Purpose – The volume of international patients has been growing in the past 15 years, with developing countries gaining a larger market share. The international patients market is lucrative, given that hospitals may be able to attract an affluent clientele, and many patients from foreign countries who seek care require complicated procedures and treatments. The purpose of this paper is to build on previous work in the international business and health services fields, to develop a model that predicts a hospital's ability to attract international patients. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a synthesis of the literature on export ventures and patient choice to predict a hospital's “export” performance. Findings – It is estimated that around 70,000 foreign patients travel each year to the USA to receive inpatient medical care. These patients not only benefit hospitals and medical professionals but also benefit the local community through money spent in hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc. Strategic management, international business, and health services research fields can help us understand how hospitals can be more competitive in attracting international patients. The authors propose that the following dimensions affect a hospital's export performance: hospital resources (hospital attributes, international competence, management commitment, and strategy); institutional environment; and domestic hospital industry factors. Research limitations/implications – More empirical work is required to test the authors' model. Originality/value – Most of the studies done on international patients were descriptive in nature. This is the first paper that builds a conceptual model to help us understand what determines a hospital's performance in the international patients market.
International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 6, 2011
Keywords: United States of America; Hospitals; International patients; Patient choice; Export ventures; International competence; Internationalization of health care