The Case For Cayman’s Health City (Part One)

“A solution is not a solution unless it’s affordable.”
-Dr. Devi Shetty, founder of Health City

-- “Thump. Thump. Thump.

“If I lay on my stomach,” author Steven Brill writes in last January’s Time magazine, “my heart seemed to push down through the mattress. If I turned over, it seemed to want to burst out of my chest.

“When I pushed the button for the nurse, she told me there was nothing wrong. She even showed me how to read the screen of the machine monitoring my heart so I could see for myself that all was normal. But she said she understood. A lot of patients in my situation imagined something was going haywire with their heart when it wasn’t. Everything was fine, she promised, before giving me a sedative.”

After going in for a routine check-up, Steven Brill, author of America’s Bitter Pill, was diagnosed with something called aortic aneurysm.

Don’t know what that is? No worries. Neither do we.

Google to the rescue.

WebMd says that an aortic aneurysm is “a bulge in a section of the aorta, the body’s main artery.”

The aorta is the artery that brings oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. If there is a bulge in the aorta, it means it is weak. If it’s weak, it could burst. If it bursts, the unlucky carrier of the limp aorta has a real shot at dying a quick death from rapid blood loss.

Not ideal.

Anyway, guess how much Mr. Brill’s tab came out to be for his emergency surgery to fix his bulging aorta…

$190,000.

One-hundred-ninety-freakin’-thousand. Dollars.

And why was it so expensive? Eh. Nobody knows. Or, at least, nobody wants anybody to know.

And Brill isn’t alone. A guy replacing a distended aorta for a free trip to bankruptcy court isn’t only a microcosm of a broken system…

It’s business as usual in the Land of the Free.

And as Brill points out in his article titled, What I Learned From My $190,000 Surgery…

It gets more absurd.

  • The U.S. spends $17 billion a year on artificial knees and hips. That’s 55% more than Hollywood takes in at the box office. Some say that about 30% of the operations are unnecessary.
  • Also, the U.S. spends $85.9 billion in an effort to treat back pain, which is, Brill says, “as much as we spend on all of the country’s state, city, county and town police forces. And experts say that as much as half of that is unnecessary.”
  • 1.5 million people work in the health-insurance industry while “barely half as many doctors provide the actual care.”
  • The total health care bill in 2014 was $3 trillion. “That’s more,” Brill writes, “than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia. All that extra money produces no better, and in many cases worse, results.”
  • The healthcare industry is the only one where high tech advances — such as pacemakers, MRIs, 3-D mammograms — have increased costs as opposed to lowering them.
  • And, according to a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, an appendix removal in the U.S. has cost Americans anywhere from $1,500 to $182,955, with an average of $33,000.

Makes sense, right? Of course it doesn’t. It’s not meant to.

-- “There’s no method to the madness,” Dr. Renee Hsia, lead author of the appendix study above and researcher of University of California told NY Daily News.

“There’s no system at all to determine what is a rational price for this condition or this procedure.”

And despite this madness, many Americans seem to still think we have the best healthcare system in the world. And many still seem to think Obamacare is going to fix yesterday’s healthcare problems.

And, frankly, if you agree with them… you’re absolutely out of your mind.

Insurance companies, Big Pharma, hospital administration, third-party administrators, and a colorful array of other bureaucrats and cronies all have their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. And they are too comfortable to allow healthcare costs to go lower.

We all know why, too.

Everyone knows that Obama worked with all the special interests behind closed doors to draft the “Affordable” “Care” Act. Meanwhile, his supporters (see: apologists) were holding their palms up saying, “Shucks! It’s a real shame he has to do it this way! If only those rich people were more [fill in the blank with your favored “social justice” buzzword]. Go get ‘em Obama!”

Facepalm

When we hear that Obama “did everything he could.”

Other countries, on the other hand, aren’t tied down by the 50 shades of crony healthcare costs. And they’re able to do “radical” things — like attempt to make health care as affordable as possible — while keeping the quality high.

Why would they do such a ridiculous thing?

It’s simple…

Rational prices.

The most rational price for any health condition or procedure is, of course, the absolute lowest price possible. That way, healthcare is affordable for the largest amount of people. Because… you know… when you make healthcare expensive, you put an unnecessarily prohibitive price tag on human life.

Which is what’s happening in the United States today. For absolutely no other reason than some people want to make money.

-- That’s exactly why we’re here — in Grand Cayman. To check out a hospital called Health City.

If this is your first time hearing about Health City… we’ve been talking about it since Friday.

If you missed out, here’s the quick-and-dirty…

In short, it’s a place where… get this…  when the staff says “affordable healthcare”…

They actually mean it!

And after spending a full day with the staff… touring the facility…

Hospital bed in Grand Cayman

Speaking with the top surgeons…

Jud Anglin of MedRetreat with two of Health City's finest surgeons

Jud Anglin of MedRetreat with two of Health City’s finest surgeons

And even getting some one-on-one time with the CEO…

Jud speaking with Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO

Jud speaking with Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO

After all of that, we’ve come to one conclusion: Health City represents, without a doubt, the future of healthcare.

