Jarrett Fowler, Senior Manager of the United States Cooperative for International Patient Programs (USCIPP) recently joined Irving Stackpole on The Medical Travel Show to talk about inbound medical tourism to the US.
USCIPP, a not-for-profit membership organization, has as its mission the advancement of global access to the medical and healthcare expertise in US hospitals. The organization, the only one of its type in the United States, was created as the result of a grant from the International Trade Administration of the US Department of Commerce. Jarrett explained that USCIPP’s goal is to help its member hospitals to improve competitiveness.
At the core of USCIPPs mission is the task of collecting data. The organization sends out a detailed annual survey regarding medical travel to all of its members and receives a very high response rate. “This has been the most demanding, but also the most rewarding aspect of our work so far.” Jarrett explained. “Hospitals use different medical record systems and account for services provided and patient information in different ways, making the collection of homogeneous, comparable information extremely challenging.”
In addition to collecting information about numbers of patients treated in their member hospitals, the annual survey also collects information about the types of medical services provided, where the patients are coming from, and business-related services provided, such as second opinions, consulting agreements and collaborations with foreign providers as well as inpatient versus outpatient activity. Because of the detailed, often sensitive nature of the information USCIPP collects, only very high level, redacted information is released about the survey results.
USCIPP works to improve the services it offers its members to increase the value of membership in the organization. “We are very excited to offer our members an interactive database that will feature a dashboard tool.,” said Jarrett, “The dashboard will allow benchmarking of important health care data and, possibly, economic and social measures as well. We hope to have this available soon.”
Some US based hospitals are establishing their brands in other countries. When asked about the brands of US-based hospitals in foreign markets, Jarrett explained “Many other countries have more unified brands around their healthcare offering in the United States.” Jarrett added, “Our hope is to create a more competitive market for US healthcare abroad.”
To learn more, go to the website – www.USCIPP.net