Passport to Cheaper Health Care?

by Jennifer Wolff ,  GoodHousekeeping | 2008-03-21

Two years ago, Jeanne Bennett could barely walk. Severely arthritic at 48, she had tried every nonsurgical remedy — prescription medicine, physical therapy, even acupuncture — but nothing helped. Her best option, said doctors at Duke University School of Medicine, was hip resurfacing, a new procedure developed in England that was in clinical trials in the United States. Since resurfacing was not yet FDA-approved, Bennett's insurance wouldn't cover the $48,000 cost.

While considering England, Bennett also made contact with Vijay Bose, M.D., a doctor at Apollo Hospital who'd been interviewed on the show. He quoted her a price of $5,600 for the operation and her stay at Apollo Chennai, which is one unit of the 38-center Apollo Hospitals Group. He also gave her the names and phone numbers of two patients he'd treated — one American, one Canadian. When she called them, says Bennett, "they could not have spoken more highly of Dr. Bose as a man and as a surgeon." It was enough to convince her to choose India.

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