Saturday, February 12, 2011

Markets in Everything: U.S. Medicine for Canadians


Canada's Times Colonist -- "A Buffalo-based company is the latest to get in on the medical brokering scheme that’s gaining ground in Canada as lengthy wait times force more and more people south of the border for treatment.

Cross Border Access has been helping Canadians book appointments and negotiate fees for a variety of procedures in upstate New York since May, putting a new twist on an industry that’s raising ethical questions and helping fuel the private-public health-care debate.

Unlike Canadian companies that have popped up offering similar services, this American operation charges a $200-a-year membership fee and connects patients directly with service providers." 

MP: How successful is the company at attracting Canadians to come to the U.S. and pay for medical care when it's "free" in Canada? According to the company's founder, business in 2010 more than doubled over 2009. 

5 Comments:

At 2/13/2011 3:10 AM, Blogger James said...

I have a good profit in a Toronto based company Medical Facilities Corporation, MFCSF on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which has all its operations in the US. I suspect they market to Canadians as they have surgical hospitals in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Aberdeen, South Dakota. It is up 40 percent in the last six months and still yields over 9 percent paid monthly.

 
At 2/13/2011 11:32 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Maybe the Canadians should follow the American lead for once and simply ask for a "waiver from compliance" with their health care laws.

 
At 2/13/2011 11:35 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

healthcare is just like any other good or service:

the best case scenario is "good, fast, cheap, pick two".

unfortunately, when you let government run such a system you can often get only one of those or in some cases (arguably) none at all (perhaps we could even toss the NHS in the UK into the none category)

canada is at least managing to get one (good) though perhaps not that cheaply and certainly not quickly.

the only reason you get 2 of 3 in the private world is that competitive forces drive out those who cannot do that well. in the public world, such selective forces are absent which is why dealing with the IRS is so much more difficult than dealing with your credit card company. nothing happens to the IRS for providing horrible service.

why anyone would want to trust healthcare to an agency with the same incentives baffles me.

 
At 2/13/2011 3:04 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

MP: How successful is the company at attracting Canadians to come to the U.S. and pay for medical care when it's "free" in Canada? According to the company's founder, business in 2010 more than doubled over 2009.

Free means long waiting lines that many people have trouble with. If you have cancer waiting 8 weeks for a diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. That means people go to the US and pay for the care that is free in Canada but not available to them due to a shortage of resources.

 
At 2/13/2011 8:09 PM, Blogger Rick W. said...

@ Morganovich: The incentive structure of a referral agency (like Cross Border) or an online market (like MediBid.com), is very different than a third party system (i.e. private and/or government insurance). These new business models have a middle-man, but the actual transaction is between the doctor and the patient (at least with MediBid); the middle man doesn't have incentive to restrict access or alter price in any way.

 

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