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© 2014 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.

Laura Carabello

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

Dubai Medical Tourism Plan Approved

Sarasota Using Beaches to Build its Medical Tourism Industry

Top Destinations for Health Tourism

Costa to Promote Health Tourism

Czech Clinics See a Rise in Medical Tourist Numbers

Medical Tourism - Opportunity for Region's Economic Recovery

Malaysia Aims to Break into Medical Tourism Market in Big Way

TAT Unveils New Campaign to Boost Medical Tourism

Australia Medical Tourism on the Rise


James Bae, M.H.A., Director of Strategic Business Development, Korea Health Industry Development Institute USA


Medical Tourism Marketing: How to Develop a Medical Tourism Marketing Budget

Industry News

Laura Carabello Moderates IHC Medical Travel Panel Discussion

Aquarius Capital Brings Columbia University Graduate Actuarial Students to Bermuda to Study the International Reinsurance Market

New Hospital to Boost Health Tourism Drive In Jamaica

Medical Tourism in Costa Rica: Fast, Easy and Affordable

Global Wellness Tourism Congress Announces First Wellness Tourism Roundtable to Take Place at The Dorchester London on April 1, 2014

Mexico's First Department of Medical Tourism Appointed in the State of Baja California

PlacidWay 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis

Obama Budget Calls for $5 Billion to Fight Physician Shortage

Emerging Global Healthcare Markets May Hold Key to Value-based Care

Tallwave Commercialization Fund I Invests Over $500K in High Tide Lean Business Competitions and Select Participating Companies


Upcoming Events

Indian Ocean and Africa Medical Tourism & Wellness Conference 2014

2nd Almaty Medical and Health Tourism Mart

11th Annual World Health Care Congress

9th World Health Tourism Congress

Medical Travel Summit 2014

IHC Forum & Expo 2014

Medical Tourism Asia 2014

Kazakhstan International Health Forum "Medical Tourism"

UBS Global Healthcare Conference

5th Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine

Istanbul Medical Tourism Fair

28th International Travel Expo

Indo Global Healthcare Summit and Expo

3rd Annual Global Healthcare Conference

The Health Tourism Show

6th Regional Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine

Medical Fair Asia 2014

8th Annual Global Spa & Wellness Summit

10th International Exposition and Conference for Medical Tourism, Spa & Health

IMF International Medical Forum and Spa & Wellness: Healthcare Travel Expo

Mexico Summit on Medical & Wellness Tourism Business

Health Tourism Expo Turkey

IHC Forum West 2014

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress

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Volume 7, Issue 25

Dear Colleagues:

I am saddened to report that William F. Ruschhaupt, M.D., a skilled physician who was respected by all, has passed away unexpectedly.  Dr. Ruschhaupt, an internist and specialist in Vascular Medicine and chairman of Global Patient Services at the Cleveland Clinic, was an important member of the global healthcare community and will be missed.  Read more about Dr. Ruschhaupt.

Korea has become a prominent destination worldwide for medical travel due to its ease of accessibility and healthcare affordability. This week, James Bae, M.H.A., director of Strategic Business Development, Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) USA, will detail KHIDI and its initiatives to further promote Korean healthcare throughout the global community.

In a previous issue of MTT, Costa Rica was also addressed as a popular destination for medical travel. In the spotlight interview with Pablo Castillo, CEO, MedBrick, a 15 percent tax increase on professional services had been inquired about, and it has been brought to our attention that although the Costa Rican government had formerly proposed this tax, it was never initiated. In 2016, plans for new tax reform in Costa Rica will take shape.

Special for Entrepreneurs:

Be a part of the leading lean business competition for entrepreneurs seeking to disrupt healthcare as we know it: High Tide for Healthcare IT www.tallwavehightide.com.

But hurry, the application window is closing fast.

If you complete your application by April 15, you'll have a shot at winning $45,000, awarded by the nation's premier Commercializer and venture development company, Tallwave. Tallwave will also further develop your business and prepare you to pitch to a hand-selected network of over a dozen healthcare-focused venture capital firms.

You'll also have access to a world class healthcare advisory board that can help you define your long-term plan for success..

To complete your app, go to http://app.tallwave.com/.

The Healthcare Industry is revolutionizing - it starts with High Tide for Healthcare IT.

I am also pleased to announce that I will moderate a panel discussion on medical travel, "ALL ABOARD! U.S. Centers of Excellence Banking on Employer and Payer Uptake of Domestic Medical Travel Benefits," during the Institute of HealthCare Consumerism's (IHC) 5th Annual IHC FORUM & Expo Conference, on Thursday, May 8, 2014, between 3 p.m. - 4 p.m., in Atlanta, Ga. It will be a great meeting and an opportunity to showcase your offerings in medical travel. http://www.theihccforum.com/2014-ihc-forum-and-expo/

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

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Global Health Voyager

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SPOTLIGHT: James Bae, M.H.A., Director of Strategic Business Development, Korea Health Industry Development Institute USA

James Bae, M.H.A.
Director, Strategic Business Development
Korea Health Industry Development Institute USA
420 Lexington Ave. Suite 2546
New York, NY 10170
T.646.783.6093 C.646.737.2110 F.646.783.6099

About James Bae
James Bae is currently the director of Strategic Business Development at KHIDI USA, the U.S. branch office of Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI). His major responsibilities are to generate business collaboration between the U.S. and Korea in the fields of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, healthcare services and clinical research, as well as promote Korean healthcare in the U.S. His other professional affiliations include an advisory board member of the Center for Medical Tourism Research, and the member of Healthcare Leaders of New York, the local chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives. James holds a master's of Health Administration from the University of Iowa.

In 2008, the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), together with the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, established the Korea Health Industry Development Institute USA (KHIDI USA). Based in New York, KHIDI USA was founded concurrently with branches in Singapore and China, in order to facilitate the overseas expansion of the Korean healthcare industry, as well as to encourage partnerships with overseas institutions. While supporting the entry of Korean pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical supplies, and functional foods into the U.S market, KHIDI USA also works to attract foreign patients to Korea and to promote Korea's healthcare services. Furthermore, KHIDI USA attains the role of publicizing the advanced technologies and outstanding human resources of the Korean healthcare industry to the international community, including that of the U.S. Through MOUs with foreign governments, industries, and academia, KHIDI USA works to broaden awareness of the Korean healthcare sector and to contribute to the advancement of global healthcare.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Describe your experience in the healthcare industry.

James Bae (JB): Initially, I began my college career in Korea and received my undergraduate degree in business communications.

I later traveled to the U.S. to obtain my master's degree in Health Administration from the University of Iowa.

The combination of these two backgrounds allowed me the opportunity of working with healthcare facilities in both the U.S. and Korea.

Eventually, I joined the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) as the international marketing manager to further develop the mission of the Korean medical travel industry.

In 2009, I was dispatched to the KHIDI USA office as the director of strategic business development.

Over the last five years, it has been my responsibility to initiate business development and collaboration, in terms of the healthcare industry between Korea and the U.S.

