“PUBLIC SECRET” REVEALED: INTERNATIONAL PATIENT CARE CENTERS IN GERMANY AND THE UNITED STATES

Date

2024-05-03

Authors

Burchardt, Rahel

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Worldwide access

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Abstract

In recent years, a novel healthcare business model has emerged to provide concierge medical services to affluent international patients. This thesis provides an overview of the current practices, ethics, and economics in the growing medical tourism market in Germany and in the United States. The research examines the respective competitive advantages and disadvantages of the industry in the two countries, the differences between the international concierge medical system and the national system with regard to available procedures, incentives for the provision of care, patient outcomes, and costs. The international concierge medicine model is affected by changes in the international political landscape and this research demonstrates the effects on care in Germany versus the United States. The research for this thesis represents a literature review, direct and indirect communications with nine German and five US medical institutions, and interviews conducted with patients at international patient care centers. The thesis reveals a “public secret” of international concierge medicine, namely, a lack of transparency in cost, oversight, regulation and access that serves a medically privileged class. This research raises concerns that are political, ethical, and moral in the context of two different medical systems with a high standard of medical care.

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Keywords

Healthcare Comparison, International Patient Care Centers, Concierge Care, Medical Tourism, German Healthcare System, United States Health Care System

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