Free medical facilitation service – is it really free?

In our last blog we talked about the cost of medical facilitation services.  Today we would like to talk about free medical facilitation services and what you need to know.

Different business models exist in our line of business.  How companies charge for their services depends on their business model.

Firstly, there are small companies like Health Vantis that offer full concierge service, provide clients with their full attention and are very hands on.  Depending on where they send their clients, their revenue stream may come from their clients’ fees, the facilities they recommend (this type of transactions is considered unethical in the US and Canada), or from both.

Secondly, there are medical tourism companies that offer an online quote directly from a medical facility using their portal or for a small fee you can procure the help of a case manager that will assist you through the process. Some offer travel arrangement assistance as well. These companies are compensated by the facilities they make available online plus revenues from the client fees for their case management services.

And thirdly, there are companies that act exclusively as an online portal to treatment centers and can give you a quote via email if you provide your medical records. We recently discovered a medical facilitation website that allows clients to put a minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion surgery in their shopping cart and check out. Needless to say, the lack of information that the product had under their description made us wonder if anyone in their right mind would ever be willing to check out with USD $74,346.00 worth of ortho surgery.  These online services perhaps collect revenue in the form of subscription fees from advertised facilities and serve as an advertisement portal.

So who bears the cost of medical tourism facilitator services? Our claim is that it all goes back to the person who is receiving the medical treatment.  Whether the client is aware of it or not is a different question.  Health Vantis is transparent with our fees to ensure the best possible service to our clients. Some facilitators choose to build their fee into a total cost and collect full payment. They, in turn, pay the facility and keep the remaining amount as their commission.  What can happen when this method is used is that you are unaware just how much you paid in facilitator fees compared to the actual price of your procedure or surgery.  Industry standard is 10-15% the cost of your surgery, however, we have heard of clients being charged as much as 23% with this method.

In the US and Canada, medical facilities will not pay a medical facilitator to bring a patient to them. It is done so for ethical reasons that are clear. In other countries that is not the case, so the medical facilitator gets paid by the facility. The issue with this is obvious. You will be sent to the facility that pays the facilitator, which may not be the best one for the client. In addition, the pricing already includes the price of a facilitator, but without the patient knowing.

So when you hear that you are getting a free medical travel service please do keep in mind that it is absolutely positively not free. In fact, you have no idea of the cost of the service, because it is hidden in your total bill.

Health Vantis chose a transparent fee structure and is honest and upfront with its clients. You will know what our fees are and pay us directly and you will know what the doctor/facility is charging for their fees and pay them directly.  We feel that our client deserve the trust we ask of them as they are trusting us with their most important thing – their health.