I personally have a major interest in international medical travel and have been working daily to advance the industry.

MTT: Explain the overall objective of KHIDI.

JB: KHIDI is a government agency under the Korean Ministry of Health & Welfare in which its mission is to promote the health industry. It consists of a group of experts dealing with various programs on promoting and developing the health industry in Korea, while helping improve the national healthcare services.

KHIDI provides market research and policy draft for the Ministry, implements government programs to enhance the competitiveness of the Korean healthcare industry and manages the extramural granting of national healthcare R&D funds.

KHIDI currently operates six overseas offices in major cities such as New York, Singapore, London, Beijing, Abu-Dhabi and Astana in order to generate more international business collaboration in healthcare industry.

KHIDI is the official authority to oversee the national programs to develop the medical travel industry.

MTT: What is Korea's current standing in the healthcare industry, as well as the medical tourism industry?

JB: In Korea, the globalization of healthcare is one of the biggest issues in the healthcare industry.

Seven years ago, Korea was still relatively unknown in the global healthcare market. Korea had great healthcare technology, but the international community was unaware of it.

Since then, the Korean government, along with Korean healthcare providers, implemented a variety of projects to increase the awareness of Korean healthcare in the global community and improve the readiness of Korean healthcare providers to better serve international patients. Now, Korea is recognized as one of the most prominent destinations worldwide for medical travel.

In 2012, we had 159,464 patients from all over the globe visit Korea for medical treatment - over 30,000 of those individuals traveled from the U.S. The financial impact from those patients reaches 300 million dollars. The number of patients from other countries is expected to exceed 200,000 in 2013.

Korea is the leading nation in Asia for optimal healthcare quality, which is what attracts so many patients to Korea for treatment.

The growth of the industry centers around the Korean government, which creates the transparency. By law, every healthcare provider and Korean medical travel agency is required to register with KHIDI and report all mandatory annual statistics including the number of international patients and revenue information if they wish to conduct business in the medical travel industry. Through this process, KHIDI is able to generate the official statistics of Korea's medical travel industry.

MTT: You mentioned that the quality of care in Korea is superior to other countries. Is the cost of care attractive to patients, as well?

JB: Absolutely.

Previous research concludes that the average cost of medical procedures done in Korean hospitals is roughly 25-30 percent of the discounted price of U.S. hospitals.

In the first quarter of 2014, KHIDI in collaboration with Korean International Medical Association plans to announce the average price information of 20 major medical procedures that foreign patients received most frequently.

MTT: Please describe Korea4Health and its overall objective.

JB: Korea4Health is a program initiated by KHIDI and is raising awareness of Korean healthcare amongst U.S. consumers.

Korean-Americans, and even Chinese-Americans, seem to be familiar with Korean healthcare, but the majority of U.S. patients are not well-informed.

Korea4Health is a great internet and networking strategy to publicize the popular and effective procedures of Korean healthcare to individuals in the U.S., therefore generating more opportunities for Korean medical facilities to treat U.S. patients.

MTT: What medical procedures is Korea specifically well-known for?

JB: The excellence of Korean healthcare can be seen through its state-of-the-art cancer treatment. We have more experience and significantly better outcomes than the U.S. in terms of cancer treatment.

Liver transplants are another popular procedure done in Korea. We hold the world record for the successful living donor liver transplantation.

Korean cosmetic surgery has been recognized as the best among Asian countries for a long time and minimally invasive spinal and orthopedic surgeries are also known as the top class in the world.

MTT: What are the challenges you face working in this industry?

JB: There are always going to be challenges present when working with healthcare and the human body, as opposed to a manufactured product. Specifically, cultural and legal issues are a challenge when working with international patients.

The Korean government works to minimize cultural issues by providing appropriate training programs for the hospital staffs.

We have developed a "recipe book" which includes traditional meals from many different countries, enabling medical facilities to offer appropriate meals to international patients.

In order to handle any conflict or malpractice issues for global patients that may arise, a very solid procedure has been developed through Korea Medical Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Agency. KHIDI also operates a 24/7 medical call center in six different languages to deal with any inconvenience of international patients.

MTT: What are your thoughts on the future of healthcare in Korea and the medical travel industry?

JB: Global healthcare is a worldwide trend, and the medical travel industry is surely on the rise.

Korea utilizes a different healthcare strategy for each country that it does business with.

For example, government-to-government collaborations have been very effective with the Middle East countries to increase the volume of patients and medical professionals seeking medical services or medical training in Korea

In terms of the U.S. medical travel, business is done in a completely different manner. There is a significant challenge in terms of handling business as a result of the substantial distance, which is roughly a 13-14 hour flight. In addition, the current U.S. healthcare reform has changed the entire scheme of medical travel industry in the U.S.

Compared to the traditional medical travel market targeting elective surgery patients who are uninsured, the new strategy of the U.S. medical travel industry should be integrated with the health insurance program in the U.S. as the majority of the current uninsured shall be insured according to the healthcare reform.

KHIDI has been actively involved in developing a medical travel benefit plan with U.S. employers, TPAs and insurance carriers. We plan to develop a couple of concrete medical travel benefit plan packages so that large and mid/small U.S. employers can easily utilize the world-class Korean healthcare services at affordable costs.


Medical Tourism Marketing: How to Develop a Medical Tourism Marketing Budget
by Patrick Goodness, CEO, The Goodness Company, Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Marketing

Patrick Goodness, CEO
The Goodness Company: Global Healthcare Marketing
Phone: 312-205-6424 x10
Costa Rica: 506-2588-0013

This past month, while consulting with a group of hospital CEOs and chief medical officers from around the world, our task was to develop domestic and international medical tourism marketing budgets for 2014 and 2015.

While a few of these executives were seasoned healthcare marketing professionals, most were fearful of the marketing budget process because they didn't understand the dynamics of planning, implementing and tracking an international healthcare marketing campaign. In this article, we'll demystify the marketing budget development process making it easier to plan and execute successful healthcare marketing campaigns.

In many industries, administrators are accustomed to setting the marketing budget as a percentage of revenue benchmarks. According to Go-to-Market Strategies, "30 percent of companies spend between 3-5 percent of revenue on marketing, with 45 percent spending over 6 percent (most of those between 6-10 percent)."

Developing a marketing budget for a new medical tourism venture can be particularly difficult, because the first step is to develop a projected revenue goal and then base your marketing budget on this goal. The concept of medical tourism also requires a significant level of customer education to help potential patients understand the value of traveling for quality, affordable medical care.

Hospitals and medical centers that are venturing into the medical tourism space for the first time can expect to spend approximately 20 percent of targeted revenues to fund marketing programs during the first two years of marketing development. Underfunded marketing is a leading cause of business failure during the critical initial three years of operation.

In general terms, if a company decides to follow a ‘percentage of revenue' approach, then 8-10 percent of target revenues should be spent on marketing, with roughly 5 percent allocated to labor (marketing department or marketing agency) with the remaining balance of 3-5 percent being allocated to media expenditures. The following factors will help you determine a more accurate percentage to dedicate to marketing.

