I have posted a number of previous notes about medical tourism in general and Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok in particular. Bumrungrad is a public company traded on the Stock Exchange of Thailand -- here's the home page for the hospital. The majority shareholders for the company are Bangkok Bank and the Sophonpanich family, the founders of the Bangkok Bank.
David Williams has launched a new medical tourism blog called MedTripInfo and he recently posted a 25-minute audio interview of Curt Schroeder, group CEO of Bumrungrad (see: Interview with Bumrungrad's Group CEO, Curt Schroeder). It's a gem and required reading for anyone interested in medical tourism. Below are some very interesting points that I have extracted from it:
- Bumrungrad uses a multi-specialty group practice business model with 700-800 physicians, all of them Thai independent practitioners; 250 of these physicians are are certified by U.S specialty boards.
- The cost of an office visit with a board-certified specialist such as a cardiologist at Bumrungrad is $14. All patients pay the same fees. According to Schroeder, physicians practicing in the group have a very low overhead (5-6%) and are able to take advantage of the sophisticated IT infrastructure including an EMR (see later).
- The total cost of healthcare delivery in Thailand is 80% less than in the U.S.; in addition to this this significant advantage, labor constitutes only about 16% of the lower cost structure.
- Approximately 70% of revenue at Bumrungrad hospital is collected at the time of service but this will change as the hospital begins to accept payment from insurance companies; the hospital currently holds contracts with 120 international insurance companies.
- Global Care Solutions, a healthcare software company recently purchased by Microsoft (see: Microsoft Purchases Thai Software Firm Involved in Medical Tourism), is one of the critical success factors for Bumrungrad. The hospital went live with a complete enterprise solution from the company in 1999, including an EMR and and RIS/PACS application.
- Bangkok will be the base for Microsoft's healthcare software development efforts with Bumrungrad as a development partner. Microsoft will also begin to integrate their Azyxxi software with the Global Care Solutions EMR at Bumrungrad.
- To illustrate the growth of their business, Bumrungrad treated 50,000 non-Thai patients in 1996 and 430,000 patients in 2006 from 190 different countries and territories.
- Regarding revenue, the yield per non-Thai patient versus Thai inpatients is 50% greater due to greater intensity of service per episode. The average cost per patient per hospital discharge is $6,000 ($1,200 per day time five days).
- Bumrungrad offers 100 pre-priced treatment packages, which are necessary and normal in the "retail healthcare" environment of Asia. Some countries like South Viet Nam place strict controls over currency exports so patients need to know the exact cost of care before they arrive at Bumrungrad. However, patients cannot qualify for these packages, according to Schroeder, until they are seen by a Bumrungrad physician, a not unreasonable requirement.
:: Update on 12/26/2007 @ 7:50 a.m.
The transcript of this interview can now be viewed here.