Utah is paying public employees to make the trip for prescriptions in Mexico

Tijuana, Mexico • Hospital Angeles towers over a neighborhood that, but for the palm trees and signs in Spanish, could be in Salt Lake City.

TGI Fridays and Sam’s Club are around the corner. U2 plays on the speakers at a coffee shop across the street. At the end of Paseo de los Héroes, the main street through Tijuana’s medical district looms a massive statue of Abraham Lincoln.

This is where some Utahns fill their most expensive prescriptions under a cost-saving measure that made national headlines when it was announced. In the first year since the state’s “Rx Tourism” program for public employees launched, 10 Utahns have traveled over the Mexican border to pick up specialty medications at about half the price charged in the United States. In return, the state covers airfares for the patient and a companion and offers a $500 cash incentive for each trip.

“It was a no-brainer,” said Ann Lovell, who has made four trips to Hospital Angeles in the past year to pick up Enbrel for rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to the cash payment, Lovell avoids the hefty copay she’d have to cover in the U.S. under her plan through PEHP, the insurer that covers 160,000 Utah public employees and family members.

“It’s kind of like $1,000 in my pocket,” Lovell said.

Medical tourism long has been a workaround for Americans seeking procedures that often are not covered by their insurance, and the streets of Tijuana’s medical district are lined with clinics for everything from bariatric surgery to dental care and optometry.

Yet pharma tourism for specialty drugs is a relatively new phenomenon here — and it’s different from the buyer-beware market for medical treatments and procedures.

“At the end of the day,” said Chet Loftis, director of PEHP, “we’re talking about the same drug.”

But the cost is vastly different — typically 40% to 60% of the list price in the United States.

In total, the state has saved $225,000 on drugs bought in Mexico by patients who require any of the dozen or so specialty drugs — mostly treatments for multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders — that PEHP identified as having the most potential for savings.

Legislators and PEHP administrators had anticipated more people would participate, said Travis Tolley, clinical operations director for PEHP; Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, said in an interview with National Public Radio last year that he hoped for savings of at least $1 million.

But every client who has made the trip to Tijuana has opted to return, Tolley said, and now PEHP is expanding its travel incentive to Vancouver, Canada, where a clinic is right inside the airport.

In the meantime, state officials have been inundated with requests for information from business and government leaders desperate for solutions to escalating prices for specialty drugs. Though they make up only about 2% of all drugs prescribed, they accounted for about half the money spent on prescription medications in the United States in 2018, according to the health research firm IQVIA.

How it works

The trip to Hospital Angeles is surprisingly quick.

Flying from Salt Lake City to San Diego International Airport takes about two hours. At the base of the baggage claim escalator in San Diego, Javier Ojeda greets first-time patients with a name placard and a driver.

“We never leave [patients’] side,” said Ojeda, general manager of Provide Rx, the pharmacy that works with Hospital Angeles to obtain and dispense specialty drugs for U.S. patients. Provide Rx also makes all travel arrangements, including a motor service staffed by bilingual drivers, who escort patients out of the airport and into a van for the short drive south.

If you blink, you might miss the Mexican border, about 20 minutes from the airport. Southbound travelers aren’t screened, and the van crosses into Tijuana without stopping. It’s another 15 minutes or so to the hospital, via freeways and major thoroughfares.

photo of clinic in Tijuana

(Erin Alberty | The Salt Lake Tribune) Clinics, hospitals and pharmacies line the streets of Tijuana, Mexico’s medical district, marketing to American patients who cross the border in search of lower prices or services their insurance may not cover.

At 1.6 million people, Tijuana is a sprawling metropolis, but most of the medical services are concentrated in the northern part of the city, not far from the border. Small clinics and large hospital campuses alike stand adjacent to clusters of loft apartment buildings and trendy restaurants in this cosmopolitan neighborhood; there are about a dozen sushi places within a mile of Hospital Angeles.

“Pretty much everyone who’s a little uncomfortable gets here and says, ‘Oh, this is nothing like the def con 5 situation I thought,’” said Joe Willix, chief experience officer for Medical Travel Option. The Texas company matches U.S. employers to international health care providers to reduce the costs of employees’ health care.

At the hospital, patients are whisked past manicured tropical plants and through an airy lobby to a doctor’s office. Patients submit medical records to Provide Rx from their U.S. doctors when the trip is booked, but a Mexican physician must meet with each patient and sign off on the prescription for the pharmacy to fill it, Ojeda said.

