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© 2013 Medical Travel Today

Medical Travel Today is a publication of CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, a public relations firm based near New York City that specializes in healthcare and life sciences, with an international clientele. CPR, its Partners, and clients are at the nexus of where medical travel is today, and where it will be tomorrow.

Publisher
Laura Carabello

Editor
Laura Carabello

Managing Editor
Megan Kennedy

Table of Contents

From the Editor

From the Editor: This week in Medical Travel Today, Laura Carabello

News in Review

Steep U.S. Medical Costs Send Americans Overseas for Affordable Surgery

The Emergence of Chinese Medical Tourism

Quality and Fair Prices Cited as Major Reasons for Booming Medical Tourism in Belarus

Foreign Doctors Get Green Light as Cyprus Embraces Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism

Dracula and Medical Tourism - Now in Romania

Spotlight

Rolando D. Rodriguez, Principal, Crosspoint+

Perspectives

A Medical Traveler's 5 Musts for Success

Industry News

Turkey Emerging as an Attractive Hub for the Medical Tourists

Wellness Spa Tourism in Thailand

Upcoming Events

Moscow MedShow

Indian Medical Tourism Conference 2013

The Wellness Tourism Congress at the Global Spa & Wellness Summit

4th Medical Tourism Saint Petersburg Exhibition

Mexico: Global Summit on Medical Tourism Business

2nd Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2013

AnfasHetex Health Tourism Fair

India Med Expo 2013-Andra Pradesh Medical Tourism & Health Care Conference

Health Tourism Expo 2013

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Global Health Voyager

THIS WEEK IN MEDICAL TRAVEL TODAY

Volume 7, Issue 18

Dear Colleagues:

This week Rolando D. Rodriguez, principal, Crosspoint+, notes that the key to success for international destination medicine providers lies in proper business development and strategic marketing tactics.

Please be in touch and let me know how you are surviving and thriving in this emerging marketplace. 

Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher
Medical Travel Today
lcarabello@cpronline.com
http://twitter.com/medtravtoday
http://twitter.com/CPR_Comm

2013 IHC Forum West



Global Health Voyager

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Spotlight

Rolando D. Rodriguez, Principal, Crosspoint+

SPOTLIGHT: Rolando D. Rodriguez, Principal, Crosspoint+

About Rolando D. Rodriguez
Rolando has a distinguished career creating and operating new revenue streams for hospitals, launching international healthcare programs, and developing non-profit fundraising campaigns for hospitals and other not-for-profit institutions.

Destination Medicine
As CEO of Jackson International and president of Jackson Memorial Foundation, Rolando was responsible for the design and growth of International Health Services for Jackson Memorial Hospital - one of America’s largest public hospital systems.  He led the international branding of Jackson and its Ryder Trauma Center as the "911 of the Caribbean and Latin America" and established successful divisions for international sales and marketing, private concierge/hospitality, and international admissions and case management.

As managing consultant, Rolando recently launched the Miami office of Nueterra Global Alliance, leading the consolidation of cross border healthcare and destination medicine.  He has spent the last year shaping business development plans for Latin America and the Caribbean, including the launch of a private Preferred Provider Organization and formation of an international provider network.  In the U.S., he led the recruitment and training of new network hospitals and physicians seeking to join this partnership of top-tier health providers.

Philanthropy
As president of the Jackson Memorial Foundation, Rolando raised over $200 million for programs such as Jackson’s Ryder Trauma Center and Holtz Children’s Hospital.  As founder of the International Kids Fund, Rolando led global fundraising programs that raised millions to provide life-saving care to seriously ill children from all over the world.  He has founded and launched dozens of other successful fundraising efforts, including grateful patient and grant acquisition programs for hospitals and other non-profit institutions.

Rolando also developed premier donor recognition programs and special events that have been recognized among the best of the best.  Early in his career, he also worked with Msgr. Bryan Walsh, founder of Operation "Pedro Pan," to create and fund Genesis, one of the nation’s first living facilities for people with AIDS.

Currently, Rolando serves as counsel to worthy community organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Comfortable and experienced in leading complex development efforts, Rolando is also an accomplished leader in strategic planning, branding and public relations, as well as a skilled writer and speaker.