  • How mature is your market? (Are you in an established or new market? New markets require more investment for educating potential customers.)
  • Is your company recognized in your industry? (Is your organization new or an established business? Do you have a recognizable brand? For example, successful first year international medical tourism marketing programs must invest in branding to establish confidence and credibility.)
  • How fast do you plan to grow? (Plan for a larger budget to support aggressive patient acquisition goals.)

Experience Makes a Difference:

With experience comes confidence. As the director of a healthcare marketing agency with 20 years of regional, national and international healthcare marketing development, we have the experience and data about where and when to spend our client's marketing money to achieve optimal results. We know what works and what doesn't. We work with our clients to set revenue targets, and we know precisely what we have to do to reach those targets.

As Socrates said, "Wisdom begins with a definition of terms." So let's discuss some important terms prior to discussing the medical tourism marketing development process:

Marketing Qualified Lead: (MQL) is a prospective patient who has indicated interest in your organization. At this stage of patient development, you can't be certain if they are qualified to purchase. An MQL must be further qualified before moving them forward along the sales development chain.

Sales Accepted Lead: (SAL) is a lead that has been formally accepted by your sales team. Generally your team should be given a set period of time to develop this lead into a sale.

Sales Qualified Lead: (SQL) is a lead that has evolved into a strong possibility for closing. These leads have the greatest opportunity of becoming patients.

WIN: This is when a lead becomes a patient.

Case Study:

Let's review an example which will make the marketing budget process easier to understand and implement.

Medical Tourism Hospital X:

2014 Revenue Targets by Quarter: Hospital X wants to earn $1 million per quarter ($4 million total annual revenues)

Average per Patient Revenues: $40,000 (It will take 100 patients at $40,000/each to reach the annual revenue goal of $4 million)

Marketing Stage Conversion Rates: (These conversion rates are for demonstration purposes only and are not to be used for marketing planning. Conversion rates vary greatly by organization and by case.)

Inquiry to MQL: 50 percent of inquiries will become MQLs

MQL to SAL: 50 percent of MQL will become Sales Accepted Leads

SAL to SQL: 50 percent SALs will become Sales Qualified Leads

SQL to Win: 50 percent of all SQLs will become Patients

Time between stages (Days)

Inquiry to SQL: 120 days

SQL to Win: 90 days

In this scenario, it would take 210 days from the initial patient inquiry to earning the patient's business.

If we set the hospital revenue target for medical tourism at $4 million in 2014, this would give us a quarterly revenue target of $1 million. If the average patient spends $40,000, Hospital X will need to close 25 deals per quarter (25 X $40,000) to reach the target revenue goal. Let's work backward to get our sales lead totals:

  • To close 25 new patients, Hospital X will need to generate 50 SQLs (SQL to WIN rate is 50 percent).
  • To get 50 SQLs, Hospital X will need to generate 100 Sales Accepted Leads (SAL to SQL rate is 50 percent)
  • To get 100 SALs, Hospital X will need 200 Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL to SAL rate is 50 percent)
  • To get 200 MQLs, Hospital X will need 400 inquiries

In summary, Hospital X will need to generate 400 inquiries for every 25 new patients won. The key to success is in knowing your numbers. The better you know your closing numbers, the more successful your medical tourism marketing program will be.

Now comes the tricky part. Deals take time to close. If you generate 400 inquiries this month, they won't close for approximately seven months. It's critical to look at the days between stages (known as "velocity") to understand when you will need inquiries and SQLs to make your quarterly revenue goals. Inquiries generated today will result in SQLs in four months, and won patient business in seven months. Because a dental provider or cosmetic surgery center may have a faster closing ratio than an orthopedic hospital or heart surgery center, it is important to understand the dynamics of your lead development process to best plan for your revenue goals.

Finally, we arrive at the budgeting development piece of the puzzle. This is where we discover how much marketing investment is required to generate the necessary number of inquiries that turn leads into won patients. This is where you will need the help of an experienced media marketing agency that knows and understands the optimal marketing strategy and media tools to generate the most inquiries for the least amount of investment.

With established healthcare businesses, one can look to the previous year's numbers to plan for the upcoming year. If last year it cost you $250 per inquiry, this year you will need to invest $100,000 to generate 400 new patient inquiries, which (if your metrics are correct) should drive $1 million in new patient business. If it only cost you $100 per inquiry last year, you should plan to invest $40,000 to generate 400 new patient inquiries. By lowering your cost per inquiry and/or increasing your marketing investment, you will be able to generate more leads and increase sales.

With new businesses, this process can be very complicated because one must factor in the expense of patient education as well as branding and marketing tools, which can often double the needed first and second year marketing investment.

This planning and measurement process is part of a much larger marketing strategy called Revenue Performance Management (RPM), which utilizes critical data to maximize marketing performance.

If your numbers are correct, they won't lie.
If your numbers are incorrect, they will never tell the truth.

Medical tourism marketing development numbers will vary by organization. No two hospitals or healthcare organizations are exactly alike. Do you know your "lead to closing" numbers? If not, you will need to experiment to refine and hone your marketing process lead development program.

There are many healthcare consulting firms that understand the healthcare market, and yet they know very little about the dynamics of international healthcare marketing. While knowing the theory is a good start, practical "hand's on" medical tourism marketing experience makes the difference between a marketing program that looks good on paper, and a marketing program that drives needed results.

Successful marketing starts with planning! Don't make the mistake of limiting your marketing budget to obvious costs such as advertising, website development, public relations, trade shows, brochures, promotions, etc. A comprehensive marketing program includes planning, tool development, creative strategy, media marketing, external communications and ongoing monitoring and tracking of your marketing efforts.

Marketing is not a science. While this article outlines some effective healthcare and medical tourism marketing guidelines, a successful marketing campaign is predicated on real world experience. When choosing a medical tourism marketing partner, select a dedicated marketing agency with critical international healthcare marketing experience.

The world of global healthcare and medical tourism is filled with opportunity.

Plan wisely. Execute precisely. Track closely.

About Patrick Goodness
Patrick Goodness is one of the most recognized names in the global healthcare and medical marketing industry. Healthcare organizations from around the world rely on Patrick for insightful marketing consultation, marketing planning and international public relations services. Patrick's results-driven approach to marketing has helped hospitals, medical centers, medical practices, dental offices and medical organizations around the world transform their brand and dramatically increase sales and profitability.

As CEO of The Goodness Company, Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Marketing, Patrick has earned the confidence and repeat business of some of the worlds' top healthcare organizations. Patrick offers a wide spectrum of marketing and public relations consulting services focused on building powerful branding and dramatically increasing sales. Patrick's extensive healthcare marketing experience, his global network of clients and colleagues, and his ability to build and deliver valuable marketing concepts and tools that generate significant results are the reason for his popularity and his leadership in global healthcare marketing.