The doctor’s visit may amount to a quick exchange of papers or a more thorough physical, depending on the patient’s condition. Then Ojeda provides the pre-ordered medication, and the patient is ready to return to San Diego.

From the jetway in Salt Lake City to the exit of Hospital Angeles, getting a prescription can take as little as three or four hours.

Nearly all of the PEHP clients who have visited Tijuana reacted most strongly to the same thing, Tolley said: “The ease of the trip.”

Getting back to San Diego can be a bit trickier. U.S. border officials have created a “medical lane” at the San Ysidro crossing to streamline reentry, and Provide Rx briefs patients on the usual script: “Always declare your medicine as personal use.”

Ojeda said the wait at the border rarely exceeds 90 minutes and usually is much shorter. The Salt Lake Tribune contacted eight PEHP clients who have made the trip, and they reported wait times from 10 to 90 minutes.

But San Ysidro is still the busiest border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, funneling about 90,000 travelers into the United States each day. Patients’ flights back to Salt Lake City tend to be scheduled late in the day, Lovell said, to provide a cushion of time in case of border delays.

“It’s a long, long day,” said Lovell, 62, who works as a teacher for deaf students. During a trip in February, for example, she left her home at 5:30 a.m. and didn’t return until midnight, she said.

photo of Ann Lovell

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) “It’s a drain on me physically,” said Ann Lovell of her exhausting, 18-hour day trips to Mexico every 12 weeks to buy Enbrel for her rheumatoid arthritis. Lovell’s state insurance pays for her to fly to San Diego roughly four times a year, to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana to purchase her medicine. She transports it in the box at right.

But the savings of that long day are profound: Enbrel’s list price in the U.S. is nearly $1,300 per weekly dose of 50 mg, and Provide Rx charges less than half that. For 12 weeks of medication, the savings are more than $9,000.

Over a year, the savings for one patient on Enbrel is more than $40,000 — which more than covers four inexpensive plane tickets and the $2,000 in cash incentives.

The question of safety

When Lovell told friends she was planning to take PEHP up on its offer to send her to buy medication in Tijuana, she said, “people thought I was crazy, because Mexico has a bad rap.”

Confirming the safety of the drugs and the trip was the first order of business when PEHP began to create the travel program, Loftis said.

Although Tijuana is now a fast-growing urban center that attracts crowds of international travelers each day, its reputation still suffers from Americans’ memories of horrific violence that decimated the tourism industry there about a decade ago, when cartel warfare over trade networks into the U.S. spilled into even the city’s wealthiest areas.

Today, Tijuana’s crime rate is rising precipitously, but it is overwhelmingly focused on local meth users, the Los Angeles Times has reported. That violence is generally invisible to the upscale business districts between the border crossing and Zona Río, the neighborhood where Hospital Angeles stands. All eight PEHP clients contacted by The Tribune said they felt safe during their excursions.

“I was probably the first time a little bit hesitant,” said Jason Pierce, who has made three trips to pick up Stelara — an immunosuppressant that is the most expensive drug on PEHP’s list, at more than $11,700 for a 30-day supply.

“But everything’s been fine. The way they’ve got it set up, they pick you up, they’ve got your name on the piece of paper — you don’t have to worry.”

Lovell, who is deaf, said she initially worried about how she would communicate if something were to go wrong. She has cochlear implants and lip-reads — but accents can make speech difficult for her to understand. And American Sign Language and Mexican Sign Language are mutually unintelligible.

But Ojeda has accompanied her through each visit, she said, and now she feels more confident. “It’s pretty old hat,” Lovell said, “and nothing changes from visit to visit.”

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that bringing prescription drugs into the United States from another country is illegal “in most circumstances,” Americans are generally allowed to bring 90-day supplies of medications for personal use.

U.S. regulators also warn that medications from outside of the country “do not have the same assurance of safety, effectiveness and quality as drugs subject to FDA oversight.” The World Health Organization in 2017 reported that about one in 10 medical products bought in low- and middle-income countries was either “substandard or falsified.”

