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Cosmetic Surgery Tourism

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons prepared this briefing paper on vacation-related surgery trips. The Society provides a patient safety checklist. Useful overview and link to international ASPS member surgeons. Updated 2010. This site also has a 2017 report of a study on complications and costs of medical tourism for cosmetic surgery

EU Hospitals 2018: Best Healthcare in Europe for Consumers Editor's Pick

Health Consumer Powerhouse (Brussels) names Switzerland as the new winner in its 2018 Euro Health Consumer Index. Netherlands and Norway took 2nd and 3rd respectively, among 35 European countries. New measures for mental health care bumped the Netherlands out of its long-held first place. Six categories: Patient rights, accessibility, outcomes, range of services, prevention and pharmaceuticals. Access and waiting lists get much attention. Analysis of healthcare systems and insights make this annual report a must read for anyone studying hospitals and healthcare models in Europe. Authored by Arne Bjornberg and and Ann Yung Phang. Johan Hjertqvist, is the founder of Health Consumer Powerhouse. Ninety pages, published February 2019.

Joint Commission International (JCI) Accredited Organizations (70+ countries)

List of accredited hospitals, labs, medical transport and healthcare organizations in Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cayman, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom, and Vietnam. No reports, just list.

Other Helpful Listings

Acupuncture Referral Service – Find an acupuncturist

List of acupuncturists by state and country – note, many people are listed twice. Besides the US and Puerto Rico, professionals in Canada, Australia, UK (England, United Kingdom), India, and other countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East are included in the directory. Interesting observation: no acupuncturists in China are listed

Assisted Living, Home Health, Nursing Home Average Costs 2018 (Genworth) Editor's Pick

Typical cost for home health aide in a licensed agency was $22 per hour nationwide (median). A private one bedroom Assisted Living facility cost more than $48,000 per year ($4000 per month). Semi-private nursing home median room rate was $245 per day (more than $89,000 for a full year); $275 per day for a private room. Rates vary greatly.  In Alaska, the median price for a private room was a whopping $907 daily rate. All states listed; average adult day care and homemaker rates also shown. Survey by Genworth Financial (CareScout) in May and June 2018; published October 2018

Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence – Locate a Center & Bariatric Surgeon

Locate a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence or bariatric surgeon. Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) has designated hundreds of hospitals and surgeons, as Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence. SRC is a non-profit corporation representing bariatric surgeons. It promotes high standards of care in weight loss surgery. List of centers by state; includes US, UK, Canada, Mexico and 20 other countries

Dialysis Facility Compare from medicare.gov Editor's Pick

Compare services and ratings on kidney dialysis facilities in any state or US territory, by Medicare.gov. Quality measures show relative survival among facilities and quality of care provided to Medicare patients at hospital-sponsored centers, nonprofit and for-profit dialysis centers. Patient satisfaction results also shown for each dialysis center. Time periods covered, are generally 2017 to 2018. Resources on kidney failure and end stage renal disease (ESRD) also linked

Doctor and Dentist Ratings and Reviews

Patients may rate anyone called Doctor (such as chiropractors and dentists) in the US and selected countries at this site: RateMDs.com. As of May 2018, few physicians had more than 30 patient ratings. Most physicians only have one patient rating. Doctors are rated on their staff, their punctuality, helpfulness and knowledge. Unable to sort list by rankings or number of ratings. Consumers may add a comment. Be VERY CAUTIOUS in using these ratings as the results may NOT be valid.

Fertility Clinic Success Rates – 2016 ART Report (CDC) Editor's Pick

Find out about ART clinics (Assisted Reproductive Technology) in the US and Puerto Rico, in this 588-page report by the CDC in conjunction with Reproductive Medicine societies. Shows success rates by age of woman, and both fresh and frozen embryo transfers (nondonor and donor eggs). One-page summaries for each of 463 fertility clinics reporting 2016 data. Nationally, for women under age 35, 45.7% of fresh embryo transfers from fresh nondonor eggs resulted in live births, with 49.4% of frozen embryos from nondonor eggs resulting in live births. Success rates decline with age of woman. With the less common donor eggs, about 56% of frozen embryo transfers resulted in pregnancies, with nearly 45% of transfers resulting in live births. In evaluating fertility clinics, consumers can see how large or small the reproductive program is in any state. Pub. Oct. 2018

