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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

A Supersized San Antonio: People Flock to Mexico for Cheap Weight Loss Surgery

What's Wrong with American Healthcare?

Rwanda Invests in Medical Tourism

Puerto Rico Announces Plan To Promote Itself As Medical Tourism Destination

Medical Tourism Industry Growing in Peru

Plastic Surgery and Medical Procedures in Thailand: Why More of Us Are Doing It

U.S. Hospitals Have Highest Administrative Spending Costs In The World

Desperate Chinese Seek Medical Care Abroad

Cigna Rebrands to Emphasize Community, Expand Reach in International Markets

Spotlight Interview

Leonard Karp, President and CEO, Philadelphia International Medicine

Industry News

"Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy" Report Released by Wellness Tourism Worldwide

Is Costa Rica an Affordable Option for Expats and Medical Tourists with Alzheimer's Disease?

About.com Selects Patients Beyond Borders Author as Medical Tourism and Wellness Travel Expert

The Latin American Market for Spinal Implants and Bone Graft Substitutes Will Reach $530 Million by 2022 

New Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index Creates a Catalyst for Worldwide Change

The Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis When You Travel

World's Largest Self-Insurance/ART Event Coming to Phoenix!

SIIA Panel Discussion: Domestic Medical Travel - Opportunities and Challenges for Self-Insured Employers

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors

Upcoming Events

34th Annual SIIA National Educational Conference & Expo

International Medical Forum and Spa & Wellness: Healthcare Travel Expo

Mexico Summit on Medical & Wellness Tourism Business

Health Tourism Expo Turkey

Medical Asia

Mexico: Summit on Medical Tourism & Wellness Business

IHC Forum West 2014

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress

International Health Tourism Conference

Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress

Medical Fair India

12th Annual World Health Care Congress 2015

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Volume 8, Issue 6

Dear Colleagues:

As the medical travel industry continues to mature, a number of locations worldwide are emerging as prominent treatment destinations. 

Healthcare veteran Leonard Karp, CEO and president, Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM), has made it his mission to position the City of Philadelphia as an international healthcare destination.

Thus far, PIM patients have contributed approximately $250 million to the Philadelphia economy. Karp claims that the facility's unique training and continuing education events utilize faculty from its university medical centers to present the latest in medical techniques and research, making these select facilities in Philadelphia attractive to patients worldwide. 

For the growing number of readers who are interested in the U.S. domestic medical travel space, I am pleased to report that the Self Insurance Institute of America has invited me to chair a panel on the subject at the annual meeting: www.siia.org/national.

Date: October 5-7, 2014 
Location: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, Phoenix, AZ

The SIIA National Conference & Expo is the world's largest event focused exclusively on the self-insurance/alternative risk transfer marketplace, typically attracting more than 1,700 attendees from throughout the United States and from a growing number of countries around the world. The program features more than 40 educational sessions designed to help employers and their business partners identify and maximize the value of self-insurance solutions.

For additional details about SIIA and the medical travel panel, read the article entitled, "SIIA Panel Discussion: Domestic Medical Travel - Opportunities and Challenges for Self-Insured Employers," below.

With the growing interest in medical/surgical travel options, we'd like to hear from your provider organization - ACO, health/hospital system, free standing surgi-center, community hospital - why you believe that your facility or organization is a Center of Excellence that can serve the needs of employers and payers throughout the United States. 

What distinguishes your service offering in terms of cost, patient experience and satisfaction, outcomes, or other quality indicators.  Send us your descriptor, including photos or charts, and we will evaluate for publication in this newsletter.

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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SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW: Leonard Karp, President and CEO, Philadelphia International Medicine



About Leonard Karp
Leonard Karp is the president and CEO of Philadelphia International Medicine and a two-decade veteran of the U.S. healthcare industry.

At Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM), Karp leads an organization dedicated to establishing the Philadelphia region as an international healthcare destination of choice. PIM is seen as an economic development initiative and works closely with city, state and federal commerce departments. It is a successful model of collaboration among academic medical centers in the Philadelphia region, and Karp has been interviewed about international medicine as an economic driver by CNN, the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and publications around the world.

This unique hospital marketing and management company is owned jointly by Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and has service agreements with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Home Care, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and Wills Eye Hospital.

PIM has three product lines: the care of international patients at Philadelphia area hospitals; training and continuing education of healthcare professionals from around the world; and management and consulting services to international hospitals, governments and health agencies.

PIM patients have contributed about $250 million to the Philadelphia economy, while its training and continuing education events utilize faculty from its university medical centers to explain the latest in medical techniques and research. PIM organizes clinical training for physicians, advanced training for nurses, and MBA-like training for international hospital administrators.

Karp is also an international trade advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as a member of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services. He is a co-founder of Greater Philadelphia Global Partners, a regional organization to promote global trade in the Philadelphia area. He has spoken on international healthcare to audiences in South Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Abu Dhabi and throughout the United States. Karp is on the board of Global Philadelphia Association, the Life Sciences Congress of the Greater Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau and is chairman of the Upper Dublin Township Zoning Hearing Board. He has been a mentor to the Temple University Fox School of Business entrepreneurship program for four years.

Previously, Karp was vice president of the Delaware Valley Hospital Council, director of Public Affairs for the New Jersey Insurance Department, and an award-winning reporter/editor.

About Philadelphia International Medicine
Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM) is a healthcare organization dedicated to bringing the services of six prestigious Philadelphia area hospitals to the international community. Our owner hospitals include Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Hospital, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. We also have service agreements with Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and Wills Eye Hospital. Learn more about PIM's history, organization and development in the following pages.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): How did you get involved in the medical travel space?

Leonard Karp (LK): Philadelphia was, and still is, a major medical focal point in the United States.