But PEHP officials say the drugs bought by Utah patients are strictly regulated. Provide Rx is a boutique pharmacy for high-end medications, and Hospital Angeles — part of the biggest hospital system in Latin America — offers services that compare to major research hospitals in the U.S.

photo of doctors and nurses at a clinic in tijuana

(Erin Alberty | The Salt Lake Tribune) Doctors and nurses gather at a reception desk at Hospital Angeles in Tijuana, Mexico. The state of Utah is paying public employees and their dependents to travel to the hospital to buy expensive medications at prices lower than in the United States.

“They’re not stopping at a corner pharmacy across the border,” Tolley said.

To confirm the authenticity of the drugs, Tolley said, PEHP officials tracked the supply chain from the manufacturers to Provide Rx, reviewing lot numbers and verifying the pharmacy’s relationships with wholesalers and manufacturers.

They also looked into safeguards that the Mexican government puts on pharmacies and supply chains, Tolley said. “The rules between the two countries are different but similar.”

In fact, said Becky Winslow, a clinical pharmacy specialist in Delaware, Mexican pharmacy regulations exceed the FDA’s on some points. Winslow, in 2017, was contracted to inspect Provide Rx for a U.S. insurer. Now Winslow works with Apollo Vanguard, a Texas-based health care cost consultant that coordinates trips to Tijuana for the employees of clients.

“I was impressed with their operations,” Winslow said, noting that Provide Rx’s practices complied with U.S. and Mexican standards.

The pharmacy itself is a nondescript office near Hospital Angeles. There is no storefront, because all of its medications are dispensed at the hospital. In fact, the storage room often contains just one box of medication. With 63 U.S. clients filling 138 specialty prescriptions in a little less than two years of operation, Provide Rx typically has each patient’s order delivered individually from one of two wholesalers shortly before they arrive.

Those wholesalers obtain the drugs from the same manufacturers that supply U.S. patients, Ojeda said. All of the Utah patients contacted by The Tribune said their medications performed no differently from those bought in the United States.

“It’s the exact same branding and everything — it’s just in Spanish,” said Lovell. “That took away my fear completely.”

The drugs arrive ready to dispense to the patient; although Provide Rx has a pharmacist on staff, he doesn’t measure out or mix medications. Instead, the pharmacist is focused on ensuring compliance with the detailed requirements of Mexico’s equivalent of the FDA, known as the Federal Committee for Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS).

Those are the regulations any reputable modern pharmacy in Mexico should be following, said Paulo Yberri, CEO of Hospital Angeles.

Patients who wish to travel on their own to Mexico to buy medication should look for authentic drugs from reliable supply chains, Yberri said.

“Buy straight from the pharmacy. Make sure it’s a well-established pharmacy, that you can see all the appropriate permits, that it’s a formal business place,” Yberri said. “I wouldn’t be pulled into a dark basement to get medications. But if you’re going to a well-established business, it’s regulated.”

Getting employees to go

Before PEHP began offering the $500 cash payout to pick up medication in Tijuana, patients weren’t making the trip.

PEHP for years offered to cover travel to Hospital Angeles for medical procedures after Salt Lake City requested the provision for is employees — but with no other incentive, no one had taken the option, Loftis said. For PEHP clients, the savings from less-expensive prescriptions or care in Mexico mostly benefit the state — and, by extension, taxpayers.

Some employers outside Utah also offer cash incentives to their employees to travel to Mexico for specialty drugs, said Armando Polanco, CEO of Apollo Vanguard. In fact, incentives can be as high as $3,000, he said, though the larger payments are used in part to cover travel and other trip expenses.

Other employers offer paid time off instead, Polanco said. “It’s almost like a little vacation to get away to San Diego.”

That’s what keeps Pierce returning. He and his wife, who is covered by PEHP through her job at the state health department, have extended their trips into regular weekend getaways in Southern California.

photo of doctors and nurses at a clinic in tijuana

(Photos courtesy of Robbin Williams) Javier Ojeda, left, greets patient Jason Pierce at San Diego International Airport. The state of Utah has contracted Ojeda’s business, Provide Rx, to transport Utah patients to Tijuana, Mexico, where they can buy certain expensive medications at far lower prices.
Pierce and his wife, Robbin Williams, enjoy a day at the beach during a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border to purchase his refill of Stelara. The prescription drug can be bought in Mexico at less than half the U.S. price. Pierce and Williams have opted to turn their trips into minivacations in Southern California.

“We turn it into a three- or four-day trip,” said Jason Pierce, who is 49. “We just get a hotel or Airbnb, go stay on the beach, hang out and come home.”

