When faced with the skyrocketing costs of medical procedures and medications, many Americans opt to travel outside the United States, where the same procedures and medicine are sometimes only a fraction of the cost. And they're not just going to nearby countries like Mexico.
Among them: sound artist and former Houstonian Maria Chavez. She was returning to live performance after a four-year hiatus because of a debilitating brain disorder. She couldn't afford surgery to correct it by an American neurosurgeon, so she found one in Japan.
In the audio above, she tells us about it.
Then we talk with Moramay López-Alonso, an economic historian and associate professor at Rice University, about how cost isn't the only variable medical tourists need to consider. (Just over a month ago, four Americans were kidnapped in Mexico while seeking cheaper medical treatment. Two of those four were later found dead).