When I first got involved in the industry, the city was home to more than 80 hospitals and five or six different medical schools. The healthcare infrastructure was - and still is -- a vital asset to the economy.

Back in the mid 1990's, Health Maintenance Organization's (HMO) were rapidly developing and changing the way medicine was delivered. Simultaneously, we were witnessing a dramatic decrease in the length of patient hospital stay, and as a result, we were seeing an oversupply of medical beds in the Philadelphia region.

Around 1998, I was part of a team at the regional hospital association that was looking at different opportunities to preserve healthcare as an economic driver, one of which was medical travel.

The hospital council decided to organize a regional medical travel infrastructure, which took approximately a year to finalize in terms of appropriate finances, responsibilities and active roles.

In 1999, we launched our organization, now known as Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM), a limited liability corporation owned by hospitals. Originally, we did receive city and state funding to get started, but we've been self-sufficient for quite some time now.

PIM funds itself through training programs that we provide for physicians overseas, or through the hospitals that pay for the marketing services that we offer.

MTT: Are you aware of other groups similar to PIM throughout the United States?

LK: There aren't other groups exactly like PIM, but Partner's International in Boston, Massachusetts, does have a similar model.

MTT: Can you share major milestones that PIM has achieved thus far?

LK: Philadelphia International Medicine consists of two groups - owner hospitals and hospitals that participate through service contracts.

The owner hospitals include:

  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
  • Temple University Hospital
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center

The service agreement hospitals include:

  • Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
  • Jefferson Home Care
  • Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Wills Eye Institute.

We have also developed a relationship with a home healthcare agency.

Currently, PIM only works in the international medical travel space. We do not work within the domestic medical travel industry for a host of reasons, the primary reason being competition. We feel that internationally, it is more beneficial to work in a non-competitive, collaborative environment.

Last year, PIM had more than 6,000 international patient encounters, and is responsible for contributing $45 million to the regional economy.

We are primarily focused on the Caribbean, Canadian and Middle Eastern markets, but we are also attempting to take the initial steps to look at additional markets, such as North Africa.

MTT: Does PIM track patient data in terms of follow ups, outcomes, readmissions, etc.?

LK: We do not track the data because although we are part of the hospital, we are not inside the hospital.

The hospitals do track statistics and then send the information to organizations that can specifically code the data.

In Pennsylvania, there is an agency called the Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council that provides outcomes and data from a number of different service lines.

There is another organization run out of Rush University in Chicago, Illinois, that many hospital-based international departments, including PIM, report data to. Visit National Center for Healthcare Leadership: http://www.nchl.org/.

MTT: That is just on the international side?

LK: Correct. This information specifically pertains to data regarding the number of patients, revenue, and DRG's (why people come here).

The outcomes are available in other formats.

MTT: How do you market to international countries?

LK: Our number one and most effective marketing tactic is word-of-mouth. We have quite a bit of referrals that have been generated by past patients and physicians.

We also provide training and continuing medical education (CME) events overseas that gain a great deal of exposure for doctors.

It is important to mention that this is no longer a primarily self-paid business, it is now increasingly paid by international insurance.

MTT: How is your organization staffed?

LK: Our board of managers consists of hospital leaders, and we start with a very high level of oversight from these facilities.

Our staff is then broken down into patient care and patient accounts.

I have people who strictly work on billing and receivables, and then others who schedule appointments and operate as patient advocates.

MTT: How do you handle language barriers?

LK: We have multilingual interpreters who are available to translate for patients.

MTT: Do you notice a lot of competition between PIM and hospitals in Florida that are pushing to gain Caribbean and South American patients?

LK: There are a growing number of competitors both domestically and globally. Our main competition is truly global now - and it has been for some time.

The hospitals in London, Halifax, Toronto and South Korea are very active in promoting themselves to international patients. Everywhere I go, I run into a South Korean delegation.

Of course, organizations need to be aware of what competitors are doing, but it is most important to make sure YOUR organization is providing the highest quality service and best outcomes to the patient.

MTT: Taking into consideration the high cost of healthcare in the United States, are your price points competitive with others internationally?

LK: We try to provide pricing that matches the level of skill and quality that a patient would receive in the American healthcare system.

There are certain locations that we can never compete with on price, such as India or Thailand, and we don't try to. That is not what American medicine is about.

A lot of individuals are willing to spend the extra money, within reason, to match the value in quality.

I will say that price is likely the number one reason why prospective patients decline treatment here, which is a common occurrence at any major facility in the United States.

MTT: Do you think your model can be replicated in other areas?

LK: I think our model is complex, but it can certainly be replicated.

We have been successful thus far because we have organizations that are willing to collaborate with us - they see us as an opportunity to provide services at a lower cost through shared expenses.

In geographic areas where there is already an established market leader, or perhaps one or two hospitals that are heavily invested in international medical travel, it might be more of a challenge to go into a collaborative organization approach with other institutions.

MTT: Final thoughts?

LK: I think it is important to reiterate the reason we are in this business, which is to help the patients.

The number of patient lives that we are able to touch, and who touch us, is incredibly rewarding.

Many patients seek long-term treatment in Philadelphia for life threatening diseases, and they really do become loyal ambassadors for the city.

Industry News

"Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy" Report Released by Wellness Tourism Worldwide

Wellness Tourism Worldwide www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com (WTW), a leading wellness tourism research, education and consulting business, is pleased to announce the release of "Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy."