We have seen the light. And it is good.

And you’d have to be a fool to be in the healthcare industry and not pay attention to what’s happening in India and, now, the Caymans. (We’ll get into the logistics of it all in tomorrow’s episode. Don’t miss it.)

And just like all things incredible, Health City began with a vision…

“Health City,” the hospital’s founder Dr. Devi Shetty said, “is a vision to change the way that healthcare is delivered, and to provide the highest quality of healthcare at the lowest price, to the largest number of people.

“The current price of everything you see in health care is predominantly opportunistic pricing and the outcome of inefficiency.”

“Our intention,” Dr. Shetty goes on, “is not just to build a super specialty hospital; our intention is to build a hospital of the future.”

Dr. Shetty first proved this vision was possible by cutting heart surgery costs down 98% in India compared to the States… and has plans to cut the costs even further — from the current $1,555 to $800.

And he’s able to do so by… shocker… cutting costs wherever possible.

Instead of buying a box of $77 gauze pads (as, reportedly, American hospitals are guilty of), Devi’s cost-cutting is as holistic as his health care….

Cheaper scrubs, lower energy costs through solar and strategic power usage, cutting out all the unnecessities, and leveraging technology to make his hospitals better, faster, cheaper, and stronger…

All to create a superior, more holistic, more affordable experience for the patient. And still turn enough of a profit to pay the bills, pay the staff (all salaried, so no incentive to work for kickbacks), rapidly expand operations, and operate on up to, as is the goal of Health City, 100 Haitian children a year — for FREE.

(Since last year, they’ve saved the lives of 30 Haitian children, at no cost to the families.)

In our eyes, Health City is an unstoppable force in the healthcare industry.  And unless the rest of the industry gets wise, Dr. Devi Shetty is apt to take over the world.

And we’re not usually into monopolies, but we’ll embrace his with open arms.

-- Today, we’ll take a look at the big picture: Health City’s vision.

One of the most profound things we noticed while talking to the staff is that everyone clearly sees the vision of Health City… sees where it is heading (global takeover)… and are in it to win it.

And that means that everyone works together, leaves their egos at the door, and keeps the patients at the center of it all. Right where the patient should be.

And ask anyone who has been treated at Health City (you’ll meet some of them tomorrow), they make you feel like the most important patient they’ve ever seen.

That said, we realize now, more than ever, how important vision is. When your vision is big and clear enough, the right people start to migrate your way.

And, after seeing it with our own eyes, we are firm in our belief that Health City’s vision is a glimpse of the future. Because the right people are absolutely here. And they are ready to see it through.

Below, you’ll see Health City’s vision, as written on the wall of their conference room.

Tomorrow, we’ll drill down into this vision statement and show you what we learned specifically about Health City and the future of healthcare.

Don’t miss it.

In the meantime, enjoy the future…

Health City’s Unstoppable Vision

As written on the wall in the conference room

VISION

We will make high-quality, compassionate healthcare more accessible and affordable by providing person-centered healthcare services through medical centers of excellence characterized by exceptional values and exceptional experience, incorporating and developing best practices in a continuous learning environment, and sharing the resulting knowledge broadly to transform healthcare across the globe.

MISSION

Health City Cayman Islands is committed to delivering world-class healthcare that is accessible and affordable for all, including those who are poor and vulnerable, through innovative, internationally staffed and recognized medical centers of excellence. Our centers are characterized by compassionate and exceptional experience for patients and staff, high quality, and low cost, and reflect a world culture and healing environment that are comfortable for any guest from around the world.

VALUES

  1. Compassionate service: Generosity of spirit, especially for persons most in need
  2. Reverence: Respect and compassion for the dignity and diversity of all
  3. Integrity: Inspiring trust through transparency and person-centeredness
  4. Wisdom: Integrating excellence, continuous improvement and stewardship
  5. Creative Innovation: Courageously reducing the cost of healthcare
  6. Dedication: Affirming a positive environment and experience for those we serve and those who serve
  7. Accountability: Honoring our commitments with integrity and transparency.

QUALITY POLICY

“Health City Cayman Islands is committed to provide professional patient care at an affordable cost to reach patients globally with holistic approach aiming to continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system both in the clinical and non-clinical domains.”

QUALITY OBJECTIVES

  1. Provide professional, holistic, timely patient care.
  2. Continually strive to improve clinical knowledge and competence in patient care.
  3. To improve the Patient experience through effective Customer relationship management
  4. Develop a data driven organization that improves itself by self-evolution

Until tomorrow,

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Written By Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell is the Managing editor of Laissez Faire Today. Before joining Agora Financial, he was a researcher and contributor to SilverDoctors.com.