Some employers have had success appealing to employees’ sense of duty to their coworkers, said Curry Willix, founder of Medical Travel Option. If one person’s major health expense can be reduced, the reasoning goes, it can keep premiums lower for everyone, especially at a small business.

“They do a really good job of educating their employee population about the financial burden they’re under as an employer to provide health care,” Willix said. “They’re doing all they can to not raise employee costs annually, whether it be premiums, deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses.”

One of Willix’s clients has persuaded nearly every eligible employee and dependent to travel to Tijuana to buy specialty drugs.

“Once they understand the process and the benefit to themselves,” Willix said, “pretty much everybody bought in because they do like helping the company.”

But the very existence of a pharma tourism market is a sign of a broken health care system, Willix noted. She’s not surprised, she said, that she has seen only employers with self-insured plans, or a public entity like PEHP, seeking international sources for specialty drugs.

Commercial insurance companies are more enmeshed in a drug supply chain where there is little price transparency, she said.

“The wealth to be gained at the insurance level is significant,” Willix said. “I’m not seeing evidence that they’re really interested in many new ways to do things, like go out of the country to procure services at another price point.”

The American difference

A study released by Congress this year found Americans “pay on average nearly four times more for drugs than other countries — in some cases, 67 times more for the same drug.”

In the 11 other wealthy countries the researchers studied, as well as in Mexico, governments negotiate with drug companies to rein in prices.

The San Ysidro border crossing, between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico

(Erin Alberty | The Salt Lake Tribune) The San Ysidro border crossing, between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, is the busiest land crossing between nations in the Western Hemisphere. Some 70,000 vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians head north across the border each day.

The key difference in the United States: Those negotiations are conducted by for-profit companies called pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs. Here’s how it works:

• Insurance companies hire PBMs to determine which drugs are covered by their health plans and the amount that their patients will pay for them at a pharmacy.

• Three PBMs control about 80% of the U.S. drug market, so they are able to demand rebates from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for getting the companies’ drugs covered by insurance plans.

• PBMs say they pass on those rebates to insurance companies, which can then lower premiums for patients.

Critics say that this system promotes higher prices: Drugmakers have an incentive to raise their list prices so they can compete by offering bigger percentage rebates. And the rebates are generally kept secret — so patients can’t know how much of the rebate PBMs and insurers may be keeping for themselves, or how much a drug would cost if the rebates weren’t built into the prices.

Democrats in the U.S. House in December passed legislation that would allow the federal Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate Medicare prices on 250 commonly used drugs — and would require drugmakers to offer those same prices to private insurers.

But President Donald Trump has said he would veto the bill, arguing it is too restrictive to drugmakers and will suppress research and development. Meanwhile, a bipartisan bill on Medicare drug costs is pending in the U.S. Senate — but it does not authorize the government to negotiate prices.

As the cost disparities persist, some state and federal officials have begun to explore importing drugs from Canada — as federal law has allowed for years. The provision requires the approval of federal regulators, which no state had sought until Vermont began preparing an application in 2018.

Utah legislators last year considered creating a drug import program. But after representatives from the pharmaceutical industry warned it would likely be challenged by federal health officials, state senators defeated the measure in a committee.

Since then, three other states have begun applications, and the Trump administration has said it is open to proposals. Federal administrators in December published draft rules that would allow pharmacies and wholesalers to co-sponsor proposals with government entities to import certain drugs from Canada.

But the rules would exclude many drugs that contribute heavily to U.S. drug spending, such as insulin and several of the drugs in PEHP’s travel option, like Humira and Enbrel.

Meanwhile, the proposal has gotten intense pushback in Canada, where health professionals have said U.S. imports could drain Canada’s supply. Pharmacies in Canada “are not equipped to support the needs of a country 10 times its size without creating important access or quality issues,” the representatives of 15 Canadian health advocacy organizations wrote in July.

Mexican providers have shown no such reluctance to take on U.S. pharmaceutical customers. But physician Noemí Cabrales, who consults with PEHP clients at Hospital Angeles, said that as escalating drug costs drive more and more Americans across the border, care providers in Tijuana have watched with concern — not for the Mexican supply, but for the U.S. patients who are facing a crisis of access to health care.

“In a country like the one you have, as rich as it is, it’s inconceivable,” Cabrales said. “Looking at the problem as a human being and as a professional in medicine, I feel worried. Yeah, some people can come over here. What about the rest?”

