Catalyst Conversation: Medical Tourism Strategic Options for US Healthcare21 Dec


Medical Tourism Strategic Options for US Healthcare

In 2008, more than 400,000 non-U.S. residents sought care in the United States, known as inbound medical tourism, and spent almost $5 billion for health services.

“More than 750,000 Americans (with enough cash to pay for the cost of their care and the travel expense) left the country last year for less expensive medical treatments, a number projected to grow to six million by 2010, potentially costing our U.S. health care system billions.”

Trends are showing that Americans primarily seek this sort of care for elective surgical procedures. As healthcare cost rise, the opportunities that exist are going to expand to all parts of healthcare and healthcare procedures.

During this roundtable, GCG discusses opportunities and threats that exist within the Medical Tourism Industry and debates a “Global Healthcare System” or “Global Medical Center”.

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Catalyst Conversation: Why Healthcare Reform?18 Dec


Healthcare Reform?

“Americans will spend a staggering $2.5 trillion on health care in 2009, says the Congressional Budget Office. As a share of national income that is far more than other rich countries spend, despite America’s slightly younger population. To say that Americans do not get value for money is putting it mildly. They live no longer than Europeans and die younger than the Japanese. Meanwhile, 46m of them lack health insurance.

There are many reasons why American health care costs so much. Americans love fancy new medical technology. New drugs, for example, are prescribed a year or two earlier in America than in Europe, and do not come cheap. American doctors pay a fortune to insure themselves against frivolous lawsuits. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that even in cases where no medical error was found, plaintiffs received payments a quarter of the time. And half of medical malpractice payments were gobbled up by lawyers and overheads.

But the central problem is that most Americans get their health insurance through their employers. This dates back to the era of post-war wage controls, when firms offered benefits instead of pay rises. Today’s tax code sets it in stone. Employers can buy health insurance with pre-tax dollars. Individuals cannot.”
-The Economist

GCG discusses a baseline understanding of the healthcare industry issues and the key drivers of reform and to what extent reform is necessary.

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Patient Choice09 Aug

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Patient choice, in all its forms, is one of the most controversial topics in healthcare today. Whether it is a debate on a patient’s right to assisted suicide, access to unapproved treatments or ability to refuse lifesaving treatment for themselves or a child, patient choice is sure to provoke an emotional response. In this week’s call, we’ll explore the limitations of a patient’s rights versus the obligation of doctors, insurers or the government to ensure the well-being of the patient and society as a whole.

Guiding questions include:

1. Should a patient have a right choose a treatment regiment that will likely be ineffective? What if the treatment regimen will likely harm the patient?

2. Should a parent or legal guardian of a child under 18 have the same medical choices for their child as they do for themselves? E.g., the ability to avoid a prescribed treatment regimen?

3. Should a doctor be able to assist in the suicide of a mentally capable patient? Is this ethically right? Is it ethical for a doctor to comply with a patient’s desire to avoid life-saving treatment? Are these two scenarios different? If so, why?

4. How much risk should doctors (or the law) allow patients to take on when deciding on a treatment regimen? Should this apply to treatments unapproved by the FDA? If so, what is the role of the FDA?


Arguments for and against assisted suicide

About Physician-assisted Suicide

Woman first to use Washington’s Assisted Suicide Law

Abigail Alliance v von Eschenbach [Wikipedia]

Abigail Alliance v von Eschenbach:  A Debate

Judge rules teen must get cancer treatment

Parents’ Rights, Judges Rules

Government, Healthcare, Interviews

Healthcare Conversation with Richard and Joseph Hsieh09 Aug


We are pleased to have the following two guest speakers for our call this Sunday. They are professionals focusing in the healthcare space. And yes they are in fact brothers. Richard is in healthcare investment banking. Joseph is a neurosurgery resident with a background in healthcare policy and public health. We will begin with introductions of each GCG member, and the introduction of our guests. Then start asking questions to begin our discussion. The moderator will initially begin with the following questions:

  • What do you think are the greatest challenges facing the US healthcare delivery system today?
  • What do you think of the White House’s current healthcare reform policy? Is it feasible? Is it the best proposal?
  • What are the greatest barriers to the healthcare reform?
  • What models of healthcare delivery are currently operating at the micro level here or abroad that you think we all could learn from?
  • How are or how should small business respond to the changing financial environment of healthcare funding, financing, and delivery?
Richard Hsieh is currently an associate at Edgemont Capital Partners, which provides investment banking, corporate financial analysis and consultation for healthcare companies in the areas of business acquisitions and mergers, pharmaceutical licensing, private placements of debt and equity, financial valuations of business assets and fairness opinions.Previously he was an analyst with MTS Healthcare Partners (“MTS”), a New York-based healthcare merchant bank, where he worked with middle market and large capitalization healthcare services companies. While with MTS, he executed a range of strategic advisory assignments including merger, acquisition and spin-off transactions. His favorite professional accomplishment was being able to participate in the UnitedHealth acquisition of PacifiCare in 2005. He was raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California and moved to the east coast to attend New York University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, concentrating on policy.
Joseph C. Hsieh is a senior neurosurgery resident at the University of Chicago Hospitals, and has done primary research on heath and neurosurgery policy.  He completed his BAS in biology and psychology and MS in biology at Stanford University, MBA at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, MPH at the School of Public Health at UCLA, and MD at Harvard Medical School.  He recently served full time as the Plante public policy fellow for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons in Washington D.C. and is continuing his work as socioeconomic fellow for the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies.

Our Mantra

The Global Catalyst Group seeks to gather persons of unique potential into a community dedicated to thought leadership, shared resources, and mutual improvement. Through deliberate collaboration, collective mentorship and continuous dialogue we believe that we can support and stretch one another with meaningful insight and thoughtful guidance. We encourage our membership and partners to exercise, together, their ambition, creativity, and both their professional and social networks to pursue a greater purpose than oneself. We challenge them to leave a legacy and we support one another towards this end.

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