About Crosspoint+, LLC.
Crosspoint+ leads business development, marketing services, operational design and facility development/management for international destination medicine providers, as well as developing increased revenue for local and international non-profits. We specialize in results, not promises.

Destination Medicine
Crosspoint+ implements marketing and operational support for hospitals, physicians and other providers seeking to enter or expand their reach in the international destination medicine market. Our goal is to develop programs which account for the ever-changing nature of destination medicine patients, and develop up-to-date strategies that work today, rather than in the past. Our objective is to increase the volume of international patients seeking care in client facilities, develop mutually rewarding relationships with international physicians and hospitals, and maximize the reputation of your institution in the international market.

Crosspoint+ also provides expert guidance and resources for the development of hospital facilities in the Latin American and Caribbean region, including feasibility studies, project planning, construction, facility financing and even complete hospital management through its trusted industry partners.

Philanthropy and Fundraising
Crosspoint+ develops achievable fundraising strategies for charitable organizations desiring to create a strong culture of philanthropy. Our years of experience acknowledge the need to be practical and effective with limited resources. We do not specialize in process, fancy presentations or lengthy reports; our focus is on outcome. Our goal is to help our clients develop sustainable efforts to acquire more and larger gifts through the expansion of existing capacity, as well as the development of realistic fundraising campaigns. Crosspoint+ will help our non-profit partners to recruit and develop a motivated and well-trained board of directors and volunteers who can implement what it takes to get the organization to the next level.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Tell our readers about your experience in the industry and what prompted you to start this company?

Rolando Rodriguez (RR): As the former president of Jackson Memorial Foundation for Jackson Memorial Hospital, I was responsible for developing a trauma center.

We were trying to create more business for Jackson-bring more private patients, development services, concierge services, donor services and new programs-that would generate revenue in order for it to fulfill its full potential.

In 2005, we started exploring the idea of creating an international program, and about five years later we took the facility from $13 million annually to $100 million annually by the time we finished.

MTT: How many patients did that amount to?

RR: About 1,000 in-patients and about 1,200 out-patients.

We branded ourselves as the "911 of the Caribbean" and specifically targeted critical care areas by emphasizing that we were able to provide this level of care to anyone that was within two hours flying distance to Miami.

This strategy was meant to promote us, brand us and encourage other businesses to take off like that.

We started with one person working in hospitality, and gradually ended up running all of the concierge services for the hospital.

We developed an international case management department and marketing department and grew into a company operating with about 50 employees.

I was there until the end of 2011, and it was a great, successful experience. I started the Foundation and ended up being there 20 years.

At the same time, the hospital went into a very serious financial tailspin, and I didn’t want to rebuild everything from the ground up. So I left and decided to develop my own company.

MTT: What is the end goal for your company?

RR: There is a tremendous interest in the U.S. for international healthcare and a tremendous interest in Latin America for different kinds of partnerships.

My ultimate goal is to find a win-win relationship between the Caribbean, Latin America and U.S. hospitals.

I want to assist hospitals that are interested in the business to effectively step into the market.

I think it is very important to note that I differentiate myself from being a consultant. There are too many individuals in this industry who strictly give advice to clients, when in actuality these hospitals need hands-on assistance.

Hospitals have two options: they can spend millions of dollars in hiring the right people and putting in a ton of infrastructure, or they can start with someone like me who will directly help and/or offer a network of ambassadors in Latin America with whom I have relationships.

The hospitals receive more guidance and value when individuals are able to aid with business operations and business development, rather than just spew advice.

MTT: Do you have any contracts underway here?

RR: Currently, I have contracts in place with the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and Ochsner Health Systems in New Orleans.

There are a few other contracts in the works, but I cannot mention names yet. I can, however, tell you that I am working with a U.S. company to help market their unique teleconsult and telemedicine second opinion program in LAC, as well as a South Florida concierge obstetrics network that is being launched for wealthy international patients from all over the world.

MTT: Will you be focusing primarily on the Latin American and Caribbean market?

RR: Yes, on the business development side.

On the operations side, I can help an institution with systems anywhere.