Quoted below in italics is an excerpt from "Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy" outlining who should be involved and why:*

  • Medical professionals and wellness practitioners who understand the value of vacations in promoting mental health, physical activity and social engagement
  • Parks and recreation professionals and outdoor outfitters who value nature's solution to a sedentary and urbanized lifestyle
  • Museums, cultural attractions and organizations that understand art's important role to engagement, innovation, creativity and emotional, intellectual, physical and social well-being
  • Farms, ranches and food-related organizations and companies who seek to preserve local food culture and improve health and sustainability
  • Travel businesses, organizations, associations and professionals that understand vacations are a need, not a luxury, and that travel is a top contributor to the economy
  • Meeting planners and human resource professionals who recognize the growing emphasis on a sustainable work-force and the need to maintain the health of meeting and conference participants
  • Organizations that promote family values and understand the need for quality time, personal enrichment and memory making through travel
  • Progressive business executives, managers and entrepreneurs who value vacations' positive impact on productivity and work/life balance
  • Labor unions and other organizations representing workers and advocates for employee rights, benefits and compensation
  • Insurance companies seeking to reduce claims through wellness promotion and by encouraging physical, social and emotional well-being through an active and engaged way of life
  • Teachers, schools, universities, colleges and institutions that promote life-long learning, social studies, creative arts, language skills and educational enrichment
  • Social justice organizations that support fair trade and responsible community development
  • Environmental organizations that understand that people's health is tied to the environment in which they live and recreate
  • All people who care about work/life balance, quality of life and well-being

Defining wellness has been a challenge to advocates, academics and businesses, but even more formidable has been facilitating higher levels of individual, social and national well-being.   

Wellness Travel in America: Shaping Health, Businesses & Economy provides unprecedented data on wellness travel in the United States, examining a broad spectrum of stakeholders and confluences between sectors affecting both population and economic health. A culmination of U.S. consumer survey data and extensive research across multiple industries, the report can be used to understand how wellness travel can play a significant role in disease prevention, workplace wellness, vacation policy development, tourism development and destination marketing. 

Over 60 tables and figures are contained in this comprehensive 90-page document. The report includes an extensive review of wellness trends, workplace policies, and proprietary data collection and analysis of U.S. consumers interested in healthy travel resulting in a data-driven profile marketers can use to promote their brand. 

Epidemic levels of stress, obesity, sleep problems and lack of balance between home and work are drivers to the surging interest in wellness, affecting the way businesses operate. While wellness has garnered attention over the last several years, there has been very little discussion regarding what wellness travel means to U.S. consumers, businesses and the travel industry.

Concepts such as wellness vacations, healthy hotels, and business related wellness perks are on the rise as organizations seek to contain healthcare costs and drive volume and profits. 

This report can be used to:

  • Better integrate wellness concepts in leisure travel and business
  • Gain understanding of wellness travel consumers, their interests, perceptions and needs as well as motivations, decisions and preferences
  • Better conceptualize wellness tourism as a way to mitigate health, social and environmental problems related to an urbanized, industrialized world
  • Improve, innovate and create travel products and services to positively impact health, happiness, productivity and ultimately strengthen America's economy
  • Promote healthy lifestyle vacation travel as an engine for economic growth, personal enrichment and better work/life balance

Wellness Tourism Worldwide founder and CEO Camille Hoheb, remarked, "Wellness tourism cuts across multiple sectors to stimulate entrepreneurship, innovation and a more comprehensive approach to population health and financial stability." Adding, "Wellness Tourism Worldwide is constantly seeking ways to help others achieve their professional success and personal wellness goals and we believe this Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy, provides ample recommendations to do just that." 

Those wishing to get involved in wellness travel are invited to contact Wellness Tourism Worldwide through the contact page http://www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com/contact.html 

The report will be available for purchase online September 2, 2014, at www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com  

* The excerpt from "Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy" is the property of Wellness Tourism Worldwide and any reference, citation or quotation is to be credited as "Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy prepared by Wellness Tourism Worldwide."

About Wellness Tourism Worldwide: Wellness Tourism Worldwide (WTW) is a leader in education, development and promotion of wellness travel. WTW works with companies, destinations and travel entrepreneurs to deliver meaningful experiences and boost revenue by improving the well-being of guests and clients. http://www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com

Industry News

Is Costa Rica an Affordable Option for Expats and Medical Tourists with Alzheimer's Disease?
by Fabiola Pomareda

Ticotimes.net- High care costs in the United States for patients with Alzheimer's disease are prompting many families to look to other countries, including Costa Rica, as an alternative treatment option.

According to the nonprofit health group Alzheimer's Association, more than five million Alzheimer's patients live in the United States, and someone is diagnosed in that country every 67 seconds. Out-of-pocket healthcare costs paid by family members of Alzheimer's patients will total $34 billion this year alone.

Medical travel group Patients Beyond Borders estimates that 900,000 U.S. residents traveled abroad last year for healthcare services. Part of that demand includes services for Alzheimer's patients.

To respond, some care centers in Costa Rica now offer bilingual services targeting Alzheimer's patients. La Casa Sol, in the southwestern San José suburb of Escazú, is a daycare center offering physiotherapy, psychogeriatric evaluations and sensory stimulation.

Hugolino Cardenas dances with a La Casa Sol employee during morning activities at the Escazú center.
Alberto Font/The Tico Times

Twenty-five years ago, La Casa Sol director Jenny Mora helped found the Costa Rican Alzheimer's Association (la Asociación de Alzheimer de Costa Rica, in Spanish), and she currently serves as the group's vice president. Mora said the center's clients have several options, including music therapy that includes singing and dancing, table games, gardening, a literature club, and sports such as volleyball and golf.

La Casa Sol has about 45 guests, but they don't visit every day. Some attend once a month, while others visit two or three times a week. Some are from the United States, and others are from Venezuela, Spain, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.

