Americans who travel for specialized, affordable health treatments have generally gone outside of the country to participate in something called medical tourism. The majority of articles and stories covering medical tourism have discussed medical facilities abroad. Very little research regarding medical tourism within the U.S. has been conducted. However, it appears that the tide in medical tourism is may be turning, with more and more patients staying inside the country to seek medical care.
Experts who have studied medical tourism point to a number of different factors that are increasing the popularity of medical tourism within the U.S. Competition from foreign facilities, especially from those facilities that offer specialized treatment for chronic illnesses, has encouraged many hospitals and medical centers within the U.S. to expand and improve their offerings. Health care reform is also affecting how U.S. facilities think about and structure medical services. Medical facilities within the U.S. are working diligently to improve their service offerings and to make services more accessible for patients. Many medical centers are also working hard to improve the overall quality of patient service by focusing on the bedside manner of medical staff.
In the Houston area, medical facilities have a high potential to impact the overall economy of the region. Houston could become a center for domestic tourism within the next decade. Houston hospitals are regarded across the nation as leaders in the movement to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare services. Houston hospitals were featured on the recent “U.S. News” Best Hospitals 2012-2013 list. The hospitals that ranked on this list cover many different specialty areas.
Houston medical institutions have done very well in the “U.S. News” rankings in the area of pediatrics, making the area a prime destination for families traveling for medical purposes. Amongst the “Top-Ranked Pediatric Hospitals for Neonatology,” Texas Children’s Hospital was ranked number two overall. Texas Children’s Hospital was ranked number three overall in the “Top-Ranked Pediatric Hospitals for Cardiology and Heart Surgery” and “Top-Ranked Pediatric Hospitals for Pulmonology” categories.
Several Houston hospitals lead the nation in quality of care for adults as well. In the category of “Top-Ranked Hospitals for Cancer Care,” Houston’s University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center ranked number one overall in the nation. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center ranked number five overall in the “Top-Ranked Hospitals for Ear, Nose and Throat” category. TIRR Memorial Herman was ranked number three overall in the “Top-Ranked Hospitals for Rehabilitation” category while the Menninger Clinic in Houston was ranked number four overall in the “Top-Ranked Hospitals for Psychiatry” category.
Individuals who have been reluctant to travel outside of the country for medical care now have excellent medical options within the U.S. It is likely that Houston will become one of the country’s most popular domestic medical tourism destinations. The combination of high-ranked medical facilities and old-fashioned hospitality make Houston an excellent choice for individuals who wish to travel in order to secure excellent medical care.
If you’re planning a medical trip to the Houston metro area and would like a temporary home away from home, Corporate Housing Associates can help. Call us today: 866-697-3434.