MTT: Do you ever project the number of patients that a hospital can expect to see as a result of your work?

RR: That’s very complicated because each one is different.

I generally tell hospitals that with any kind of reasonable investment, it’s almost impossible to lose.

The facilities need to put functioning systems in place and market what makes sense.

MTT: What type of service do you usually recommend?

RR: It depends on the hospital.

I always recommend marketing major specialty services-neurology, spine surgery, high end orthopedics, etc.-but part of the match is marketing the services that individuals don’t have access to in their home location.

For example, if a facility is marketing cardiology in Guatemala, it will be successful. But, if a facility is marketing cardiology in Panama, it won’t be successful because that country already has great cardiology care.

Also, I try to match natural patterns when suggesting marketing tactics. New York has a lot of Dominican and Puerto Rican residents, so naturally there’s a lot of infrastructure and family ties to that location. It is only logical that a Dominican will want to come to New York for care.

MTT: How do most of the patients pay for treatment?

RR: The international insurance market has become very sophisticated. Currently, 85 percent of patients come insured.

I would say only those who are extremely wealthy or who failed to get an international insurance policy are cash paying.

You also get the cash paying customers for treatment that is not urgent or critical, like plastic surgery.

MTT: So collections are not a problem for the hospitals?

RR: If cases are handled incorrectly, the hospital can lose a lot of money.

The most important, non-negotiable advice I give hospitals is to always have professional case management involved.

A professional has to be responsible for assuring that the proper coverage and benefits are in place to make sure nothing preventable can go wrong.

MTT: Do individuals pay in advance?

RR: The cash paying patients are generally required to pay in advance.

I’d say most patients, unless they have a strong relationship with the hospital already, put some money down in advance.

The goal of these programs is to bring new revenue to the hospitals, and there is no purpose in having these programs if there is no money to be made.

Perspectives

A Medical Traveler's 5 Musts for Success

by Amy B. Scher

Being chronically ill for much of my young adult life, I learned about "medical tourism" far before it was ever a coined term. Whenever I’d intended to travel for pleasure, I’d often end up not only visiting the tourist sites, but also a medical facility or two.

From Costa Rica to Thailand, it seemed I had a frequent visitor ticket to the medical system. And then in 2007, I took my first deliberate medical travel trip when I ventured off to India to receive a controversial stem cell treatment. From all of these medical escapades, I learned a few essential lessons that can help make any trip a success.

1. Learn about visas and travel requirements
Visas: Many countries offer medical visas as an alternative to a simple tourist visa. While this seems like an obvious option, it is always best to ask the facilitator of the clinic or medical center what type of visa is best for your situation. When I went to India, medical visas were taking exponentially longer to receive (and were harder to be approved for) than a tourist visa. Since I planned on doing some travel when I was well enough, I was able to apply for a typical tourist visa that was a breeze to get. It’s always best to get the insight of someone who knows the ins and outs of the country of travel, because they’ve likely run into all the glitches before and can spare you much hassle. If you are in a hurry, there are many rush services that are also very knowledgeable in the different types of visas and their approval procedures.

Travel requirements: Airlines typically have their own requirements as far as special documentation and accompaniment during flights for those traveling with medical conditions. While they may not always ask, I’ve heard of several instances were travelers were de-boarded for not having a physician or medical personnel accompany them on long flights-as required in some situations. If you have a ventilator or some other medical equipment, you may also be asked to show you have a backup power supply. Check with your airline for their regulations well in advance of your travel date.

2. Double up on your doctors
Although you may be traveling out of the country because your doctor at home couldn’t help you, as was true in my case, it’s still a great idea to have a U.S. physician keeping an eye on your medical care. Because you are likely to be on continuing medications and/or supplements, having a U.S. based physician acts as an extra safety catch. Names of prescription medications vary from country to country so it’s essential you proceed with extra caution concerning possible interactions with your current regimen.

Be aware that your doctor at home may also be more knowledgeable on specific strains or types of illnesses that are more common in your country of origin. The opposite though is true if you get a food borne illness, virus or infection in the country of travel. Doctors there will know which medications are most effective against their own strains.