Patrick is an ideas man, plain and simple. He brings a high level of experience and understanding of the global healthcare marketplace, providing him with valuable perspectives and insights that make him stand out from the rest. Patrick takes the time to listen and discover what you're saying, and sometimes what you're not saying. With extensive market research at his disposal, a dynamic international consulting team and the experience to know what works and what doesn't, Patrick and his team develop remarkably efficient and effective marketing tools and protocols to deliver dramatic results.

Patrick is recognized globally for his work in the following areas:

  • Healthcare Marketing
  • Healthcare Destination Branding
  • Medical and Dental Practice Branding
  • Medical Tourism Marketing
  • International Healthcare Public Relations
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Relationship Marketing

Connect with Patrick via email at patrick@goodnesscompany.com.


Industry News

Laura Carabello Moderates IHC Medical Travel Panel Discussion

Institute of HealthCare Consumerism's (IHC) 5th Annual IHC FORUM & Expo Conference, Thursday, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m., May 8, 2014, Atlanta, GA

Laura Carabello, founder and principal, CPR, and publisher of Medical Travel Today and U.S. Domestic Medical Travel™, will moderate a panel discussion on medical travel - "ALL ABOARD!  U.S. Centers of Excellence Banking on Employer and Payer Uptake of Domestic Medical Travel Benefits" - during the Institute of HealthCare Consumerism's (IHC) 5th Annual IHC FORUM & Expo Conference, Thursday, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m., May 8, 2014, Atlanta, Ga.

"The fast-growth phenomenon of U.S. domestic medical travel -- inter-state to Centers of Excellence (COEs) throughout the country, inbound to the U.S., and outbound to destinations worldwide - is capturing the attention of employers, payers, third party administrators, insurance companies and other intermediaries throughout the world," Carabello says. "With the growth of HSAs as well as self-funding, a domestic medical travel benefit is now gaining traction among small, medium and large employer groups."

The United States is now one of the top three destinations worldwide for medical travel, and receives as many as 800,000 international patients seeking help with the most difficult health conditions. As a result, and in the new era of health reforms, Americans are witnessing:

  • Rapid adoption of domestic medical tourism: travel to another state or region within U.S. borders
  • Employer receptivity to introducing a medical travel benefit
  • Consumer willingness to travel to other parts of the United States to access quality care with improved outcomes
  • Increased demand for more cost-effective care that meets budget requirements

"There is growing interest among U.S. hospitals, providers and Centers of Excellence to attract foreign patients," Carabello adds. "Physician-owned ambulatory surgi-centers are participating in this growth trend, as well.  International patients are often cash-paying customers and originate from countries where there are significant financial resources but limited healthcare infrastructure or access to quality diagnostics or care." 

This session will examine the top volume procedures for medical travel, track the growth of the industry, evaluate the positioning of provider organizations and COEs, and review initiatives by some of the nation's largest employers to introduce domestic medical travel programs.  With the implementation of healthcare exchanges, and amid mounting challenges for balancing quality and cost-savings, this discussion will help conference attendees to evaluate their participation in a medical travel program. 

Medical Travel Today would like to extend to you a discount registration code for the only Conference Series 100 Percent Dedicated to HealthCare Consumerism Progress, Collaboration and Education.

USE PROMO CODE: MEDICALTRAVEL for $100 off Registration Rates

...where so much innovation is discussed and demonstrated around all aspects of health and benefit management's current opportunities and challenges.

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...that has been at the forefront of the healthcare consumerism mega-trend as we witness one of the most monumental shifts in our industry's history.

Wondering what specifically you will take away from the 2014 IHC FORUM & Expo? Read our Attendee Takeaways.
IHC FORUM's 2014 Theme:
"HealthCare Consumerism: The Solution for HealthCare Reform"

The IHC FORUM is the ONLY Conference Series 100 Percent Dedicated to Healthcare Consumerism

Learn More and Register Today!

2014 IHC FORUM & Expo, May 7-9
Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, GA

"HealthCare Consumerism:
The Solution for HealthCare Reform"


Produced by: The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism
292 South Main Street, Ste 400
Alpharetta, GA 30009


Industry News

Aquarius Capital Brings Columbia University Graduate Actuarial Students to Bermuda to Study the International Reinsurance Market

Michael Frank and Donald Rusconi, founders of Aquarius Capital and professors at Columbia University, bring graduate students in actuarial science to meet with 26 reinsurance companies and organizations supporting the insurance industry in Bermuda during March 2014. Students met with life, accident, health and property/casualty companies in Bermuda, including CEOs, chief financial officers, chief actuaries, chief underwriters, chief risk officers and other executives in the reinsurance industry. Students were exposed to all aspects of the reinsurance business including marketing, underwriting, pricing, valuation, ERM, retrocession, claims management, catastrophe modeling, investments, regulations and other aspects of the insurance and reinsurance industry. Students had meetings at the different companies and received presentations from executive management of those organizations, as well as one-on-one time with different experts in the industry.

"This was a great opportunity for the students to learn about Bermuda and the worldwide reinsurance market for all disciplines in insurance, with students meeting more than 80 executives in the reinsurance industry over a one-week period," said Michael Frank, president of Aquarius Capital. "We appreciate the reinsurance community's willingness to share their time and experiences with our students. This was an invaluable experience for the students and the participation of those reinsurance organizations involved is much appreciated."

Special Thanks

On behalf of Aquarius Capital and Columbia University, M.S. in Actuarial Science, we want to thank the following organizations for their participation in this education program.

  • ACE Tempest Life
  • Aon
  • Arch Capital Group
  • Athene Life Re
  • Axis
  • Bermuda Foundation For Insurance Studies
  • Bermuda International Long-Term Insurers and Reinsurers (BILTIR)
  • Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA)
  • Catlin Insurance Company
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst &Young
  • Front Street Re
  • Hannover Re
  • Lancashire Group
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Montepelier Re
  • Platinum Underwriters Bermuda
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC)
  • Renaissance Reinsurance
  • Safe Harbor Re
  • Standard Life
  • Tokio Millennium Re
  • Transamerica
  • Validus Holding
  • Wilton Re

About Aquarius Capital
Aquarius Capital is an independently owned company with offices in New York and Connecticut. Formed in 2002, Aquarius Capital provides an array of services to its clients in the life, accident, health and special risk insurance industry, including actuarial, underwriting, product development, financial analysis, practice management, mergers and acquisition, and reinsurance risk management services.

Aquarius insurance clients include employers, insurance companies, reinsurers, managed care companies, municipalities, managing general underwriters, healthcare providers, Fortune 500 companies, brokerage firms and other actuarial organizations. Aquarius is also active in the capital markets arena having consulted more than 90 financial institutions, including investment bankers, private equity firms, hedge funds, asset managers and research organizations in the U.S. and international business ventures in insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits.

Contact Michael Frank at 914-933-0063, michael.frank@aquariuscapital.com or visit www.AquariusCapital.com for additional information.

