medical procedures

The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills.

So some researchers decided to see what happens when 9-year-olds write the patient guides.

A Washington Post review of data from Florida outpatient surgery centers discovered that some gastroenterologists and other physicians were being paid for doing procedures that would add up to  more than 12 hours a day -- in some cases, more than 24 hours a day.

Both insured and uninsured patients have reason to comparison-shop for medical procedures in non-emergencies, but that has been tough to do. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, a Tampa company, Save on Medical, offers a website that tries the Travelocity approach: people who need a medical procedure can lock-in a price and book an appointment online.   

The Medical Tourism Association expects to see a huge increase in the number of people who will travel abroad for medical procedures. It’s easy to see why, when you compare the cost of heart bypass surgery: it’s $144,000 in the United States, and just $5,200 in India.