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Proposal for Medical Seastead – Looking for Collaborators

Home Forums Research Business Proposal for Medical Seastead – Looking for Collaborators

This topic contains 24 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of spark spark 1 year, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #1696
    Avatar of joffemd
    joffemd
    Participant

    This is a proposal for a Seasteading business concept that could be executed in the near term.

    Key Facts:

    (1) Florida has the highest health care costs in the United States

    (2) Cuba, which is about 90 miles from the nearest point in Florida, has very low health care costs, but very high life expectancy for a country with such low per capita GDP.

    (3) Medical tourism from Florida to Cuba is almost impossible due to US travel restrictions.

    (4) The Cuban government is desparate for foreign exchange.

    This fact pattern suggests an opportunity for a Seastead. Here is how I see it working:

    (1) An old hospital barge would be purchased, refurbished and repurposed as a Seastead in international waters between Florida and Cuba.

    (2) Each day, physicians would commute by boat from Cuba to the Seastead. The Seastead operator would need to have an agreement with the Cuban government, and would likely have to take measures to prevent physicians from defecting to the US.

    (3) The Seastead would form a health insurance company and/or enter into a provider agreement with one or more existing Florida-based insurers. The incentive for insurers to participate would be lower costs at the Seastead versus on-shore medical services in Florida.

    (4) Patients would receive some incentive from the insurance provider (lower premium, copay and/or deductible) to use services on the Seastead.

    (5) The Seastead would operate a ferry service from one or two Florida ports adjacent to population centers for patients.

    Medical services on the Seastead could be part of a healthcare network that also includes on-shore providers. Alternatively, patients could perform tests on their own (by visiting a pharmacy or using in-home diagnostic equipment connected to the internet) and use the Seastead exclusively for provider visits and in-patient care.

    I see this as an exciting opportunity for a number of reasons, including:

    (1) The chance to increase bilateral contacts between Americans and Cubans.

    (2) The chance to demonstrate a market-oriented solution to high and rising healthcare costs.

    (3) The chance to prove that Seasteading can address real-world practical problems.

    I am putting this idea into the public domain because I don’t have the time to implement it. I would welcome the opportunity to consult and help out on this, but I hope that a motivated Seasteading entrepreneur can take this concept to the next level.

    Marc Joffe

    #16309
    Avatar of JLMadrigal
    JLMadrigal
    Participant

    I like the idea a lot. But from what I know about Cuba, its regime is hostile to the marketplace in general. Can you convince me that it may be open to an offshore medical free zone of this type? Can you get an audience with Raul Castro?

    Market failure is a statist myth.

    #16344
    Avatar of joffemd
    joffemd
    Participant

    Thanks for your interest.

    Cuba has a substantial tourism industry operated largely by for-profit foreign coporations. So, I think it would be fair to say that the regime is willing to use the marketplace when foreigners and their money are involved.

    Cuba also has a medical tourism industry. See, for example, http://www.futureyears.com/health/medical-tourism/cuba/

    It may not be necessary to reach Raul Castro directly. I think the first approach would be to operators of medical tourism facilities in Cuba – who undoubtedly have relationships within the bureaucracy.

    #16383
    Avatar of JLMadrigal
    JLMadrigal
    Participant

    How do current medical tourists circumvent travel restrictions that prevent US citizens from visiting mainland Cuba?

    During hurricane season, would there be any legal issues in mooring the vessel in a Cuban port? How about a Florida port?

    If the vessel were to pass through the Panama Canal to calmer waters each year, which country do you think would make a good alternate host for medical services?

    Have you priced any vessels yet? I have sent you a message.

    Market failure is a statist myth.

    #16528
    Avatar of joffemd
    joffemd
    Participant

    How do current medical tourists circumvent travel restrictions that prevent US citizens from visiting mainland Cuba?

    Actually, this restriction is the economic basis for the Seastead. The US law prohibits Americans from spending money in Cuba. There is no prohibition against visiting a Cuban doctor on a vessel.

    During hurricane season, would there be any legal issues in mooring the vessel in a Cuban port? How about a Florida port?

    I think Florida would be the best option. I am not aware of any legal issues in that case.

    If the vessel were to pass through the Panama Canal to calmer waters each year, which country do you think would make a good alternate host for medical services?

    Costa Rica is another good medical tourism center.

    Have you priced any vessels yet? I have sent you a message.

    No, and sorry for the delay in responding…

    #16529
    Avatar of shredder7753
    shredder7753
    Participant

    no need to move. this moored 20m x 20m structure has an enclosed garage for a speed boat, it generates its own power, and best of all it can submerge way below the surface during a hurricane:

    ____________

    My Work II

    “Leadership and do-ership are not the same thing”

    #16543
    Avatar of JLMadrigal
    JLMadrigal
    Participant

    Perhaps the vessel should be moored much closer to Miami but in international waters. This would increase access to alternative treatments and medications and lower cost care for American patients – while not subjecting the MedStead to the Cuban regime.

    Many physicians from Cuba (and other Latin American countries) are having difficulty finding work. The Cuban regime in particular is preventing graduates from medical school from practicing by not releasing college transcripts and other important documents and records. If we were to certify, bond, and employ Latin American physicians from Cuba who are already citizens of the US, there would be no need to assist the Cuban regime with their enslavement.

    Physicians from other Latin American countries (for whom citizenship is much harder to obtain) would not need to be US Citizens in order to practice on the stead.

    Both the physicians and the patients who visit the MedStead would benefit from the replacement of bureaucracy and red tape with more practical methods of ensuring quality care.

    Market failure is a statist myth.

    #16580
    Avatar of joffemd
    joffemd
    Participant

    JL: If there’s a supply of qualified doctors in the US, it would be possble to scale up: multiple Seasteads located near large coastal cities.