"It's multicultural," Mora said. "We have staff who speak English, and those who don't speak Spanish won't feel isolated. For example, the psychomotor exercises include dancing, and the explanations are given in both languages."

While the center offers basic care, it also has agreements with medical specialists at affordable pricing. Members of the staff also help guests find and purchase affordable prescription drugs.

"A lot of people have the wrong impression that North Americans always come here with a lot of money. We know that's not true, because we are aware of the costs associated with aging. This is one of the reasons we always look for the best and most affordable pharmacies," Mora said.

Stretching is an everyday activity at La Casa Sol.
Alberto Font/The Tico Times

The center also offers a nutritional menu designed to manage cholesterol, triglycerides and uric acid for diabetics. "Today we have on the menu, for example, olla de carne [Costa Rican meat stew], which is nutritious and delicious. Many people come from [the U.S.] with poor nutrition because they're accustomed to a high-fat diet," she said.

Another center that offers services for Alzheimer's patients is Verdeza, which also is located in Escazú. Maybell Araya, director of marketing, said Verdeza has four floors of varying residential care. The second floor caters to Alzheimer's patients and has specialized staff.

Daily services include housekeeping, laundry, lifestyle activity assistance, prescription drug management, meals, social programs and therapeutic activities.

At Verdeza, a monthly payment of $3,800 includes an apartment, targeted care and meals. A similar care package in the United States could cost up to $9,000 a month, depending on the state, Araya said.

Araya said Verdeza has had residents from California, Arizona and North Carolina, among other states. Temporary guests stay from two weeks up to three months, or longer, according to needs. Permanent residents also are welcome.

Manuel Ruiz sings opera to his mates at La Casa Sol.
Alberto Font/The Tico Times

Some health experts question the benefits of sending Alzheimer's patients abroad, arguing that it is important to keep them at home and near family, friends and in familiar neighborhoods in order to stimulate with memories, language and familiar culture. But other experts say that depending on the advancement of the disease, patients are able to adjust to new environments, and what makes the difference is the quality of care they receive.

Asked about this, Araya told The Tico Times that, "a person with Alzheimer's should be in a safe environment with qualified and well-trained personnel who promote independence, social activities and a healthy routine."

Mora said La Casa Sol aims to help patients maintain mental stability as long as possible to avoid institutionalization.

"Our therapies are based on improving physical, mental, emotional and social capabilities," she said.

"While it is true that it's inconvenient to transfer an Alzheimer's patient, I can assure you that early diagnosis can help avoid accelerated deterioration into dementia," Mora said.

Nora Carvalho plays a board game at La Casa Sol as part of the center's morning activities. 
Alberto Font/The Tico Times

Other concerns about traveling abroad for medical care include the quality standards of facilities and local regulations that guide them.

Araya said Verdeza follows national regulations set by the Costa Rican Health Ministry, which audits them on the quality of care given to seniors and the level of training of staff.

For La Casa Sol's contact information, click here. For more on Verdeza, visit their website here. Visit the Asociación Costarricense de Alzheimer's Facebook page here.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

PlacidWay Upgrades PlacidWay.com Helping Consumers Choose Medical Options Abroad
Inspired by the 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis, PlacidWay, a medical tourism company, has recently upgraded its website, www.placidway.com offering intuitive and quick access to hundreds of medical facilities, packages, prices, medical destinations and all the information needed by medical travelers.

PlacidWay, a U.S.-based medical tourism company, now offers its customers a simplified and a more user-friendly website. By enhancing the search capability, the customers can quickly and easily find all the information, advice, tips and tricks they need to help them make a smart and safe decision in choosing medical care.

Selecting the best medical care option, whether locally or abroad, can become a tiring and frustrating experience. PlacidWay simplifies medical travel search options by offering all the information needed to find accredited medical facilities, board certified physicians, latest technological medical care, prices according to specific budget, treatment packages according to personal needs and online support to help patients find the right solution for their medical needs -- all in one place.

According to Pramod Goel, CEO and founder of PlacidWay, "The new enhancements brought to our website will improve our visitors' web experience. Now it is easier than ever to find the treatment, clinic, package, prices or medical destination our customers need and to customize their medical treatment needs depending on their desires."

The upgrading of the website was inspired by the 2014 Medical Tourism Global Consumer Demand Survey Analysis, a research based on a global sample of potential medical tourists, which identified consumer priorities and preferences when searching for information related to healthcare and specifically when traveling abroad. Consumers are looking for choices: comparing prices among various medical providers, looking for all inclusive packages near shore or abroad to save money or seeking expertise which is not available locally.

The customers want to view many options and PlacidWay medical tourism portal can provide this. They are looking to learn about their medical options by performing detail searches and specifically looking for complete transparency such as no hidden costs, upfront identification of risks and challenges. The consumers are also looking for a visual impact to obtain the knowledge they need and to make informed decisions.

"We hope our visitors will enjoy the new website and find it a useful and easy-to-use resource. We will continue to upgrade our website and bring new features, as we aim to offer our customers the best experience a medical tourism website can offer," added Pramod Goel.

About PlacidWay Medical Tourism
PlacidWay, a leader in the medical tourism industry, offers extensive information related to medical travel, international medical providers, foreign treatment packages, as well as global destinations for health travelers. PlacidWay's network has over 250 renowned medical centers from more than 30 countries. PlacidWay is able to help customers from all over the world get access to personalized, safe and affordable medical care, no matter where they are from, meeting their budget requirements. Our goal is to help each customer make the right decision when it comes to choosing healthcare options abroad.

