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Factors influencing medical travel into the United States

Factors influencing medical travel into the United States Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate the potential of 24 country-level measures for predicting the number of outbound international medical travelers into the USA, including health and healthcare system, economic, social and diplomatic and travel pattern factors. Medical travel is recognized as a growing global market and is an important subject of inquiry for US academic medical centers, hospitals and policy makers. Few data-driven studies exist to shed light on efficient and effective strategies for attracting international medical travelers. Design/methodology/approach – This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study of the 194 member and/or observer countries of the United Nations. Data for medical traveler volume into the USA between 2008 and 2010 were obtained from the USA Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, Survey of International Air Travelers. Data on country-level factors were collected from publicly available databases, including the United Nations, World Bank and World Health Organization. Linear regression models with a negative binomial distribution and log link function were fit to test the association between each independent variable and the number of inbound medical travelers to the USA. Findings – Seven of the 24 country-level factors were significantly associated with the number of outbound medical travelers to the USA These factors included imports as a per cent of gross domestic product, trade in services as a per cent of gross domestic product, per cent of population living in urban areas, life expectancy, childhood mortality, incidence of tuberculosis and prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus. Practical implications – Results of this model provide evidence for a data-driven approach to strategic outreach and business development for hospitals and policy makers for attracting international patients to the USA for medical care. Originality/value – The model developed in this paper can assist US hospitals in promoting their services to international patients as well as national efforts in identifying “high potential” medical travel markets. Other countries could also adapt this methodology for targeting the international patient market. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-6123
DOI
10.1108/IJPHM-02-2013-0004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate the potential of 24 country-level measures for predicting the number of outbound international medical travelers into the USA, including health and healthcare system, economic, social and diplomatic and travel pattern factors. Medical travel is recognized as a growing global market and is an important subject of inquiry for US academic medical centers, hospitals and policy makers. Few data-driven studies exist to shed light on efficient and effective strategies for attracting international medical travelers. Design/methodology/approach – This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study of the 194 member and/or observer countries of the United Nations. Data for medical traveler volume into the USA between 2008 and 2010 were obtained from the USA Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, Survey of International Air Travelers. Data on country-level factors were collected from publicly available databases, including the United Nations, World Bank and World Health Organization. Linear regression models with a negative binomial distribution and log link function were fit to test the association between each independent variable and the number of inbound medical travelers to the USA. Findings – Seven of the 24 country-level factors were significantly associated with the number of outbound medical travelers to the USA These factors included imports as a per cent of gross domestic product, trade in services as a per cent of gross domestic product, per cent of population living in urban areas, life expectancy, childhood mortality, incidence of tuberculosis and prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus. Practical implications – Results of this model provide evidence for a data-driven approach to strategic outreach and business development for hospitals and policy makers for attracting international patients to the USA for medical care. Originality/value – The model developed in this paper can assist US hospitals in promoting their services to international patients as well as national efforts in identifying “high potential” medical travel markets. Other countries could also adapt this methodology for targeting the international patient market.

Journal

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 2015

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