Home Health Compare – www.medicare.gov (all states) Editor's Pick

This tool gives detailed information about Medicare-certified home health agencies. Search by county or zip code and see performance scores related to home care services. Find the graphs to compare agencies on measures related to managing daily activities, pain, teaching patients or their caregivers, getting readmitted to the hospital and more. Five star rating system and actual scores. Patient satisfaction ratings included, with a national average of 78% who would recommend their agency. 2016-2017 data

Hospital Compare – at medicare.gov (all states) Hospital star ratings, complications Editor's Pick

Federal government gives 1 to 5 stars and compares hospital ratings for heart attack (AMI), heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, hip & knee, preventing surgery infections, timeliness of Emergency (ER) dept., use of medical imaging in 2017 – 2018. Includes death rate comparisons from heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, CABG; and return to hospital (readmission) rates. Click on Timely & Effective Care, or Complications. Shows patient satisfaction HCAHPS ratings from 2017 – 2018. Some info on colonoscopies and cataracts. Editor’s Pick because the government standardized broad ratings for all hospitals, and most ratings are based on more than just Medicare patients. However, it is still complicated. Small volume hospitals will not show data for some measures. Be sure to click on Show Graphs or View More Details. Today’s stars may reflect older data than shown at the website. Read the fine print

How Good is US healthcare?

Compare the United States with Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, UK and many other countries on longevity, key healthcare performance measures, and non-medical determinants such as smoking and obesity. Interactive database shows relative actual scores from OECD’s international 2015-2016 results. Some 2017 results are shown. A few ready-made reports are available, such as spending per capita by country in 2017. However, in general, the database is complex due to its detail. Many people will have difficulty finding the higher level comparisons they wish.  An interesting comparison is that the US topped all other countries with 40% measured obesity in the total population, compared to the next countries of Mexico and Chile at 33-34% (2016 data). Countries like Japan and Korea came in at a 4-6% range.

Medicare Ambulatory Surgery Allowed Costs – 25 Commonly Performed Procedures

See this file for 25 procedure payments by Medicare and what they considered the Allowed Amount. This file shows average amounts Medicare paid to Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) facilities for selected outpatient surgery such as spinal injection (example: CPT code 62311 Medicare allowed $377, and paid $297), knee arthroscopy (CPT 29881 $1631 allowed), prostate needle biopsy (CPT code 55700 $670 average allowable cost; $530 average cost paid), simple cataract removal & lens insertion ($1679 allowed; Medicare paid $1339), bunion correction ($1825 allowed), crushing kidney stones ($2330 allowed), large bowel endoscopy ($586 allowed, plus $671 for removal of polyps), and more. Includes physician fees and payment to the ASC. Confusing file unless you know CPT codes and can use Excel files. Actual prices or charges are not shown. This is the best of what’s out there nationally, with state average charges. Old 2012 data published Sept. 2013

Office Visit Costs Allowed by Medicare (2012)

Medicare reported its average allowed cost for established patients’ physician office visit in 2012: $69 for CPT code 99213, $102 for 99214. For new patients, office visit 99203 was $103, and 99204 was $158 Allowed by Medicare. More allowed costs and Medicare payments are shown, including ear wax removal ($49 allowed) and Annual wellness visit for new Medicare enrollees ($165 allowed, and $165 paid by Medicare). Average payments exclude the amount the patient pays directly for co-pays and deductibles. Consumers are expected to know CPT codes and how to use Excel files. 2012 data published Sept. 2013

Trauma Programs: Verified Trauma Centers (ACS)

Level I, II and III Trauma Centers are listed here, by state (and other international locations), at the American College of Surgeons’ website. Trauma Center designation is a voluntary process that hospitals may choose to pursue for Adult and/or Pediatric care. Level I is the highest level of five levels. A description of what’s expected to be available at each level can be found at amtrauma.org.

VA Hospital, Medical Facility Quality and Satisfaction Reports

The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) makes its VA Medical Center oversight reports available online. Titles include Combined Assessment Program or Community Based Outpatient Clinic Reviews; Audits; or Healthcare Inspections. Listed by date; use filters on right within each category to select location. Topics include quality ratings and patient safety, consumer satisfaction & experience of care, nursing home contracts, screening and/or treatment times, volumes and more. Updated 2019

VA Medical Facilities Locator & Directory – Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a convenient search tool to find medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics. Facilities in the US, American Samoa, Philippine Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

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