Contact Information
Pramod Goel
8008 East Arapahoe Court, Suite 100
Centennial, CO 80112, USA

Industry News

About.com Selects Patients Beyond Borders Author as Medical Tourism and Wellness Travel Expert
New Site Brings Medical Tourism into Mainstream Travel

Chapel Hill, NC, 2 Sept 2014: About.com, one of the world's leading online resource sites, has named Josef Woodman, author of Patients Beyond Borders, as the expert writer for its newly-launched Medical Tourism and Wellness Travel site. This new topic joins about.com's Travel section, helping its 90 million monthly visitors learn more about their choices in obtaining safe, affordable medical care around the world. Similarly, the new Wellness Travel content will offer advice on staying healthy on the road, including advice on the best destinations, accommodations and services for the burgeoning new wellness tourism travel sector.

As founder of Patients Beyond Borders, the leading print and online consumer reference for medical tourism, Woodman brings more than a decade of research and experience to the international healthcare travel arena. In 1998, he also co-founded MyDailyHealth, one of the Internet's first interactive wellness sites.

"We are pleased to see medical tourism and wellness travel join the ranks of other mainstream travel categories," said Woodman. "About.com has grown into a trusted destination site for precisely our type of content."

Initially, about.com's Medical Tourism and Wellness Travel will inform visitors about the basics of medical tourism: planning and budgeting a successful medical travel journey, comparative costs for typical procedures, tips for finding the best hospitals, clinics and doctors, rules of the road for safe travel and more. Content will be added monthly by the Patients Beyond Borders editorial team and by leading medical tourism and wellness travel guest experts, including descriptions and contact information for top medical destinations and facilities.

About about.com
About.com is one of the largest online content sites on the Internet, dedicated to helping its 90 million monthly visitors discover, learn about and be inspired by topics ranging from parenting and healthcare to cooking to travel, penned by some 1,000 third-party "Experts." In 2012, about.com was purchased from the New York Times by Barry Diller's IAC for some $300 million. IAC owns more than 150 media brands, including search engine Ask.com.

For about.com media inquiries:

Meredith Worsham
Senior Manager of Communications, About.com

Liz Allen
Communications Specialist, About.com

About Patients Beyond Borders
Patients Beyond Borders, www.patientsbeyondborders.com based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, publishes books, eBooks, video, online, mobile, and other resources for healthcare consumers seeking high-quality, affordable options in medical care. Its flagship international title, Patients Beyond Borders, now in its Third Edition, is the world's leading consumer reference guide for medical tourism. Country Editions, City Editions, and Facility Editions, with more than 150,000 copies in print, help healthcare consumers make informed choices in searching, vetting and obtaining safe, high-quality, affordable healthcare around the world.

Patients Beyond Borders is available through booksellers everywhere and is distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West (www.pgw.com).

For media queries, please contact media@patientsbeyondborders.com.

Industry News

The Latin American Market for Spinal Implants and Bone Graft Substitutes Will Reach $530 Million by 2022 
Increasing Accessibility for Local Patients, as Well as Medical Tourism, Will Support Procedure Volume Growth, According to Findings from Decision Resources Group

Decision Resources Group finds that the Latin American region will see rapid adoption of spinal implants and bone graft substitutes (BGS), as the market for these devices will reach $530 million in 2022. In addition to an aging population, the significant market for medical tourism in Latin America will drive strong uptake of these products. In an effort to cater to tourists, some facilities are purchasing high-end products, which will further support market expansion. In addition, more local manufacturers will enter the market through 2022 with low-cost products, enabling a greater portion of the Latin American population to access spinal implant and BGS procedures.

Other key findings from Decision Resources Group's coverage of the Latin American spinal implant and BGS market:

  • Prevalence of motor vehicle collisions: High motor vehicle accident rates in Latin America-and particularly in Colombia-will fuel procedures volumes. The prevalence of road congestion and the rising use of motorbikes will exacerbate this trend. Although some initiatives to reduce the frequency of collisions are being put into effect, motor vehicle accidents will remain a significant contributor to procedure volumes through 2022.
  • Success of cervical artificial discs: Cervical artificial discs will represent the largest and fastest-growing segment in the Latin American spinal nonfusion market through 2022. This can be attributed to their highly successful clinical outcomes and increasing surgeon confidence in these devices.
  • Importance of local knowledge: Local companies are present to varying degrees across all four countries. To compete with the local knowledge held by these companies, international players generally use distributors. This will be a particularly important strategy to access rural areas.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Hamza Sajjad:

"On a country level, Argentina's poor economic state will lead to a lower market value and slower growth rate than the other countries. Market growth will be further hindered by the presence of many low-cost manufacturers, which will place pressure on device prices.

"Brazil currently has the most stringent regulatory approval process, which will present challenges both for new entrants and existing competitors trying to launch new and novel devices."
Additional Resources:

Hamza Sajjad has written a Medtech 360 report on this subject entitled Latin American Markets for Spinal Implants and Bone Graft Substitutes 2014.

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on critical issues within the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Find out more at www.DecisionResourcesGroup.com.
All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:
Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

New Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index Creates a Catalyst for Worldwide Change
Latest Milestone in the Organizations' Six-Year Partnership Establishes One-of-a-Kind Well-Being Dataset and Insights to Help Businesses and Governments Realize Sustainable Lifestyle Improvements, Stronger Communities and Significant Cost Savings

As part of their ongoing partnership in innovation, global well-being improvement leader Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) and world-leading management consulting firm Gallup have released their inaugural analysis of the state of global well-being. More than 133,000 surveys in 135 countries or other areas led to the new report, entitled, "State of Global Well-Being: Results of the Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index," which outlines the growing importance of well-being as an indicator of societies' prosperity and progress, compares countries across five key elements of well-being, and offers strategies for population-based well-being improvement.