Imagen relacionada

Hospital Angeles How They Changed Private Healthcare in Mexico

The relatively recent concept of medical travel may not be new to Mexico, before 1986 many Mexican affluent patients were traveling across international borders to obtain high quality private health care at several destinations like Rochester, New York and the Texas Medical Center, in Houston, TX and most insurance companies in Mexico included in their health plans international coverage for an additional cost.

A then growing private health organization in the U.S. opened the Humana Hospital in Mexico City aimed to provide healthcare to those recurring patients from Mexico in their own country and benefit from this potential market.

After a brief period of operations, on December 10, 1986 Mexican entrepreneur Olegario Vazquez Raña acquired the Humana Hospital and the first Hospital Angeles was born. Located south of Mexico City, Hospital Angeles Pedregal grouped most recognized physicians and advanced technology.

Within the next decade, with Dr. Roberto Simón as CEO, Grupo Angeles Health Services continued to grow and established 8 more hospitals in Mexico City and other 6 cities in the country including Querétaro and Guadalajara. In 2006 Angeles Group, celebrated their 20 Th anniversary with 20 hospitals in 12 cities.

Today with recent openings in Tampico and Xalapa, Hospital Angeles has reached an unparalleled number for the region: 23 hospitals in 14 cities most of them currently in the process of certification with the Joint Commission International.

With significant investment in infrastructure and high end health technology, Hospitales Angeles has become the first privately owned chain of hospitals in Latin America to offer world class health services nationwide.

Angeles Hospitals in Numbers:

  • 23 Hospitals across Mexico
  • 1,700 beds
  • 11,000 board-certified specialists
  • 120,000 hospitalized patients a year
  • More than 6,000,000 million outpatient visits a year

In order to provide better administrative support Grupo Angeles Servicios de Salud (Angeles Group Health Services) is the management entity for Hospitales Angeles and has also paid attention to other areas of healthcare:

  • Angeles Care: provides nursing services and home care equipment
  • Biomédicos: clinical labs and imaging
  • Centros de Diagnóstico Angeles (Angeles Diagnostic Centers): contact clinics and Hemodyalisis centers.
  • Angeles en Línea, (Angeles Online): strategic communication and patient education.
  • Angeles Pharmacy: 16 locations in Mexico.


Medical Tourism ~ Health Without Borders

Hospitales Angeles soon became a medical travel destination. Mexico’s unique location makes most major cities easily reached by air travel from major US cities, with direct flights or the option of flying to a familiar U.S. city where a medical shuttle awaits to take patients to the Angeles complex.

For decades, the best educational medical institutions in the U.S. and Mexico have had collaboration programs and thus in addition to ample clinical expertise, most physicians and specialists at Hospitales Angeles have US training and certification, and many actively collaborate on existing research and treatment protocols for global pharmaceutical firms. The geographic proximity and its central time zone allows for enhanced collaboration and efficient communication with primary healthcare providers.

Started in 2007, Angeles Health International is the innovative medical travel division of this large private hospital network in Mexico. AHI offer patients full English-fluent concierge services handling everything from medical consults, appointments and records transfer, as well as travel arrangements for patients and their families in comprehensive and affordable medical travel packages.

More than 6,000 American and Canadian medical travelers have been treated in the past three years in the areas of bariatric, orthopedic and spinal surgery, interventional cardiology, cataract surgery, major dental care and even kidney transplant. Patients from Central and South America also travel to Mexico find advanced healthcare in Spanish, closer to home.

Hospitales Angeles Today

Since the beginning, Grupo Angeles Servicios de Salud understood that in healthcare, as in all other areas of life, evolution is essential for development. Although each of the 21 Angeles Hospitals relies on well-established strengths, prestige, and recognition beyond Mexico´s borders, exponential growth required new planning and reorganization of processes to face the new challenges in a changing economy and the competed health care market.

With a new structure but with the same vision, Angeles Group Health Services, works today for the fulfillment of its principles:

Continue to be the leading private health system across Mexico, recognized internationally by:

  • High Professional Capacity
  • State of the Art Technology
  • Exceeding Service and Patient-Centered Care

Even with a defined strategy for growth, reaching proposed goals only becomes possible with the arduous work of its collaborators’ team: their effort, experience, talent, and dedication are reflected in all clinical, operative and administrative areas. The recognition as one of the most important private hospital systems in Latin America implies a commitment to give the best service possible, with quality and warmth, to patients and their families.

