Industry News: Volume 9, Issue 25

Get Ready to the World’s Largest Self-Insurance Event!

August 13, 2018 – With just six weeks until SIIA’s National Conference & Expo begins in Austin, we have several important updates and reminders to share with you at this time.

Session/speaker list firmed up…since the time the program was announced in April, some educational sessions have been added along with new moderators and speakers. If you have not looked at the program for a while (or at all), now is a great time to do so in order to see all of the great content that is on tap.

Look who’s coming…More than 1,500 have already registered to attend. You can view the current attendee list by clicking here.

Don’t be left off the list…if you are planning to register but have not already done so, we encourage you to do so at your earliest opportunity so we can add you to the attendee list. People are using this list right now to schedule meetings so you might miss valuable connections by waiting to register.

And don’t be a “unregistered attendee” …It’s bad form. A more practical consideration is that an increasing number of SIIA members will not meet with those who show up without registering for the conference. Don’t be “that guy.”

A place to stay…the host hotel has been sold out for some time but there is still availability at nearby hotels. That said, many of those hotels are expected to sell out so don’t wait to make your lodging arrangements. A listing of alternative options can be accessed by clicking here.

A place to meet…We have a limited number of private meeting pods that can be reserved for the conference. Contact Justin Miller at for more info.

Under 40? You will have plenty of company in Austin…Almost 150 younger members have signed up to attend as part of the SIIA Future Leaders (SFL) initiative.

Bad with names and faces?… Not to worry as conference attendees will have access to the NameSleuth App, which will help you match names with faces, before, during and after the conference.

Promoting your corporate brand…There a very limited number of sponsorship/exhibiting opportunities still available. Please contact Justin Miller right away for details –

And don’t miss the closing conference party…Join us Tuesday evening from 7:00 PM – 10:00 pm as we head to one of the most unique entertainment areas in Austin…. historic Rainey Street! Located just a short distance from the Marriott, Rainey Street features 1930’s-era bungalows that have been renovated into casual bars with front porches, backyards and picnic tables. We’ll experience local foods, local music and a local vibe. Leave your attitude at home and “Get Local!”

For more information…See event details on-line at, or call us at 800/851-7789.


Medical Tourism is Growing Rapidly – The global medical tourism market was valued at $15.43 billion in 2017, and is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5 per cent during the forecast period of 2018-2023. According to Mordor Intelligence’s recently released report ‘Global Medical Tourism Market – Segmented by Treatment Type and Geography – Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2018 to 2023’, Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of around 40 per cent of the global market, whereas, North America was estimated to register the fastest CAGR over the forecast period.

Governments across the globe have taken up various initiatives to stimulate and improve medical tourism in their respective countries, to improve patient quality care and boost the market. Many countries recorded significant economic development potential in the emergent field of medical tourism. Cosmetic surgery, dental care, elective surgery, fertility treatments, cardiovascular surgery, and genetic disorder treatments are the most preferred forms in this sector.

Countries in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and South America provide high-quality medical services at a much lower rate, compared to the developed economies. There are companies that cater to all the medical and non-medical needs of tourists, during their travel.


The UAE has been ramping up efforts to improve its medical tourism offering by continually investing in its healthcare system. It was reported last month that details of patients who travel to Abu Dhabi to seek medical care will be recorded on the Abu Dhabi Department of Health’s Shafafiya e-portal starting September. Also last month, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced plans to open an oncology and research center in Dubai by 2020, aiming to provide state-of-the art oncological services for all types of cancer and across all age groups under one roof. In its first phase, the center will cater to 700 patients, which is 35 per cent of the total number of diagnosed cancer patients in Dubai, some of whom are most likely travelling outside Dubai to seek related treatment.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has been promoting medical tourism to boost the local tourism sector. As a part of its plan to pave the way for investment in touristic sites, the SCTH established public facilities around the geothermal waters of Al-Dobdobah well. The sulfuric hot spring waters are known for their medicinal properties and attract a lot of medical tourists.

In October 2017, the Indian ministry of finance, in association with the ministries of tourism and health, launched a portal,, for helping medical travelers with a comprehensive information base. The portal offers information in Arabic, Russian, and French.