"Working together, Gallup and Healthways have the unique ability to measure well-being at individual, organization and geographic levels, creating a ‘golden thread' of data and insights that allows us to act with precision to create meaningful change in populations. By understanding individuals in the context of their social frameworks, work environments, communities, states, countries and ultimately the world - in ever-widening circles - we are able to create a very straight path to a return on value from a wide array of well-being improvement initiatives," said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Healthways.

"Every leader, in every country, has a duty to improve the lives and communities of the populations they serve," added Jim Clifton, chairman and chief executive officer, Gallup. "As the Gallup-Healthways partnership expands its global view, discovering new opportunities and challenges, this landmark index provides a significant step for our partnership in becoming the world's official statistician for well-being and the leading provider of well-being improvement strategies across the globe."

Since 2008, Gallup and Healthways have examined the well-being of U.S. adults via the Well-Being Index, a definitive measure and empiric database of real-time changes in well-being. The index uses a holistic definition of well-being and self-reported data from individuals to capture the important aspects of how people feel about and experience their daily lives, extending well beyond conventional measures of physical health or economic indicators. Measuring well-being gives leaders a unique, quantitative perspective on how their populations self-report the state of their lives currently and how they anticipate their lives will be in the future - information that is vital to inform well-being improvement strategies. With the launch of the Global Well-Being Index, the two companies have formed the most comprehensive measure of well-being in the world.

Well-being has five prominent elements:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

Gallup conducted face-to-face and telephone interviews with respondents in the 135 countries and regional areas. Approximately 1,000 interviews were conducted in the majority of countries, for a total of more than 133,000 interviews in 2013.

Responses were then used to determine whether a country had high, medium or low levels of well-being in each of the five elements.

The ten countries or areas with the highest overall well-being in the world, as assessed by the percentage of their populations indicating that they are thriving in three or more of the five elements, are as follows:

  • Panama (61%)
  • Costa Rica (44%)
  • Denmark (40%)
  • Austria (39%)
  • Brazil (39%)
  • Uruguay (37%)
  • El Salvador (37%)
  • Sweden (36%)
  • Guatemala (34%)
  • Canada (34%)

The United States surprisingly fell outside the top 10, ranking #12 in global well-being. The U.S. ranks in the top 20 worldwide in purpose and social well-being, with strong levels of thriving and relatively low suffering in each element that set it apart. In other areas of well-being, however, the United States does not stand out. The percentage of American adults who are suffering in physical and community well-being is comparable to global levels.

The ten countries or areas with the lowest overall well-being in the world, as assessed by the percentage of their populations indicating that they are thriving in three or more of the five elements, are as follows:

  • Syria (1%)
  • Afghanistan (1%)
  • Haiti (3%)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (5%)
  • Chad (5%)
  • Madagascar (6%)
  • Uganda (6%)
  • Benin (6%)
  • Croatia (7%)
  • Georgia (7%)

Globally, only 17% of the world's population is thriving in three or more elements. Of all the regions, the Americas have the highest levels of well-being, with all elements outperforming the global percentages. The difference relative to global thriving rates was greatest in social well-being (where the Americas achieved 20 percentage points more than the global percentage; 23% global versus 43% Americas). Financial well-being had the smallest difference relative to global thriving rates, with a 4 percentage point difference (25% global versus 29% Americas).

"Improvement in each of the five well-being elements uniquely contributes to an increase in organizational value and reduction in cost. Their individual contributions, however, will vary based on the outcome being examined. While improvement in any one element will already positively affect the other four, strategies to improve well-being are optimally effective when the elements are addressed in concert with one another," said Peter Choueiri, president of Healthways International.

In the United States, improving well-being has been shown to lower healthcare costs and increase worker productivity, in turn enhancing organizational and community competitiveness. Globally, higher well-being correlates with outcomes indicative of stability and resilience - for example, healthcare utilization, intent to migrate, trust in elections and local institutions, daily stress, food/shelter security, volunteerism and willingness to help strangers.

Visit http://info.healthways.com/wellbeingindex to access any of the Well-Being Index reports, including "State of Global Well-Being," "State of American Well-Being" and individual reports for each of the 50 American states.

About Gallup
Gallup delivers forward-thinking research, analytics, and advice to help leaders solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 75 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of the world's constituents, employees, and customers than any other organization. Gallup consultants help private and public sector organizations boost organic growth through measurement tools, strategic advice, and education. Gallup's 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, and in nearly 40 offices around the world.

About Healthways
Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant's health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 68 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.silversneakers.com or www.healthways.com.


Bruce Middlebrooks, 615-614-4463
Johnathan Tozer, +44-207-950-4400

Industry News

The Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis When You Travel
by Vitals

Most likely everyone will travel at least once this year.  No matter what mode of transportation, sitting motionless for long periods may put some travelers at an increased risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in a vein deep within the muscles, usually in the calf or thigh. But people can reduce their risk of getting DVT by taking some simple precautions on long trips.

Read the full story here: Dr. Robert Merchant Creates Awareness of Deep Vein Thrombosis When Traveling

Industry News

World's Largest Self-Insurance/ART Event Coming to Phoenix!

The Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) today announced the program for its National Educational Conference & Expo, scheduled for October 5-7, 2014, at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The event typically attracts more than 1,700 attendees from throughout the United States and from a growing number of countries around the world.

Detailed event information, including registration forms, can be accessed on-line at www.siia.org, or by calling 800/851-7789. Sign up today and take advantage of discounted early bird registration fees and secure your room at the host hotel. NOTE: This hotel is a SIIA member favorite and always sells out early, so please keep this in mind as you make your arrangements.

The program features more than 40 educational sessions designed to help employers and their business partners identify and maximize the value of self-insurance solutions.

