of being held accountable for false advertising.”

Goldberg finally stated that “my intention is to help guide people through the maze. The maze largely made necessary for people who are seeking treatment for far less money than they can afford at home in a medical world which has become dominated by greedy, profit making organizations who care little for a patient’s safety.”

Details of Goldberg’s experience and extensive research into this subject are carefully supported in his book, The American Medical Money Machine which is available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle as well as through bookstores everywhere. The advisory service can be accessed by directly calling Mr. Marshall or author Goldberg.