About Columbia University, Masters in Actuarial Science Program
Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. In 2006, the University created the Masters of Science program in Actuarial Science. The program currently has more than 200 graduate students enrolled with students coming from more than 20 countries and six continents. For example, students come from the U.S. (approximately 30 percent), Bermuda, Canada, China, Cyprus, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, and many others.

It is an intensive 18-month program with students studying property/casualty, pensions, life insurance, reinsurance, ERM and health insurance with training in pricing, valuation, mergers and acquisition and other financial disciplines internationally. Students are learning in the class room, as well as through internships. More than 60 companies per year are active with the University including offering internships. The program currently has 23 credentialed actuaries as faculty (three full-time and 20 part-time professors). Many of the courses are taught by practicing actuaries and insurance experts. As an example, Michael Frank and Donald Rusconi are two of the instructors teaching healthcare and reinsurance.

To learn more about the Columbia University, Masters in Actuarial Science, visit http://ce.columbia.edu/actuarial-Science. For internship partnering opportunities, contact Ken Mitchell at (845) 638-2700 or ken@mitchellactuarialrecruiting.com.

Industry News

Bigger Hospitals Mean Higher Prices, Not Better Care
by Shannon Brownlee and Vikas Saini, originally published in Bloomberg View on 2/18/14. Reprinted with permission. The opinions expressed are those of the authors.

Bloombergview.com-Hospitals are busily merging with other hospitals and buying up groups of doctors. They claim that size brings efficiency and the opportunity to deliver more "value-based" care -- and fewer unnecessary services. They argue that they have to get bigger to cut waste. What's the evidence that bigger hospitals offer better value? Not a lot. 

If you think of value as some combination of needed services delivered for the right price, large hospitals are no better than small hospitals on both counts. The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care and other sources have shown time and again that some of the biggest and best-known U.S. hospitals are no less guilty of subjecting patients to useless tests and marginal treatments.
Larger hospitals are also very good at raising prices. In 2010, an analysis for the Massachusetts attorney general found no correlation between price and quality of care. A study published recently in Health Affairs offered similar results for the rest of the country: On average, higher-priced hospitals are bigger, but offer no better quality of care.

The disconnect between price and value has many causes, but the flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the hospital industry is making it worse. Hospitals command higher prices when they corner market share. They gain even more leverage when they gobble up large physician practices.

Courts are beginning to wake up to these facts. Last year, St. Luke's Health System Ltd., a multihospital chain based in Boise, Idaho, acquired the state's largest independent multispecialty physician practice group, Saltzer Medical Group, giving the hospital 80 percent of adult primary care physicians in the relevant market. On Jan. 24, the U.S. District Court in Idaho ruled that the acquisition violated federal antitrust law, and reversed it.

But the courts aren't moving fast enough. In many communities, deals between hospitals and physician practices, particularly procedure-oriented specialists, amount to a pact to fleece the system. Hospitals often command higher rates for procedures and tests than do specialists in their private practices. With specialists on a salary, a hospital can charge its higher rates, and the parties split the increased revenue. Everybody wins, except patients and payers.

The phenomenon of buying doctors' practices is changing healthcare in ways that go deeper than raising prices. Power is shifting from physicians and other caregivers, whose duty (though they don't always fulfill it) is to the needs of patients, toward administrators and corporations, whose loyalty lies with the institution or shareholders.

Physicians have long held the "power of the pen." Their decisions about whether to admit patients, which diagnostic tests to perform and which treatments to pursue ultimately determine if a patient gets the right care, and how much that patient's care costs. Few non-clinicians understand just how much medical decision-making is discretionary -- from the interpretation of a borderline test to the decision to admit to the hospital.

As large hospitals gain financial control of physician practices, the medical profession becomes another cog in the corporate machine, and many physicians have told us they feel they must skew their medical judgment to keep their jobs. A recent case in point: At Health Management Associates Inc., a chain of hospitals based in Florida, administrators rewarded and punished emergency physicians based on whether they met targets for admitting -- regardless of what the patient needed.

If we want better care and less waste, the balance of control over what happens to patients should be in the hands of physicians, not hospitals.

We're not calling for a return to the days of Marcus Welby, M.D., when doctors worked as solo practitioners, accountable to nobody and able to drive up volume (and their incomes) in a fee-for-service world. But given the proper incentives, physician groups could become one of the best levers for driving change toward a more humane and affordable healthcare system.

Some of the highest-performing medical systems in the country are multispecialty group practices whose group culture drove that of their hospital facilities, not the other way around. Most of these high-performers have robust primary care services at their core. The rest of the country needs primary care teams, including nurses and other mid-level providers, that work together and take responsibility for global budgets and can provide better care than solo doctors, or most specialist-controlled practices.

So, how can we get there? Some have suggested converting hospitals with dominant market positions into common carriers. They would be regulated much like utilities, with transparent pricing and community oversight. Such an approach would be a radical shift in how we think about the healthcare market and would require careful regional planning. The most efficient way to achieve this goal would be through a single-payer system.

But regulating hospitals as common carriers wouldn't address the fundamental question of who controls the care patients get. We should also tilt the playing field toward primary care. Since our healthcare mandarins have committed us to a national experiment with Accountable Care Organizations, how about serious fiscal support for such organizations controlled by primary care physicians?

One way to do that would be for Medicare to expand its "Advance Payment Model," a program that provides capital to small or rural physician groups. More experiments with incentives for models like this could accelerate the formation of multispecialty Accountable Care Organizations driven by primary care.

Until we give primary care groups control over what happens to patients, large hospital systems and specialist-dominated groups -- those with greatest access to capital -- will be able to keep raising prices, even as they issue press releases about their plans to control costs and improve care.

(Shannon Brownlee is a senior vice president at the Lown Institute and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. Vikas Saini is president of the Lown Institute, an associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and a member of the departments of Medicine and Nutrition at Harvard University.)

To contact the writers of this article: Shannon Brownlee at sbrownlee@lowninstitute.org; Vikas Saini at vsaini@lowninstitute.org.
To contact the editor of this article: James Gibney at jgibney5@bloomberg.net.

To read the original article click here.

Industry News

New Hospital to Boost Health Tourism Drive In Jamaica

SouthFloridaCaribbeanNews.com- Jamaica's drive to develop health tourism has taken a giant step forward with an announcement that by the second half of 2015, the Hospiten Group will have a 22-room, state-of-the art general hospital in operation at Cinnamon Hill in Rose Hall, St. James.

The US$20 million investment will provide medical-hospital services for western Jamaica and the north coast, from Negril to Ocho Rios, and while targeting the tourism market, will also serve Jamaicans. The full-service facility will be equipped with an Image Diagnosis Centre, a Surgical Block, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a Clinical Analysis Lab, and a 24 hour Emergency Room.

Jamaica's Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill joined Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller, in welcoming the Hospiten Group's investment at a press launch at the Montego Bay Convention Centre recently.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Simpson-Miller sees the hospital playing a major role in fostering health tourism.

The Prime Minister said she was pleased that this facility would be the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean adding that, "this investment represents a tangible outcome of Jamaica's Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development and the work of successive governments."

