About Lee Vliet, MD
Dr. Vliet is CEO of Med Expert Global LLC and chief medical officer of Med Expert Chile SpA, connecting patients to top-tier, lower cost medical care in Latin America, focused on medical freedom, patient-centered, individualized care preserving the Oath of Hippocrates commitment to individual patients. In addition to her overseas medical work, Dr. Vliet continues an active U.S. medical practice in Tucson, Arizona and Dallas, Texas, specializing in preventive and climacteric medicine with an integrated approach to evaluation and treatment of women and men with complex medical and hormonal problems.
Dr. Vliet is a 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient for her national and international educational efforts in health, wellness, and endocrine aging in men and women, and is recognized in the U.S. as a powerful patient advocate, proponent of free market approaches to lower healthcare costs, and a motivational speaker on health/wellness. Dr. Vliet is the recipient of Voice of Women Award from Arizona Foundation for Women in recognition of her pioneering advocacy for the overlooked hormone connections in women’s health.
Dr. Vliet is a past director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
(AAPS), a member of the International Menopause Society and the International Society for The Study of the Aging Male (ISSAM). She received her M.D. degree and internship in Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She earned her B.S. and Master’s degrees from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Dr. Vliet’s consumer health books include: It’s My Ovaries, Stupid; Screaming To Be
Heard: Hormonal Connections Women Suspect– And Doctors STILL Ignore; Women,
Weight and Hormones; The Savvy Woman’s Guide to PCOS, The Savvy Woman’s
Guide to Great Sex, Strength, and Stamina.
Dr. Vliet has appeared on FOX NEWS, Cavuto, Stuart Varney Show, Fox and Friends,
Sean Hannity and many nationally syndicated radio shows across the country, and hundreds of Healthcare Town Halls addressing the economic and medical impact of the 2010 healthcare law, as well as seminars on Men’s Health and Women’s Health. She has been the host of several radio shows on health topics.
Dr. Vliet speaks as an independent physician, not as an official spokesperson for any organization or political party. Dr. Vliet has no financial ties to any healthcare system or health insurance plan. Her allegiance and advocacy is to and for patients.
To book Dr. Vliet for interviews, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520-797-9131
About Med Expert Chile
Med Expert Chile is committed to excellence in medical and surgical treatment using only internationally accredited private hospitals and top-tier physicians and surgeons. Med Expert Chile selects top private hospitals that are Joint Commission-accredited, have lower costs and lower rates of hospital-acquired infections than the United States, and some of the best track records for overall patient safety.
Medical Travel Today (MTT): Tell our readers how you got involved in the medical travel space.
Dr. Lee Vliet (LV): Years ago, I was a domestic medical traveler in need of special case spine surgery. And, while I had my own experience traveling for serious medical care, I wasn’t actively involved in the industry until around 2009 when the key issues of healthcare reform began circulating.
As the concept of medical travel began to boom, I started to explore a number of countries where I might be able offer high-quality, cost-effective services.
From my research, I found several countries in Latin America to have some of the safest, highest quality and patient-centered facilities. Doctors spend much more time with patients in South America than the average U.S. patient is accustomed to.
A lot of medical travel companies are doing a “good job” finding locations that offer certain procedures, but basically, they are just travel agencies focused on medical services. From my research, it appears patients are not generally receiving appropriate physician-led pre-screening and medical consultation, which can result in a number of unnecessary procedures.
I have been a patient advocate my entire career, and in 1986 I had resigned from all insurance contracts because they would deny procedures that patients needed and only schedule procedures that the insurance companies would cover. I could not in good conscience violate my Oath of Hippocrates by catering to insurance or government demands over patients’ needs. I went into Medicine to serve the patients.
Today, my medical travel platform is designed to provide that continuity of care, including evaluation and guidance before, during and after treatment.
MTT: Does your platform strictly serve patients traveling to Chile for care?
LV: We are developing relationships with Joint Commission International-accredited hospitals in both Central and South America in an effort to provide more diversity to the patient.
Currently, I am the chief medical officer for Med Expert Chile, SpA, which is a subsidiary of Med-Expert Global, LLC, and only works with hospitals and facilities that are accredited by the Joint Commission International. In the fall of 2015, Med Expert Global is negotiating to add JCI-hospitals and will operate as Med Expert Columbia, and Med Expert Panama. Under this brand, we are able to offer insurance carriers, businesses and the individual patient a selection of hospitals depending upon patient needs, specialist services available, as well as provide research on infection and complication rates of surgeons and facilities. I am also the medical consultant for International Health Strategies, SpA, which has a contract with a top private hospital in Santiago accredited by the Chilean government.
MTT: Is there a tremendous price differentiation between procedures in the U.S. and Chile?
LV: At this point, the price differential is running around 50 – 80 percent lower in Latin America in comparison to the U.S.
And, just because the prices are lower does not mean that patients aren’t receiving high-quality care. I would never promote a facility or physician I had not researched to first insure optimal quality. In particular, the facilities in Santiago that Med Expert Chile refers patients to are among the top four private hospitals in Chile – with lower infection rates and better safety ratings than the top facilities near me in Arizona! For example, in January 2015, 21 percent of Arizona hospitals were hit with federal penalties due to high injury and infection rates.
MTT: At this point is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
LV: As I previously mentioned, I am very passionate about providing high-quality, cost-effective care to my patients. Over the years, I have received impressive patient success stories, and I look forward to sharing these stories with the readers of Medical Travel Today over the course of the next few months!