Patterns of Service Differentiation Among Medical Tourism Facilitators
Lydia L. Gan
University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Medical Tourism Research Center
James R. Frederick
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Pembroke - Medical Tourism Research Center
April 1, 2010
This paper studies the nature of differentiation in the market for medical tourism facilitators in the United States. Medical tourism facilitators in the United States resemble a monopolistically competitive industry. They choose to differentiate their services in several ways, including by the scope of countries and hospitals which they use, the scope of the treatments in which they specialize, the extent of involvement of medical professionals in the company, and the kinds of ancillary services they offer. The authors perform an exploratory study of the differentiation among 46 such firms. Using principal-components analysis, they detect three components: an emphasis on providing a broad selection of destinations, an emphasis on physician's concerns, and an emphasis on the travel aspects of medical tourism. Cluster analysis separates the firms’ profiles into six types.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: Medical tourism, healthcare tourism, medical tourism agents, differentiation, principal component analysis, cluster analysis
JEL Classification: I11, L11
Date posted: September 20, 2010 ; Last revised: May 12, 2011
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