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I posted not long ago that the Medical Tourism Association has recently established an iTunes channel to put forward industry news, interviews, etc. Here’s some information that I gleaned from a discussion with Jonathan Edelheit, the CEO of the Medical Tourism Association, specifically regarding Health Care Reform and its impact on the industry.

Edelheit described the recession, as well as Health Care Reform, as forces that will push the medical tourism industry forward. He explained that as more people are losing their insurance and cannot afford to pay out of pocket or take out loans to cover expensive procedures, an increasing number of Americans will be searching outside of the U.S. for healthcare. This prediction is further backed by a Deloitte study, which predicts that as many as 23 million Americans could be traveling for health care by 2017. 

Edelheit also discussed some of the in-depth implications of health care reform–namely higher cost of health insurance, longer waiting times, and increasing number of hospitals pulling out of Medicare. He also listed positive impacts of the reform, which includes waiving pre-existing condition causes, eliminating lifetime benefit caps, and expanding dependent coverage to age 26.

Factoring in both the positives and negatives of the changes, Edelheit made it clear that Health Care Reform will ultimately act as a catalyst for the medical tourism industry.

Listen to the full discussion with Jonathan Edelheit and other industry professionals here.