In compliance with the company´s philosophy, Grupo Angeles Servicios de Salud established objectives and high-quality standards that meet national and international guidelines. The quality of service and care offered, along with an ample investment in technology, constitute competitive advantages and differentiation from competitors.

According to results derived from satisfaction surveys, 94 percent of patients at Angeles Hospitals are satisfied with the service received.

Hospital Angeles Mexico City, Pedregal

Hospital Angeles Pedregal features 189 hospital rooms, including luxurious suites, designed to create a friendly and serene ambiance to enable rapid recovery of the patient. It is also equipped with cutting edge technology in the areas of radiology, nuclear medicine, hemodynamics, ultrasound, MRI, CT, and PET scanning. It features 22 operating rooms with preoperative and recovery rooms.

Hospital Angeles Mexico City, Lomas

Hospital Angeles Lomas is located on an eight-acre campus and features over 900,000 square feet of interior space, a ten-story medical offices tower with more than 175 medical offices and 375 modules; a three-story tower containing administrative offices for admissions, with eight stories of specialized medical care.

Hospital Angeles Puebla

Built-in June 2007 with impressive architectural design, the beautiful modern Hospital Angeles Puebla features 95 private patient rooms, including 85 standard rooms, 5 suites, 4 master suites, and an ambulatory surgery suite.

The hospital is a full-service state-of-the-art facility with departments in Cardiac Care, Neurosurgery, Transplants, General and Laparoscopic Surgery, Orthopedics, Gynecology, and Pediatric Surgery. It also features a Coronary Care unit, adult, pediatric and neonatal intensive care, as well as expansive intermediate therapy and nursery centers.

Hospital Angeles Tijuana

Established in January 2006, Hospital Angeles Tijuana is built on the highest principles of medical care and patient hospitality, and is located just minutes from San Diego in a beautiful commercial district that features many nearby amenities, including a movie theater with films in English, and a handful of excellent restaurants to choose from. Top tier medical care with the most modern technology and services – including state-of-the art operating rooms and diagnostic services across all medical fields – ensures the Hospital attracts top medical talent from around the world. All patient rooms at Hospital Angeles Tijuana are private with en suite bathrooms, featuring a flat screen television and sleeping options for visitors. Suites feature private entryway and dining/conversation area.

Hospital Angeles Guadalajara

Built in the 1940s as the maternity Hospital del Carmen, Hospital Angeles updated and expanded the facilities in 1996, establishing Hospital Angeles Guadalajara as one of the top medical facilities in all of Mexico. Hospital Angeles has demonstrated leadership in the areas of cornea transplantation, kidney transplantation and open-heart surgery, including the first heart transplant performed in a private hospital. Featuring 108 patient rooms, Hospital Angeles Guadalajara provides 24-hour Operating Room, Laboratory and Radiology Services.

Other Angeles Hospitals in Mexico City include: Hospital Angeles Metropolitano, Hospital Angeles Mocel, Hospital Angeles Mexico, Hospital Angeles Roma, Hospital Angeles Clínica Londres, and Hospital Angeles Lindavista built and inaugurated in 2009.

SPECIALIZED CARE CENTERS AT HOSPITALES ANGELES

Center for Neurorehabilitation

Unique in the region and created for integrated rehabilitation of children and adults with acquired cerebral damage or medullar injuries, the CNRA offers in one place the best scientific and technical conditions for patient rehabilitation, through a multidisciplinary and intensive therapeutic program that includes:

Physical therapy

Cognitive therapy

Occupational therapy

Language therapy

Recreational therapy

Psychiatric and psychotherapy support

Nutrition

Respiratory therapy

Training for sphincter control

Patients and their families receive warm integrated care, guidance and emotional support, creating a transition space for their reintegration to the community with the best quality of life possible.
Institute for Obesity and Metabolic Syndromes

The Institute for Obesity and Metabolic Syndromes was created to cover the needs of patients with obesity and related illnesses. Through a careful study and a precise diagnosis, the Institute can offer the best options for integrated services and treatment, while maintaining close contact with patients throughout the whole process.

