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Recent Research on U.S. Hospitals' International Patients Departments

Stackpole Associates’ 2010 research on U.S. hospitals’ international patients departments reveals increasing volume, varied motivations, and less training for patient care providers than international patient departments’ staff.  Conducted in March 2010 and published in June, the research surveyed 87 professionals from 48 U.S. hospitals.

In reviewing the executive summary, it looks like most respondents treat medical tourism as an incidental source of patients that they do not actively seek:

  • Only 44% of patient care staff had undergone training for accommodating international patients.  However, such patients accounted for an average of 1.5% of revenue
  • The overwhelming source of international patients was word of mouth, and physician referrals were the second largest source

In addition, the respondents reported diverse rationales for international departments, from revenue and responding to demand to “international relations.”