The National Business Group is treating medical tourism support as a serious corporate benefits option.

The NBGH, Washington, a coalition of large employers, has come out with an issue brief on programs that help patients save money by seeking medical care outside the United States.

The medical tourism market generated about $60 billion in expenditures in 2006, and the total could rise to $100 billion by 2012, NBGH researchers note in a medical tourism issue brief.

But, in addition to considering whether their employees would be interested in medical tourism benefits, employers also should think about matters such as medical malpractice, patient privacy, the need to avoid discrimination against workers with disabilities, and tax implications, the researchers write in the brief.

The brief also includes the results of a 2008 NBGH member medical tourism survey.