At the Institute patients find:

  • Customized attention.
  • A multidisciplinary group formed by recognized specialists
  • The best treatment options
  • State of the Art technology
  • Precise diagnoses
  • World class facilities

Cardiovascular Institute

This highly specialized center equipped with advanced technology, offers a multidisciplinary approach for patients with cardiovascular conditions, today the first world-wide cause of mortality among adults and older patients. Angeles Hospitals rest on technological and human infrastructure that conform this center of excellence for cardiology, interventional cardiology as well as heart and blood vessel surgery.

  • Angiography, Angioplasty, and positioning of Stents
  • Computerized tomography (CT) Scan
  • Catheter ablation
  • Pacemaker implantation
  • Heart valve repair and replacement
  • Aneurism repair
  • Cardiothoracic surgery

The Institute offers integrated and multidisciplinary programs to patients and nonsurgical treatment packages with a preventive approach, all based in precise diagnoses that will allow them to make significant changes in lifestyle to improve their health.

Oncology Institute

One of the most urgent public health problems is neoplastic disease, which along with related illnesses and conditions occupy the first place as cause of death for adults. For this reason, Hospitales Angeles offers the Oncology Institute for the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of cancer patients. A team of recognized specialized physicians and health care professionals are highly committed to fighting the disease through comprehensive attention programs that include medical care, as well as prevention and research. Inside Hospitals Angeles cancer patients, as well as the general public, have within their reach the latest medical and technological developments, some unique to the region.

  • Positron emission Tomography (PET CT)
  • Linear accelerator
  • Medical oncology

Institute of Orthopaedics
Attention protocols in Orthopaedics compare with those available at leading hospitals around the world. Hospitales Angeles feature the level of technology required to implement the latest and most modern techniques in this field, including specialized treatment of congenital and acquired conditions.

  • Spine Surgery
  • Hip Replacement
  • Knee Surgery
  • Sports Injuries

Hospital Angeles’ world-class Orthopedic Surgery Program helps thousands of people reclaim healthy, active lives every year, treating congenital, age-induced and sports-related structural and muscular problems with unparalleled expertise and compassion. Joint resurfacing and replacement, stress fracture treatment, surgical and non-surgical arthritis treatment, and repair of ligament injuries are among the many orthopedic treatment services offered.

Specialty Centers

A group of highly qualified doctors and specialists trained in Mexico, as well at recognized institutions beyond its borders, together with first-level facilities comprise the Specialty Centers located within Hospitales Angeles. Each of these Centers covers medical and surgical specialties and has well-established strengths in its field.

Angeles Center for Assisted Reproduction – The latest assisted reproduction techniques for the treatment of infertility, such as in vitro fertilization (IFV).

Center for Digestive Physiology – Diagnostic procedures available: capsule endoscopy, endoscopy, esophageal manometry and colo-rectal physiology.

Center for Urology and Urodynamics – Diagnosis and treatment, cystoscopy and ureteroscopy, pyelography, lithotripsy.

Center for Ophthalmology – Surgical treatment of cataract, glaucoma, strabismus, retinal damage, corneal transplant, pterygium, and laser refractive surgery.

Center for Bone Marrow Transplant – A transplant unit with international standards such as air filtration, and specialized care and monitoring to assure the success of every procedure.

Center for Women’s Care – Diagnosis and treatment for women at different stages of development: maternal and fetal care, plastic surgery, urology, pelvic floor rehabilitation, and post-menopausal health.

HOSPITALES ANGELES COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

Medical Group

Strict quality controls are applied to the registration of physicians within the Group, promoting medical excellence among the more than 11 thousand specialists that work in different Hospitales Angeles.
Angeles Health Services Group and Hospitales Angeles, also support the advancement of medicine through incentives to physicians and researchers such as the Olegario Vazquez Raña Scholarship and the Angeles Prize both awarded to outstanding specialists.

The various programs of study for specialization available at Hospitales Angeles, are endorsed by prestigious Universities and Schools of Medicine.

Advanced Technology

With constant investment for over two decades, Hospitales Angeles have been pioneers in Mexico, being first to implement the latest technologies for diagnosis and treatment of diseases in all specialties. Practicing physicians and specialists, find a comfortable environment and facilities with the support of modern equipment.


The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on prescription drug prices in Utah through the Association of Health Care Journalists’ Fellowship on Health Care Performance, supported by The Commonwealth Fund.

Source: sltrib.com, medicaltourism.com

The Mazatlan Post