"It's a giant step forward in terms of health tourism. We've had lot of discussion over the years about health tourism and there have been small incursions but here we have a US$20 million investment in health tourism which will benefit Jamaicans and visitors alike," said Minister McNeill.

He added that while there are other facilities in the island, "this one caters directly to a certain niche market and what you will find happening is that for investors who are bringing visitors here, it gives them a sense of comfort and promotes even more investment."

Dr. McNeill said his ministry was also promoting investment in other areas of health and wellness tourism such as retirement villages, convalescent homes, saying "persons who want that sort of investment are going to want to have that kind of care available for their families." He noted that the Hospiten hospital "brings that other dimension to our tourism sector so it really is a huge leap for health tourism."

President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, JHTA, Evelyn Smith also said the sector welcomed the hospital as a boost to health tourism. "It's a great investment in tourism and it answers the call for a service that is so needed within the industry right now, so obviously the membership welcomes it," she said.

During construction the project will provide 300 jobs and a similar number when in operation, according to Hospiten's chairman, Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella. It was noted that the Hospiten Group is an international network of private hospitals which is dedicated to providing high level healthcare services. The chairman said the Group's maxim was to achieve excellence in the services provided, "both in medicine and in patient care, the result of which is that all our hospitals have obtained international recognition for quality and excellence in services and management." 

An important part of that achievement, he noted, lies in understanding, respecting and adapting to the environment, "to the different cultures of the places we settle in." The three-story hospital will be constructed on land that the company acquired at Red Girl in Cinnamon Hill in 2008.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Medical Tourism in Costa Rica: Fast, Easy and Affordable
by Jamie Lopez

Costa Rica Star - When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of the United States was mentioned for the first time, analysts of the medical tourism industry wondered how "Obamacare" would impact the business of health travel. Now that enrollment in federal health insurance has been in effect for a few months, continuous growth of medical tourism in Costa Rica is expected due to three factors: Affordability, accessibility and efficiency.

At the World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress in Washington, D.C. last September, Obamacare was an item of interest among industry professionals in attendance. The consensus was "so far, so good" in the sense that Obamacare is still in its infancy stage, which means lower costs and virtually no waiting periods. This, however, is bound to change as the program matures.

The Affordability Factor
Obamacare is essentially a program for insurance reform; this means that many patients should still expect those out-of-pocket features that have always been associated with medical plans.

Co-payments and deductibles are still a reality for patients in the U.S. who can only afford to pay for a bronze plan under the Affordable Care Act. These deductibles can be $10,000 per insured, and even after these deductibles are met, co-payments of up to 20 percent kick in.

When out-of-pocket medical expenses are compared to the cost of medical tourism, health travel begins to make a lot of sense. In some cases, the cost of flying to Costa Rica, staying in a hotel and paying for medical expenses is still more affordable than the combined cost of out-of-pocket expenses. Here's an example of the affordability factor: A hip replacement surgery in the U.S. costs between $40,000 to $50,000. In Costa Rica, that cost is $14,000. When adding high deductibles and co-payments on top of a $50,000 surgery, it simply makes more sense to take the medical tourism route.

The Accessibility Factor
Easy access to healthcare options is another factor that will guarantee the growth of medical tourism in Costa Rica in the post-Obamacare era. Waiting periods for certain medical procedures are the bane of public healthcare systems; this is something that people in Canada and even Costa Rica are used to dealing with. In Canada, it takes an average of 18 weeks to see a specialist physician; in 1993, the median wait time was nine weeks, and this is something that analysts in the U.S. are expecting to see in the future.

Private medical facilities that cater to medical tourists strive to not have a waiting list for surgeries, diagnostic procedures and therapies. Medical tourism is based on the premise that anyone can get treatment at anytime.

With many non-stop flights originating from major cities such as Toronto, New York, Atlanta, Miami, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and others, Costa Rica has become a major hub for medical tourism. U.S. health travelers can land in SJO or LIR in four hours and be within 30 minutes of hospitals certified by the Joint Commission International. Health travel facilitators such as Medical Traveler CR enhance accessibility by working with local transportation companies such as Go Easy Costa Rica that provide transportation for medical patients to and from their appointments.

The Efficiency Factor
For medical tourists, being able to fly in directly and meet with facilitators who take care of everything is exactly what the doctor ordered. Since medical facilities that cater to health travelers do not have to worry about cost-cutting or bureaucratic operations -- they can focus on providing quality care; this is the efficiency factor.

Efficiency is what companies such as Medical Traveler CR excel at. They are the first choice for medical tourists thanks to the services they offer, which include:

  • Providing information needed to make decisions on medical procedures.
  • Finding the right doctor from an exclusive network of physicians.
  • Coordinating all the logistics, scheduling and communications with physicians.
  • Arranging transportation to and from the airport, and to all doctor/dentist visits.
  • Arranging the right accommodations for patients and traveling companions.

For more information about medical tourism in Costa Rica, booking services, and travel logistics, please contact Medical Traveler Costa Rica: www.MedicalTravelerCR.com.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Global Wellness Tourism Congress Announces First Wellness Tourism Roundtable to Take Place at The Dorchester London on April 1, 2014
Invitation-only event is first of three roundtables scheduled in 2014 with tourism and wellness industries.

The Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC), the organization leading the conversation on wellness tourism, today announced the first of three roundtable events scheduled during the first half of 2014.  The event will take place at The Dorchester, London on April 1, 2014, and will include analysis of the recently released 2013 "Global Wellness Tourism Economy" report with the goal of gaining new views from a spectrum of industry experts and leaders, including discussions of the varied challenges and opportunities presented by this rapidly growing tourism niche.

The research, conducted by SRI International in conjunction with GWTC, features eye-opening data for governments and tourism industry stakeholders worldwide, including analysis that wellness tourism is a $439 billion market, which is projected to reach $678.5 billion by 2017.

"We are thrilled to be continuing the discussions that began at the inaugural Global Wellness Tourism Congress event held in New Delhi, India, last October," said Susie Ellis, president and CEO of the Global Wellness Tourism Congress and the Global Spa & Wellness Summit. "The wellness tourism market is hugely important both in terms of the dollars it represents - one in every seven tourist dollars - and in its ability to encourage a more ‘well' population within the countries that embrace this trend."

Expectations are that wellness tourism (defined as "travel to pursue activities that maintain or enhance health and well-being") will increasingly reshape travel as we know it. As more and more people pay attention to their health, they want to put aside the traditionally unhealthy aspects of travel (overindulging in food and drink, interrupted sleep patterns, disruption of exercise routine, etc.) and embrace healthier business and leisure travel. In addition, a growing segment of travelers are taking trips specifically focused on improving their personal health and wellbeing. In short, more travel is moving from unhealthy to healthy, making wellness tourism a travel niche predicted to grow nearly 50 percent more than global tourism through 2017.

