Are Commission Payments for Medical Tourism Fair?

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04/04/2013 | By: Guest Contributor

As medical tourism gains recognition as a viable choice for inexpensive health care, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of travel companies that have emerged to help patients undergo a successful medical surgery overseas for affordable cost

Thanks to the massive savings medical tourism allows and the skyrocketing costs of health care, more patients are considering medical surgery abroad while enjoying a refreshing vacation.  

Medical tourists are packing suitcases and boarding planes for almost any medical treatment, from plastic surgery to heart surgery to hair transplantation.  

Medical tourists concede that traveling abroad for health care offers great value for money and seamless medical treatment.

On the other hand there is a whole other process that runs on behind scenes, involving the provider and medical tourist agenc—which patients may not be aware of.

Medical tourism agency acts as a liaison between patient and the provider.

Medical tourist companies work by arranging and managing the entire patient’s medical journey. They also help provide resources for follow up care upon the patient’s return.

Medical tourism agents help patients navigate the often bewildering world of global health care. Medical tourism facilitators, if they are modeled appropriately, should not add any additional cost to the process and actually create significant value for the patient.  

Health care tourism agencies play a vital role in the safe delivery of health care abroad. Planning a medical trip overseas bears a variety of logistical challenges; however when medical tourism agency is in the picture, patients can enjoy a comfortable and convenient experience.

A patient coordinator at a medical tourist agency offers personalized services from booking flights and hotel accommodation to organizing transportation, medical appointments and aftercare.

But how medical tourism companies make profit, since the patient is not charged for additional services?

It is common for medical providers to pay medical tourist facilitators a commission for each patient brought in, depending on the type of treatment. Some providers reward them with incentives, bonuses or enticing discounts for greater volumes of patients.  

Medical tourism companies should consider declaring to its customers from every provider. Transparency is always the key to a healthy and successful business.  

A commission is a tool to give sales people to sell more. There is nothing wrong with giving/accepting commissions. They are generally fixed by law or set by customary practice. The amount or rate is transparent and publicly indexed in the documentation of the transaction.

If the relationship between the patient and health care provider is commission-based, the agent might attempt to attract customer by offering incentives such as airport pickups, transportation to hospital, touring and other services. This becomes an additional benefit to the patient.

However it is a double edged sword. The risk here is when the patient coordinator signs the patient with clinics offering a high commission, placing less priority on the quality of medical service provided.

Additionally, the line between health and travel can become blurry. Some patients may confuse medical tourism companies for travel agency because they offer to arrange airline tickets to their customers.  

For this reason it is imperative, as a medical tourism agent, to clearly state the objectives and mission of your business and the services you provide.

Building a candid and open relationship with your patients and providers is a very important factor in maintaining transparent business and helping those who in need of efficient and affordable health care.




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