    I am surprised to hear that a lot of Latin American born doctors in the US are having trouble finding work. How do we connect with these folks?

    Shredder: Thanks for the design, however, I would be biased toward finding a used navy ship. The business concept itself has a lot of risks; I would be reluctant to layer new technology on top of that.

    #16581
    Avatar of shredder7753
    shredder7753
    Participant

    i can see the concern about new technology, but if u rather shoulder the cost of maintaining a steel navy vessel, bro… thats a real risk to ur medi-steads business success! my apologies for not yet having my automated production facility up and running, but it will be a while before you’re ready to take customers. dont pass off the idea yet.

    ____________

    My Work II

    “Leadership and do-ership are not the same thing”

    #16588
    Avatar of JLMadrigal
    JLMadrigal
    Participant

    joffemd wrote:

    JL: If there’s a supply of qualified doctors in the US, it would be possble to scale up: multiple Seasteads located near large coastal cities.

    Yes. We could start smaller than a hospital barge or other military vessel and scale up to that too – as the concept proves itself viable. Perhaps we could repurpose a large catamaran or small cruise ship.

    joffemd wrote:

    I am surprised to hear that a lot of Latin American born doctors in the US are having trouble finding work. How do we connect with these folks?

    That shouldn’t be a problem. Basic direct publicity could be accomplished through ads and articles in medical journals and other information sources through which Latin American medical grads keep apace.

    joffemd wrote:

    Shredder: Thanks for the design, however, I would be biased toward finding a used navy ship. The business concept itself has a lot of risks; I would be reluctant to layer new technology on top of that.

    As long as the vessel or stead can be adequately insured and the workers bonded, There is no reason that it could not be accepted into a network of offshore health care providers. The first vessel, however, must be seaworthy and ready for launch with no major alterations, in my opinion.

    Market failure is a statist myth.

    #16589
    Avatar of shredder7753
    shredder7753
    Participant

    no alterations necessary if built to spec.

    Joffe if ur actually serious about having ur own med-stead. i want u to contact me. hit me with every objection that you can possibly fathom and listen to my response. there is no such a thing as a platform beyond the 12 mile mark that can offer safety and comfort for the price category that my Bergsteads will offer. nothing else will have the low maintenance durability and robust capabilities that my plan offers. and i know how to get it built, too. i have worked in construction management. the legal hurdles are a challenge but TSI is all over that. they can provide the consulting help we would need.

    Rich

    ____________

    My Work II

    “Leadership and do-ership are not the same thing”

    #16621
    Avatar of JLMadrigal
    JLMadrigal
    Participant

    I am starting to put together a business plan for MedStead I. I will keep everyone posted, and welcome any input.

    Market failure is a statist myth.

    #16647
    Avatar of joffemd
    joffemd
    Participant

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Might be good to put it on GoogleDocs or a new project management platform TSI is in the process of introducing, so that we could collaborate.

    I just spoke to a US physician who had two interesting comments:

    (1) Physicians from foreign countries that have less sophisticated medical technology (perhaps like Cuba), may have more difficulty satisfying American patients. If they are not good at reading MRIs and other images, patients may be displeased.

    (2) It may be possible to attract US physicians to a medstead located near the US. Many physicians are frustrated by the amount of regulation and paperwork government has imposed on their practices. The concern would be one of whether their work on the MedStead would be cause for loss of their state license.

    Marc

    #16649
    Avatar of JLMadrigal
    JLMadrigal
    Participant

    joffemd wrote:

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Might be good to put it on GoogleDocs or a new project management platform TSI is in the process of introducing, so that we could collaborate.

    I have started a skeleton outline on the wiki, and would gladly welcome any input that you and anyone else can provide. Use the discussion page for comments and suggestions, and fill in any details that are obviously needed in the plan. All changes are automatically timestamped and signed.

    If anyone knows of an online word/outline processor closer to Word than GoogleDocs, it would simplify organization and speed the writing, research, and brainstorming process.

    joffemd wrote:

    I just spoke to a US physician who had two interesting comments:

    (1) Physicians from foreign countries that have less sophisticated medical technology (perhaps like Cuba), may have more difficulty satisfying American patients. If they are not good at reading MRIs and other images, patients may be displeased.

    (2) It may be possible to attract US physicians to a medstead located near the US. Many physicians are frustrated by the amount of regulation and paperwork government has imposed on their practices. The concern would be one of whether their work on the MedStead would be cause for loss of their state license.

    Good points. I definitely don’t want to put any roadblocks in front of US medical practitioners if they can compete. While many proven medical procedures require expertise more than state-of-the-art technology, access to these technologies and the ability to operate them are important factors. I would like to put a strong focus on training and certification – which could be provided by MedStead I.

    As I see it, the foci should also include:

    1) Providing access to alternative care that would otherwise be highly regulated – with an initial focus on less controversial treatments and procedures. Allow the marketplace to prove itself as the best regulator.

    2) Lowering the cost and increasing the quality of provision of medical services by allowing greater competition among providers. Medical tourism is driven mostly by the lower cost of foreign medical care for comparable treatment.

    3) Granting insurance companies a greater role in the evolution of offshore medical practices and in directing the finance of medicine. Any factor determined to be quantitative by actuarial science is the natural basis for pricing – including lifestyle, genetics, preexisting medical conditions, demand, &c.

    Market failure is a statist myth.

    #16655
    Avatar of admiral-doty
    admiral-doty
    Participant

    Maybe the analysis of MRI and CAT scan images can be outsourced to India or China. Also, expert learning AI diagnosis software can be used, like what is planned with IBM’s Watson.

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