3. Become a local
Get a cell phone and know your surroundings. Getting a local cell phone ensures you’ll always be able to get a hold of your doctor if you do venture out on your own. Memorize landmarks. The best way to explain to a taxi driver where something is in an area that’s not well marked (this rule applies to many foreign countries), is to tell them it’s "next door to...." or "about five minutes from..." It’s smart to take a business card of the hospital or facility with you on outings. That way, if you can’t communicate with a taxi driver, you can always show them the card or have them call the facility directly.

Learn which restaurants are safe to eat at. Many restaurants, especially if you’re in a tourist area, will use filtered or bottled water for their cooking. As I learned the hard way though, many won’t and you don’t want to risk getting sick. Simply asking the staff at the facility you are staying at which restaurants are safe is your best bet.

Reach out to expats. You can often find online message boards where they are happy to connect and share information about your new city with you. A great place to find friendly expats is religious services or groups. When I was in India, I found a local Jewish temple and attended a service. I don’t attend services at home, but made some great friends that night that I still keep in touch with.

4. Learn about payment before you go
Ask about how you’ll be expected to pay before it’s time to pay for a service. It can be very worrying to be asked on the spot for a large sum of money for lab work or medications. For instance, for the hospital I was at in India, you were required to pay for medications when they delivered from the local pharmacy. I was so alarmed at first, but later realized this was routine. Major diagnostic testing facilities, even in relatively poor countries, will usually allow you to use a credit card. I did this whenever possible. While I might have paid a small fee for using it out of my country (it’s a good idea to find out how much first), it was peace of mind for me -- and later could be used as proof of the service, if I needed to request records.

5. Be open-minded
While traveling and receiving medical care in a new country can be scary, it can also be the adventure of a lifetime-if you’re open to it. So much of my healing came from truly embracing the culture, its people and even many of the treatment philosophies I once resisted. Trust that you’re in another country for a reason and I promise that not only will your treatment have a better chance of being successful, but you’ll come home with so much more than you paid for.

About Amy B. Scher
Amy is a bestselling author of This Is How I Save My Life (January 2013), an expert in mind-body-spirit healing and medical travel, who is often lovingly referred to as an "accidental guru."

Amy has been featured in publications such as CNN Travel, Curve magazine, Divine Caroline, the San Francisco Book Review, and was named one of Advocate's "40 Under 40" for 2013. She is also a frequent contributor to healthcare blogs and has appeared on TV sharing her unique views on healing. Amy is a dynamic, experienced public speaker and has presented to groups, including the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Most importantly, she lives by the self-created motto: "When life kicks your ass, kick back."

If you would like to learn more about the author please visit www.amybscher.com.

Industry News

Turkey Emerging as an Attractive Hub for the Medical Tourists

Pr-bg.com - According to a new research report by RNCOS, "Turkey Medical Tourism Outlook 2017," Turkey is becoming a top-notch destination for medical tourists from all across the world. A large number of medical tourists are flocking to the country for the treatment of various diseases and also for recreational purposes. The report has identified several medical procedures for which the tourists are heading to Turkey.

Moreover, the report has analyzed the role of several factors which have propounded the growth of medical tourism in the country, including standardized facilities provided by healthcare establishments, cost advantage for various treatments, and the country’s location.

The report has conducted the forecast for the number of tourists, which are expected to arrive in Turkey by 2017 to justify the ongoing activities aimed at boosting medical tourism in the country. In lieu of this, the medical tourism market has been forecasted to grow at a CAGR of around 5.7 percent during 2013-2017.

To continue reading click here.

Industry News

Wellness Spa Tourism in Thailand

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Pattayamail.com - Health tourism is generally broken down into two branches: medical tourism and wellness tourism. In either case, patients are traveling abroad for healthcare, generally, for cost savings, shorter wait times, and expertise that they cannot receive at home. It is a rapidly growing industry that some have estimated to be worth $40 billion per year.

With wellness tourism, people head overseas for treatments that are intended to maintain their well-being or help them develop better health habits, as opposed to just treating illness. It is aimed at anyone looking for authentic, usually non-traditional therapies which do not involve physicians and do not take place in clinics, but are delivered by therapists familiar with integrated medicine in comfortable, sometimes immaculate, retreats often referred to as wellness spas.