The roundtables offer an opportunity for governments and other stakeholders to begin to fully understand the social and economic opportunities wellness tourism represents. Expected participants at the London event include influential European thought leaders from The World Travel & Tourism Council, Visit England, Spain Tourism, Portugal Tourism, The Travel Foundation and Moroccan Tourism.

It is a tribute to the rapidly accelerating wellness tourism sector that Dorchester Collection's iconic British hotel, The Dorchester, is hosting this prestigious event. Dorchester Collection epitomizes wellness tourism within the five-star sector by delivering tailored experiences through their ‘wellness concierge' service and exceptional spas.

Two additional roundtables will take place in the coming months - one in New York City and the other in Washington D.C. For more on the Global Wellness Tourism Economy report, please visit the resources section at www.gsws.org or click here for the executive summary.

To learn more about the upcoming roundtable event in London, contact Anni Hood (annihood@gsws.org); for details on U.S. events, contact Sallie Fraenkel (sallie@gsws.org). Media should contact Beth McGroarty (beth@rbicom.com) for further information on GWTC and its research (full report is available for $895, but qualified members of the media may request a copy).

About Global Wellness Tourism Congress
The Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) brings together public and private stakeholders to chart the course of the rapidly growing wellness tourism sector. Attendees include government ministers of tourism, health and economic development; CEOs of private companies; leaders and visionaries in related arenas such as medical tourism; and other industry VIPs who present data, engage in open dialogue and map the future of wellness tourism. The next Congress will be held on September 10, 2014, at the Four Seasons Resort in Marrakech, Morocco.

Industry News

Mexico's First Department of Medical Tourism Appointed in the State of Baja California

Due to continuous growth derived from satisfying the demand for top level, affordable medical care and services, the State Secretary of Baja California (SECTURE) has named Dr. Jorge Tagle as the first director of the Department of Medical Tourism.

Medical Tourism has established as a flourishing industry, since visitors from the United States and Canada have found in border cities like Tijuana and Mexicali (the state capital) a rapid access to highly-rated medical services. The creation of this department symbolizes also a heads-up call for other industries in the state, benefitting from patients' and their relatives' stay in the cities of Baja California while undergoing any procedure and/or receiving treatment.

"The purpose of creating this department within the State Secretary of Tourism's structure is to unify efforts by both public and private hospitals, hotels, restaurants, government agencies and related businesses and entities in order to improve every patient's experience when visiting us," said Dr. Jorge Tagle, head of Medical Tourism.

Mexicali's Dr. Alberto Aceves, leading bariatric surgeon in the state and in Mexico, seemed optimistic of the government's statements regarding support to private practice and other validating agencies for the actual services' improvement. "We are hoping for government health agencies to regulate and provide proper validation and certification into just about every service regarding medical tourism, thus creating a trustable atmosphere among patients visiting us," stated Dr. Aceves.

A significant number of specialists and surgeons within private practice like Dr. Alberto Aceves from Mexicali bariatric center have delivered excellent medical services for more than a decade to an increasing number of foreign visitors; this cycle has made that many more doctors join the health services offer.

For tourists coming to Baja California, the second most important reason to travel to the state is related with receiving health services, as over 800,000 visitors traveled here during winter 2012-13 with such purpose. Although some patients may visit just to receive regular consultation, it is easy to deduce that some visitors will remain in Mexico for more than one night if they undergo any kind of treatment or surgical procedure (adding up to 66 percent of their traveling budget spent on medical attention). Patients bring along relatives and/or other companionship (at least in over 70 percent of the cases) in need of services such as hotels, restaurants, entertainment and other activities.

Baja California keeps being a groundbreaking entity among Mexico's states by creating this Department of Medical Tourism. The official acknowledgement of recent and previous single efforts regarding foreign visitors coming to the state of Baja to receive any kind of health services is a very important step forward which benefit many sectors of Baja California's population, as well as any potential visitor to the state, either in the short, mid or long term.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

PlacidWay 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis
PlacidWay, a U.S.-based medical tourism company, has recently published the 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis.

PlacidWay, a U.S.-based medical tourism company, has recently released the 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis, global research that analyzes the consumer's behavior when making medical tourism decisions and consumer-specific needs, perceptions, and desires.

"It is important that medical providers, medical tourism clusters, and governments trying to promote medical travel, align their healthcare solutions by understanding the nature of demand and developing the specific message, as well as the specific program, closely mapped to consumer demand," says Pramod Goel, CEO and founder of PlacidWay Medical Tourism Company.

The purpose of the 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis is to identify how the medical consumers think, what are their needs, how will they buy, where do they seek information, what is important for them when considering traveling abroad for medical care, what are their income levels, why would they go abroad for healthcare, but most of all, who is the medical consumer or medical tourist.

The research has gathered information both from those who have already traveled abroad for medical care and people who are considering going overseas for healthcare, and analyzed the what, how, where, when, who and which of the perceived medical travelers.

The objective of this research is to understand the consumers' buying behavior, their needs, and their perception of the medical tourism. The scope of 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis was defined to encompass a wide range of audience to have a general understanding of the global consumer market. The study also identifies how factors such as age, gender and geographical region have an impact on medical travel.

The 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis has shed some light upon the medical tourism industry seen for the consumers' perspective and found the answers to questions of utmost importance such as: Who is the consumer? What is the consumer's demographic composition? Which treatments would the consumer consider important to buy globally? Why would the consumer travel abroad to receive medical services? Where would the consumer go to get such treatments? Where would the consumer go to find useful information? How much is the consumer willing to pay for medical services abroad? Or when is the consumer ready to make medical travel decisions?

By answering these questions and understanding the consumer's buying behavior when it comes to medical products, the gap between medical supply and demand will be solved and the medical tourism industry will find its equilibrium.

"As the medical tourism industry matures, by understanding consumers we may bring equilibrium to the supply and demand equation of medical travel. We will be able to institute appropriate educational elements to further propel the demand. We can further customize medical travel products and services to meet and expand consumers' expectations from this industry," concluded Pramod Goel.

About PlacidWay Medical Tourism
PlacidWay is a leader in the global medical tourism industry and its goal is to offer up-to-date information and resources regarding medical travel, international providers, treatments, procedures and destinations for international travelers in 30 countries worldwide with more than 250 internationally accredited medical centers.

Contact Information
Pramod Goel

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Obama Budget Calls for $5 Billion to Fight Physician Shortage
by Zack Budryk

Fiercehealthcare.com published an article entitled: Obama Budget Calls for $5 Billion to Fight Physician Shortage, which details President Obama's request to Congress to commit over $5 billion to training programs in an effort to combat the physician shortage nationwide.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Emerging Global Healthcare Markets May Hold Key to Value-based Care
Forbes piece calls for U.S. to practice frugal innovation to succeed in shifting market

Recently, in response to an article published by Forbes, Fiercehealthcare.com produced an article that details the need for the U.S. to become familiar with value-based healthcare models that are emerging in global markets.

To read the original article click here.