We'll cover self-insured group health plans from every angle, including plan design and cost containment, financial risk transfer, broker involvement and healthcare reform compliance. Extra content has been incorporated this year that should be of specific interest to TPA executives and their key management teams. And you won't want to miss our panel discussion sessions featuring top thought leaders talking about the future of the self-insurance marketplace.

Another focus will be stop-loss captive programs (also known as employee benefit group captives). An increasing number of smaller and mid-sized employers have been considering self-insured group health plans and stop-loss captive programs can help facilitate this transition. SIIA has become the recognized industry leader in this fast-growing captive insurance market niche and the session speakers for this topic area will be many of the industry's top experts.

Also within the Alternative Risk Transfer track, additional sessions will focus on Enterprise Risk Captives, also known as 831(b) captives, which have become an increasingly popular self-insurance solution for many companies.

Given the rapidly involving business and regulatory environment for group workers' compensation self-insured funds (SIGs), we have incorporated a series of roundtable sessions where SIG leaders from around the country will provide a unique opportunity to share perspectives on how their organization should be positioning themselves for future success. These SIG-focused roundtables will be supplemented by additional timely sessions of interest to both groups and individual workers' compensation self-insurers.

Rounding out the program will be some sessions addressing key self-insured issues, including healthcare reform compliance requirements, for companies with global operations and/or workforces, giving the conference an added international flavor.

This top notch educational program will be supplemented with quality networking events, including an exhibit hall with more than 150 companies showcasing a wide variety of innovative products and services designed specifically for self-insured entities. If you are searching for a self-insurance business partner, they will be waiting for you at this event. For more information about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Justin Miller at 800/851-7789, or jmiller@siia.org.

Your can get a head start on your networking by participating in the conference golf tournament the morning of Sunday, October 5. And then cap things off with an incredible social event on the closing night of Tuesday, October 7, so be sure that you make your travel arrangements accordingly.

New to Self-Insurance/Alternative Risk Transfer? SIIA Welcomes You!....While the conference will be packed with industry experts and many advanced-level educational sessions, SIIA warmly welcomes those who are new to self-insurance/alternative risk transfer and want to learn the basics. To help you get started, we have scheduled "beginner" sessions immediately before Sunday night's welcome reception to help you more fully participate in the overall event. Additionally, for employers (non-industry service providers) considering self-insurance, you can take advantage of a highly discounted registration fee.

If self-insurance is important to you in any way, this is simply a must-attend event. We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix.

Register Now: www.siia.org/national

Industry News

SIIA Panel Discussion: Domestic Medical Travel - Opportunities and Challenges for Self-Insured Employers

Description: While international medical travel has been highly publicized over the past several years, domestic medical travel has been more quietly gaining traction among a growing number self-insured employers. This panel discussion will explore the latest trends in domestic medical travel and what employers need to consider when evaluating whether to incorporate this strategy as part of their health plans.

Moderator: Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher:  National and International Newsletters
U.S. Domestic Medical Travel:  www.USDomesticMedicalTravel.com
Medical Travel Today:  www.MedicalTravelToday.com
Panelists: Ruth Coleman, CEO, Health Design Plus
G. Keith Smith, M.D., CEO, Surgery Center of Oklahoma
Olivia Ross, Senior Manager, Employers Centers of Excellence Network,
Pacific Business Group on Health

About Ruth Coleman

Prior to founding Health Design Plus in 1988, Ms. Ruth Coleman had almost 20 years of experience in HMO and hospital management, patient care, and nursing education. Her experience includes several executive HMO and hospital management positions with responsibility for network development, utilization management, customer service, quality management, marketing, strategic planning, and operations. Coleman used this breadth of managed care and care delivery experience to create an organization that provides high quality management for employer sponsored health benefit plans.

Her experience, expertise and leadership have guided Health Design Plus through incredible growth, recognized by numerous awards, including the prestigious Inc. 500 and eleven consecutive years as part of the Weatherhead 100, along with being named one of the Top Ten Women Business Owners in Northeast Ohio, and a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

About G. Keith Smith, M.D.

G. Keith Smith, M.D., is a board-certified anesthesiologist in private practice since 1990. In 1997, he co-founded The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an outpatient surgery center in Oklahoma City, Okla., owned by 40 of the top physicians and surgeons in central Oklahoma. Dr. Smith serves as the medical director, CEO and managing partner while maintaining an active anesthesia practice.

In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available.
Operation of this free-market medical practice, arguably the only one of its kind in the U.S., has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally. More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith's pricing model, resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans. His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs for all and improve quality of care.

The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is a 32,535 square-foot, state-of-the-art multispecialty facility in Oklahoma City, owned and operated by approximately 40 of the top surgeons and anesthesiologists in central Oklahoma.

If you have a high deductible or are part of a self-insured plan at a large company, you owe it to yourself or your business to take a look at our facility and pricing which is listed on the site. If you are considering a trip to a foreign country to have your surgery, you should look here first. Finally, if you have no insurance at all, this facility will provide quality and pricing that we believe are unmatched.

It is no secret to anyone that the pricing of surgical services is at the top of the list of problems in our dysfunctional healthcare system. Bureaucracy at the insurance and hospital levels, cost shifting and the absence of free market principles are among the culprits for what has caused surgical care in the U.S. to be cost-prohibitive. As more and more patients find themselves paying more out-of-pocket, it is clear that something must change. We believe that a very different approach is necessary, one involving transparent and direct pricing.

Transparent, direct package pricing means the patient knows exactly what the cost of the service will be upfront.

About Olivia Ross

Olivia Ross is Senior Manager with the PBGH New Initiatives team. Her projects include management of the Employers Centers of Excellence Network, which is a multi-purchaser (employer) collaborative established by PBGH as part of its commitment to improving the quality and affordability of health care. Additionally, Olivia participates in several on-going projects focused on changing physician and hospital financial incentives to ensure high-quality health care delivery, while also containing costs.