This April, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital signed a $5 million contract to export its software system to the Clemenceau Medical Center at Dubai Healthcare City. The consortium’s digital storing and data processing for patients’ records and administrative processes has been popular with users and was successfully installed in six hospitals in Saudi Arabia in 2014. Clemenceau, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Medicine International, is headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon and recognized as one of the top 10 hospitals globally for medical tourism by the independent international organization Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQA). Another regional hospital that has made it to their 2018 top ten list is, The Specialty Hospital in Amman, Jordan.

Julie Munro, founder and president of MTQUA, “There is generally still a great deal of confusion as to what [the medical tourism] industry is. I’m not confused. Medical travelers require different and more care management than local patients do. Medical tourism stands on three legs. One leg is care management. The other legs are trust and communications. If any one of these is off kilter with the others, the provider’s medical tourism program is not sustainable.”

MTQA has partnered with Lata on a medical travel specialist program for travel agents. The first of several courses is now online and is titled Assisting Travelers with Special Needs.


Medical procedures, such as heart surgeries and joint replacements, sometimes require patients to follow up for longer periods of time. These follow ups can last for three to six months. However, in the case of medical tourists, they leave for their home country as soon as they are deemed fit for travel. Therefore, follow up mostly happens through online consulting. Online consulting is not always as effective as in-person consulting and can lead to unintentional skipping of important points.

Some ethical concerns regarding medical tourism, like differentiating between the standards of treatment for foreigners and the locals, can hamper the market. In addition, the people from developed countries or other places are prone to diseases/infections in the host country. All these factors are anticipated to restrict the market’s growth.

To view the original article, click here.


Travel Medical Insurance Saves the Day for Sick Canadian in Myanmar

By: Bethan Moorcraft – It’s amazing how quickly a dream vacation abroad can turn ugly. We go travelling to experience new sights, sounds, tastes and smells, but travel also exposes us to new and complex risks. That’s where travel insurance truly comes into its own.

Seven Corners travel insurance customers Daniel and Felipe were halfway through a four-month trip to Southeast Asia and Central America, when Felipe contracted a rare stomach virus in Myanmar and was told by local physicians he could require surgery.

Daniel immediately contacted Seven Corners’ 24-hour assist number where he was connected with a Global Case Coordinator who reassured him Felipe would get the appropriate medical care, as written in the Seven Corners Liaison travel medical plan. The plan offers comprehensive medical coverage, access to an extensive network of worldwide healthcare providers, and 24-hour multilingual travel assistance.

In order to help Daniel and Felipe, the Seven Corners assist team had to work through a 10.5-hour time difference and communicate through a language barrier in rural Myanmar to set up an emergency evacuation. In less than 24-hours, Felipe was evacuated by air ambulance to Thailand, where he was treated in a state-of-the-art medical facility. After being discharged, Seven Corners secured the couple flights home to Canada, where Felipe continued to rest and recuperate.

“This case illustrates one of the most important reasons for purchasing travel insurance – it provides coverage and assistance for unexpected travel issues,” commented Justin Tysdal, co-founder and CEO of Seven Corners. “As a travel insurance provider, our customers contact us daily for help.

“For this case study, Felipe was in an area that did not have appropriate medical care, so we arranged and paid for an emergency medical evacuation to ensure he received the care he needed. Travelers who do not have this type of insurance protection do not have the funds or the know-how to arrange an evacuation of this type.

“In addition, most domestic health insurance plans do not cover you while traveling abroad except for specifically defined emergencies. To be covered, the injury or illness must fit the domestic insurance company’s definition of an emergency, and the benefits typically do not include coverage for an emergency medical evacuation.”

No-one expects to get struck with a strange illness while traveling abroad. In fact, it’s the last thing most travelers think about when they’re excited to make a dream trip. This “lack of knowledge” and expectation is one of the greatest challenges for travel insurers and brokers, according to Tysdal.

“There’s a large percentage of travelers who remain unaware of the existence of travel insurance,” he added. “And for those who are aware of travel insurance, they do not understand the many ways this type of coverage can help travelers if they need to cancel or interrupt a trip or become sick or hurt while traveling.”

To view the original article, click here.


USA Today: Hospitals routinely skip safety protocols that could prevent death in childbirth

By: Paige Minemyer – The United States may be the most dangerous country in the developed world in which to give birth, as many hospitals routinely fail to perform basic safety practices, according to a new report.

USA Today combed through more than a half-million quality records from hospitals across the country and found at some facilities, less than 15% of mothers at risk for complications such as stroke received recommended treatments.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.


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