Industry News


Industry News

Tallwave Commercialization Fund I Invests Over $500K in High Tide Lean Business Competitions and Select Participating Companies
Health Options Worldwide, Inspire Living, Inc., and Performance 3D Receive Early Stage Seed Funds to Commercialize Their Businesses and Attract Follow-On Investment

Tallwave Commercialization Fund I today announced that it has deployed $500,000 in capital in two Tallwave High Tide business competitions and three early-stage ventures that have emerged from the latest High Tide program.

The Tallwave Commercialization Fund I (Fund) is an Arizona-based venture capital fund specializing in Seed investments in early-stage technology and media companies. The Fund is managed by Tallwave Capital.

"We are looking to invest early, and work with these promising ventures to commercialize their businesses and attract follow-on investment," said Greg Lehmann, Principal, Tallwave Capital. "The High Tide program is an ideal source for bringing validated and fundable startups to the Fund for consideration."

In addition to investing in the recently completed High Tide for Healthcare IT program and the current High Tide for Healthcare and Ed Tech competition, the Fund has provided early stage seed investment to three of the most recent competition's finalists, including winner Health Options Worldwide.

The three companies are:

Health Options Worldwide, Somerset, New Jersey, uses behavioral psychology to increase employee engagement with health plans and reduce reactive care spend.

Inspire Living, Fairfax, Virginia, provides a respiratory monitoring device with a unique algorithm that allows for early detection of child pneumonia.

Performance 3D, Scottsdale, Arizona, provides 3D motion capture and analysis technology that improves fitness performance and reduces the risk of injury.

"As we progressed through the High Tide for Healthcare IT competition we learned invaluable lean business and design principles and forged relationships with an entire ecosystem of advisors, subject matter experts and potential investors," said David Goldstein, President Health Options Worldwide. "The seed funding we've received from the Tallwave Commercialization Fund will help us get to market faster, and we're much better prepared to leverage the funding efficiently and effectively."

About Tallwave Capital
Tallwave Capital is an early-stage venture firm focused on making investments SaaS, e-commerce and digital media and marketing companies across a variety of verticals including Healthcare IT, EdTech, AdTech, and Mobile among others. Headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, Tallwave Capital invests in companies across the country.
Additional information about Tallwave is available at www.tallwave.com.

Linda Capcara
Cell: 480-229-7090

Upcoming Events

Indian Ocean and Africa Medical Tourism & Wellness Conference 2014

April 7-8, 2014 - Pearl Beach Hotel, Mauritius
To learn more or to register click here.

2nd Almaty Medical and Health Tourism Mart

April 7-8, 2014 - Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.

11th Annual World Health Care Congress

April 7-9, 2014 - Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland
To learn more or to register click here.

9th World Health Tourism Congress

May 2-4, 2014 -Dubai, UAE
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Travel Summit 2014

May 6-8, 2014 - Deauville Beach Resort, Miami Beach, Florida
To learn more or to register click here.

IHC Forum & Expo 2014


May 7-9, 2014 - Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, Georgia
To learn more or to register click here.

10th Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference

May 7-10, 2014 - Caravelle Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Tourism Asia 2014


May 13-15, 2014 - China
To learn more or to register click here.

Kazakhstan International Health Forum "Medical Tourism"


May 14-16, 2014 - Atakent Exhibition Centre, Almaty, Kazakhstan
To learn more or to register click here.

UBS Global Healthcare Conference


May 19-21, 2014 - Sheraton NY Hotel, New York, NY
To learn more or to register click here.

5th Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine


June 5-8, 2014 - Bergen, Norway
To learn more or to register click here.

Istanbul Medical Tourism Fair


June 11-13, 2014 - Istanbul Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey
To learn more or to register click here.

28th International Travel Expo


June 12-15, 2014 - Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center
To learn more or to register click here.

Indo Global Healthcare Summit and Expo


June 20-22, 2014 - Taj Krishna & Taj Deccan, Hyderabad, India
To learn more or to register click here.

3rd Annual Global Healthcare Conference


June 23-24, 2014 - Hotel Fort Canning, Singapore
To learn more or to register click here.

The Health Tourism Show


July 10-12, 2014 - The Health Tourism Show
To learn more or to register click here.

6th Regional Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine


August 2-6, 2014 - Jackson Hole, Wyoming
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Fair Asia 2014


September 9-11, 2014 - Suntec Singapore, Singapore
To learn more or to register click here.


8th Annual Global Spa & Wellness Summit


September 10-12, 2014 - Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco
To learn more or to register click here.

10th International Exposition and Conference for Medical Tourism, Spa & Health


September 16-19, 2014 - Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.

IMF International Medical Forum and Spa & Wellness: Healthcare Travel Expo


October 14-16, 2014 - EC KyivExpoPlaza, Kyiv, Ukraine
To learn more or to register click here.

Mexico Summit on Medical & Wellness Tourism Business


October 22-24, 2014 - Reynosa, Mexico
To learn more or to register click here.

Health Tourism Expo Turkey


October 23-25, 2014 - Istanbul, Turkey
To learn more or to register click here.

IHC Forum West 2014


December 4-5, 2014 - Red Rock Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada
To learn more or to register click here.

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress


January 26-29, 2015 - Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE
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

Dubai Medical Tourism Plan Approved

Gulfnews.com - The Dubai Executive Council has approved a strategy for medical tourism to make Dubai a leading healthcare destination.

Sarasota Using Beaches to Build its Medical Tourism Industry

Mysuncoast.com - There are plenty of reasons for tourists to visit the Suncoast -- the beaches, the dining, the shopping, the knee replacements? That's right, medical tourism is a growing industry on the Suncoast.

Top Destinations for Health Tourism

Cnbc.com - Medical tourism - where patients struggling to afford or find the right treatment at home head overseas - is booming, with many countries jostling to offer high-quality healthcare at a good price.

Costa to Promote Health Tourism

News.gnom.es - The Costa del Sol plans to promote ‘health tourism' which will encourage people to come to the area for treatment in private clinics, of which the province has plenty.

Czech Clinics See a Rise in Medical Tourist Numbers

Tourism-review.com - Medical tourism is big business these days as countries with the best facilities, treatment options and skills attract patients from countries that cannot give them the same benefits.

Medical Tourism - Opportunity for Region's Economic Recovery

Inserbia.info - The development of health tourism promotes economic growth in the country, allows faster and more efficient treatment process, better health services and medical staff.

Malaysia Aims to Break into Medical Tourism Market in Big Way

Nst.com - Since the general character of the tourism industry is gradually compartmentalizing itself into highly specialized money-spinning segments, tourism experts are busy devising strategies that would open up these individual segments for them.

TAT Unveils New Campaign to Boost Medical Tourism

Thainews.prd.go.th -The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has introduced the "Thailand Extreme Makeover" campaign, aiming to attract more medical tourists from around the globe via the internet.

Australia Medical Tourism on the Rise

Healthnewsdigest.com - Worse than coming home from vacation with a broken snow globe is a botched nose job, which is the awful souvenir many Aussies are ending up with. Australians have some of the best quality and hi-tech healthcare in the world, so why do they travel to other countries for plastic surgery?


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.


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