Medical tourism, a phenomenon where individuals travel to a different location to receive important medical treatments, has become increasingly popular in recent years. While medical tourism often refers to situations where people travel to another country for healthcare, this narrow definition of the term doesn’t completely describe how pervasive it has become, particularly in Meeker.
At Colorado Advanced Orthopedics (CAO), medical tourism is responsible for a large portion of our patients. Many of these people come to us from either across the state or out of state to receive top-tier orthopedic services while enjoying world-class outdoor activities.
There are a variety of reasons why a growing number of people are opting for medical tourism each year:
When Colorado Advanced Orthopedics opened in 2020 as a specialty facility within Pioneers Medical Center (PMC), our goal was to ensure that individuals along the Western Slope of Colorado had access to the same high quality orthopedic care that is found in major urban areas. However, we quickly discovered that our services appeal to a wider audience than Western Colorado residents. Within our first year, we began seeing significant medical tourism business, and this has dramatically expanded the scope of the services we provide.
From July 1, 2020 to April 1, 2023, 60% of our orthopedic patients and 26% of our hospital patients have come from outside of Meeker. This comprises approximately 7,500 patients over the last three and a half years.
The large influx of out-of-town patients was the driving force behind Pioneers Medical Center’s three-year expansion plan as well as the recently completed expansion of the Colorado Advanced Orthopedics clinic. The PMC expansion, which maintains our Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation, will add:
The hospital expansion follows a successful expansion of the CAO clinic, which added 4,000 sq.ft. of space to the existing orthopedic specialty clinic. This space was used to build:
The hospital and orthopedic expansion projects will elevate our ability to position Meeker as a medical tourism destination for orthopedic specialty care. With an increased capacity to serve more patients, we project that over 10,500 patients will be coming from outside of Meeker by 2025.
In addition, it will have a significant impact on Meeker’s economy. It’s estimated that the expansion will create a minimum of 30 new jobs. When combined with the implementation of our new Meditech electronic medical records (EMR) system, medical tourism at PMC and CAO is projected to generate:
In total, this will result in $18.9 million in economic impact for the town of Meeker.
The number of medical tourism patients that continue to flock to Meeker to receive treatments at CAO and PMC is astounding, and the economic impact on our community has been truly transformational. But when you look more closely at what our orthopedic clinic and the town of Meeker have to offer, it should come as no surprise that CAO has built a reputation as a top tier medical tourism destination.
First and foremost, it comes down to exceptional medical care. No one would be coming to CAO if our orthopedic surgeons delivered subpar care. But with one of the most dynamic teams of board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons in the state, CAO is able to deliver high quality medical care that is on par with what is provided in Denver and other major metropolitan areas nationwide.
In fact, our patient outcome data consistently backs this up, as our surgeons regularly achieve surgical outcomes that surpass industry standards in a variety of metrics.
But our exceptional care is only one part of the story. Meeker also provides a majestic backdrop for a fun-filled mountain vacation for patients and their families. We offer world-class:
In addition, Meeker has year-round activities that provide great local entertainment during your stay in town. Some of the highlights include:
You can also enjoy top tier dining options and browse a variety of shops in our downtown area. Meeker offers something for everyone, ensuring your entire family can relax and enjoy some time away while you are here for your orthopedic procedure.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Subscribe to our monthly publication highlighting Life's Joy and getting back to your life. We feature health tips, being out and about, and bringing joy to daily life.Subscribe