To continue reading click here.


Upcoming Events

Moscow MedShow

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September 21-22, 2013 - Tishinka Exhibition Center, Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.


Indian Medical Tourism Conference 2013

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October TBD, 2013 - Bangalore/Ahmedabad, India

To learn more or to register click here.


The Wellness Tourism Congress at the Global Spa & Wellness Summit

October 5-7, 2013 - The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India

To learn more or to register click here.



4th Medical Tourism Saint Petersburg Exhibition

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October 10-12, 2013 - Lenexpo Exhibition Complex, Saint Petersburg, Russia

To learn more or to register click here .


Mexico: Global Summit on Medical Tourism Business

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October 16-18, 2013 - Mexicali, Mexico

To learn more or to register click here.


2nd Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2013

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October 20-22, 2013 - Sunway Pyramid Convention Center, Malaysia

To learn more or to register click here.


AnfasHetex Health Tourism Fair
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November 14-16, 2013 -Antalya Expo Center, Antalya, Turkey
To learn more or to register click here.


 

IHC FORUM WEST 2013

IHC Forum

December 5-6, 2013 - Red Rock Casino Resort Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada
To learn more or to register click here.


India Med Expo 2013-Andra Pradesh Medical Tourism & Health Care Conference
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December 6-8, 2013 - HITEX Exhibition Center, Hyderabad, India
To learn more or to register click here.


 

Health Tourism Expo 2013

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December 19-22, 2013 - Istanbul Expo Center, Istanbul, Turkey

To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making

Medical Travel Today - the authoritative newsletter for the worldwide medical travel industry - is pleased to announce publication of a new book, "Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making.

Featuring 40 of the newsletter's most compelling interviews from the first five years of publication, the volume chronicles the explosive growth of international medical tourism as witnessed and experienced by some of the key stakeholders and players. A must-read for anyone interested or involved in the industry.


News in Review

Steep U.S. Medical Costs Send Americans Overseas for Affordable Surgery

Allgov.com - With healthcare costs rising in the U.S., Americans are increasingly going out of the country for surgeries. Known as "American medical tourists," these people tend to have no health insurance or insurance that doesn’t adequately cover the procedure they need.

The Emergence of Chinese Medical Tourism

Nationmultimedia.com - The words "Chinese" and "medical tourism" in the same sentence might look strange, but major efforts are underway to secure China a significant and growing share of this lucrative market. Globally, medical tourism is booming. An estimated 6 million people travel internationally each year to seek medical treatment, with the sector estimated to be worth around U.S. $100 billion in 2012, growing at an annual rate of 20-30 percent.

Quality and Fair Prices Cited as Major Reasons for Booming Medical Tourism in Belarus

News.belta.by - International patients appreciate the quality and reasonable prices for healthcare services in Belarus, Belarusian Healthcare Minister Vasily Zharko said.

Foreign Doctors Get Green Light as Cyprus Embraces Medical Tourism

Famagusta-gazette.com - Cyprus is hoping to lure tourists interested in affordable medical care and modern facilities as the island attempts to position itself as a hot-spot for foreign patients seeking procedures.

Medical Tourism

Providencejournal.com - While some argue that Americans have the best medical care in the world, some of it comes with grossly inflated prices. And that is leading consumers to go elsewhere.

Dracula and Medical Tourism - Now in Romania

Eturbonews.com - Tens of thousands of tourists flock to Romania every year to receive high quality medical service for prices much less than in Western Europe and the U.S. More than two million Romanians living abroad also seek the advantage of lower prices, regularly travelling back home for medical treatment.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Do you know of any available job openings relative to the medical travel industry? We encourage readers to submit any available, relevant job opportunities along with its descriptions and requirements for fellow readers and industry professionals to consider. All submissions are appreciated.

 

Editor's Note: The information in Medical Travel Today is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. The newsletter's providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any of the information and shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused - directly or indirectly - by or from the information. All information should be considered a supplement to - and not a substitute for - the care provided by a licensed healthcare provider or other appropriate expert. The appearance of advertising in this newsletter should in no way be interpreted as a product or service endorsement by the newsletter's providers.