Olivia joined PBGH in 2012 after four years at the Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University. She initially served as Project Coordinator for several programs working with the Chicago Pediatric Patient Safety Consortium to advance patient safety through improved clinician communication and teamwork. Olivia's activities included conducting failure modes effects analysis (FMEA) risk assessments, training and evaluation of clinician handoffs and directing nearly 50 in situ simulations across six local hospitals

Olivia was then recruited to serve as the Research Project Manager of the newly formed Northwestern University Transplantation Outcomes Research Collaborative (NUTORC). In addition to managing patient safety projects, she supported strategic planning and oversaw the day-to-day operation of a group tasked with creating innovative health services and outcomes research in organ transplantation.

Olivia holds a Master in Public Health (MPH) from UCLA, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Industry News


Join employers, brokers, health plans, TPA's, consultants and solution providers to LEARN, CONNECT and SHARE over HealthCare Consumerism trends, challenges and solutions at the 4th Annual 2014 IHC FORUM West.

As a benefit to our partnership with IHC, MEDICAL TRAVEL TODAY would like to extend to you a complimentary registration FREE of charge*
This offer expires October 3, 2014 so Register TODAY!

  • Learn next steps and best practices in HealthCare Consumerism
  • Compliance issues with health care law in 2015 and beyond
  • Access latest health and benefit innovations and trends
  • Look into real time open enrollment statistics
  • Analyze benefit models, including defined contribution and exchanges
  • Network with your peers and other industry stakeholders
  • See what others are doing to empower and engage employees
  • Become Certified in HealthCare Consumerism (CHCC)
Learn More and Register Today!

2014 IHC FORUM West

November 10-12, 2014
Pre-Conference November 12th
Las Vegas, NV
Red Rock Casino & Spa Resort

Learn Connect Share
*pre-conference events have additional fees

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

Industry News

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors
100 percent of all donations on MatchingDonors.com go to help people get organ transplants on MatchingDonors.com.

MatchingDonors is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the nation's largest online living organ donor organization finding living organ donors for people needing organ transplants.  In conjunction with various health organizations throughout the United States we have created a very successful Public Service Announcement campaign to help people recognize that they can save lives by being a living organ donor, to encourage them to register as an altruistic living organ donor, and to make them realize they can help save the lives of people needing organ transplants by donating other things. This MatchingDonors Living Organ Donor Initiative program has already saved thousands of lives.

Industry News


Upcoming Events

34th Annual SIIA National Educational Conference & Expo

October 5-7, 2014 - J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ
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.

Medical Asia


November 5-7, 2014 - Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
To learn more or to register click here.

Mexico: Summit on Medical Tourism & Wellness Business


November 5-7, 2014 - Reynosa Cultural Park, Tamaulipas, Mexico
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.

International India Medical Tourism Conference - Confluence 2014


December 13-14, 2014 - Kempinski Hotel, New Delhi, India
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.

International Health Tourism Conference


February 26-28, 2015 - Athens, Greece
To learn more or to register click here.

Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress


March 18-21, 2015 - Moscow Expocenter, Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Fair India


March 21-23, 2015 - Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India
To learn more or to register click here.

12th Annual World Health Care Congress 2015


March 23-25, 2015 - Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.
To learn more or to register click here.


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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

A Supersized San Antonio: People Flock to Mexico for Cheap Weight Loss Surgery
Woai.com-Medical tourism is a booming industry in Mexico, with weight loss surgery one of its most popular procedures. And surprisingly, the consumer...Americans, are coming through on the Texas borders.

What's Wrong with American Healthcare?
Fiercehealthpayer.com- The "insanely, outlandishly expensive" U.S. health insurance system is the product of random WWII-era tax provisions," according to Vox's Sarah Kliff, in an article published today.

Rwanda Invests in Medical Tourism
Zegabi.com-Medical tourism has for a long time been a preserve of a few countries such as South Africa, India, Saudi Arabia and to some extent Kenya - those countries with a long tradition of a developed health infrastructure.

Puerto Rico Announces Plan To Promote Itself As Medical Tourism Destination
Latino.foxnews.com-Puerto Rico on Tuesday presented its strategy for promoting itself as a medical tourism destination, especially among the Hispanic population of the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States, offering medical care ranging from dental treatment to liposuction and weight-loss surgery at prices as much as 60 percent lower than in the continental U.S.

Medical Tourism Industry Growing in Peru
Andina.com-The medical tourism market in Peru has increased by 14 percent, a higher growth rate than the current value compound annual growth rate of eight percent recorded in the category over the 2008-2013 period.

Plastic Surgery and Medical Procedures in Thailand: Why More of Us Are Doing It
News.com.au-It is estimated that around 15,000 Australians are heading overseas for nip/tuck holidays every year, spending a total of $300 million on medical procedures - some of them lifesaving.

U.S. Hospitals Have Highest Administrative Spending Costs In The World
Fiercehealthcare.com-Hospitals in the United States have the highest administrative costs in the world, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

Desperate Chinese Seek Medical Care Abroad
Online.wsj.com- When Lin Tao was diagnosed with a lethal spinal tumor in 2012, doctors in Hangzhou told him he had one option in China-surgery that would replace two sections of his vertebrae and might leave him paralyzed.

Cigna Rebrands to Emphasize Community, Expand Reach in International Markets
Fiercehealthpayer.com-Cigna has rebranded itself with a new marketing campaign, shifting away from its individual-focused tagline "Go You" and moving toward a more comprehensive approach for both individuals and employer-based members.


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.