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© 2016 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


From the Editor

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

News in Review

Top 7 Destinations for Medical Tourism in 2016

Medical Tourism in Latvia Gaining Popularity Among Ukrainians

Want to Cut Healthcare Costs? Help Employees Avoid Back Surgery

Dubai Cosmetic Surgery, NMC Hospital Ink Partnership Deal

Mapping the Future of Global Travel and Tourism

Medical Tourism Expected to be Valued at $3 Trillion by 2025

Up to 1.65 Million Women of Childbearing Age at Risk for Zika


Spotlight Interview

Y. Alicia Hong, Ph.D. associate professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health

Amy Nguyen Howell, MD, chief medical officer, CAPG

Industry News

See Me, Heal Me

The Global Healthcare Accreditation Program Leads Future of Medical Travel Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations

Medical Tourism a Win - Win situation

Evaluating the Market Size of Global Wellness Tourism 

MinuteClinic Announces New Travel Health Services Just in Time for Summer Vacation Season

Why Health Tourism Destinations Succeed and Fail

Consultancies and Health Tourism

The Greek Health Tourism Confederation

Be a VIP Guest at 2016 FORUM West + PEF

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors


Upcoming Events

10th Annual Global Wellness Summit

The 7th Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Conference

7th International TEMOS Conference

Health in Greece Convention

Pan-African Health Tourism Congress

Medical Fair India 2016

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Volume 9, Issue 3

Dear Colleagues:

It's no secret that the medical travel industry lacks sufficient data to support its growth, efficacy and outcomes. As a result, patients must solely rely on the information provided by their doctors or medical travel brokers to make informed medical travel decisions.

According to Dr. Y. Alicia Hong, associate professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, the scarcity of available medical travel data leads to multiple challenges, including the absence of reliable healthcare assessments across borders, legal concerns, and inadequate policies on ethical issues.

Dr. Hong asserts that communication is KEY to building a provider-patient relationship that is based on trust and high-quality healthcare.

We're starting to hear from many hospitals, independent surgi-centers and provider groups that want to be better positioned to serve self-funded employers offering medical/surgical travel options.  If you have a good story to tell us, please be in touch!  We want to boost opportunities for Centers of Excellence nationwide. 

Tell us:

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




Global Health Voyager

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SPOTLIGHT: Y. Alicia Hong, Ph.D. associate professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health

Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences
212 Adriance Lab Rd.
1266 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-1266


Medical Travel Today (MTT): Give us some details about your professional background.

Y. Alicia Hong (YAH): I'm currently an associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health.

I conduct research on telemedicine, mHealth intervention, and comparative research. Additionally, I have a Master's Degree from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.

MTT: What are your thoughts on the medical travel industry?

YAH: The medical travel industry is fast growing, but understudied.

Each year, millions of patients travel to seek healthcare, and the number is increasing rapidly. That being said, I've found very limited data on the medical travelers, their healthcare providers, or the industry.

MTT: Do you think there is enough available data for patients to make well-educated decisions regarding medical travel?

YAH: Simply put, no.

The data on medical travel is scarce, and patients tend to rely on information offered by their provider or medical travel brokers only, who often communicate more benefits than risks.

MTT:  What can providers do, if anything, to ensure medical travelers receive high-quality care?

YAH: An important aspect of quality care is communication.

Communication is key when it comes to establishing trust in patient-provider relationships, which is a corner stone for high-quality care. After all, patient and providers need to work as a team to deliver quality medical care.

MTT: What are the challenges associated with medical travel?

YAH: Given the lack of data on medical travel, we face multiple challenges, including but not limited to:

1) A lack of reliable assessment of health care quality across borders, including the scale of price to outcome.
2) Insufficient communication on the risks associated with medical travel, as many medical travel brokers fail to report any procedural, postoperative, or legal concerns associated with their services.
3) Inadequate policies on ethical concerns related to clinical trials, as many medical travelers are recruited into clinical trials for new but risky treatments.
4) Many "gray zones" in medical travel have not been addressed in our current legislature.

MTT: Do you see international or domestic medical travel becoming more attractive to consumers in the future?

YAH: I think international medical travel will become more attractive to consumers in the future because patients are able to ‘shop around' for more competitive prices and options.

MTT: Where do you see most people traveling for care?

YAH: It depends on the ‘sending country' and ‘receiving country'. Generally speaking, I see the majority of medical travelers from developed countries traveling to developing countries for common care and treatment with lower prices.

Medical travelers from developing countries often travel to developed countries to seek new and advanced treatment that is not available in their home countries.

Medical travelers are a very heterogeneous group. All patients are seeking safe, quality services with affordable prices. Depending on the case, some patients may value price more than quality, while some patients prefer effectiveness more than anything else.


Amy Nguyen Howell, MD, chief medical officer, CAPG


Physician Groups Nationwide Benefit from CAPG October Symposium,
"How to Thrive in Risk-Based Coordinated Care"
October 27, 2016, Chicago, IL: Register here

About Amy Nguyen Howell, MD
Dr. Howell is a board-certified family practice physician. She is a family physician at Playa Vista Medical Center, and previously served as chief medical officer at Easy Choice Health Plan, a WellCare Company, where she oversaw clinical direction of medical services within appeals and grievances, care management, utilization management and quality improvement.

Since March 17, 2014, Dr. Nguyen has been chief medical officer of CAPG, the country's leading association representing physician organizations practicing capitated, coordinated care. 

About CAPG
CAPG is the nation's leading association for and the voice of physician organizations practicing capitated, coordinated care. Its membership comprises approximately 250 multispecialty medical groups and independent practice associations (IPAs) across 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. CAPG members strongly believe that comprehensive, accountable, risk-based coordinated care provides the highest quality, most efficient delivery, and greatest value for patients. Our members have successfully operated under this budget-responsible model for more than two decades. For more information, please visit www.capg.org.

The mission of CAPG is to assist accountable physician groups to improve the quality and value of healthcare provided to patients. CAPG represents and supports physician groups that assume responsibility for clinically integrated, comprehensive, and coordinated healthcare on behalf of our patients. CAPG and its member groups will continue to drive the evolution and transformation of healthcare delivery throughout the nation.

US Domestic Medical Travel (USDMT): Why does CAPG consider health systems and accountable physician organizations appropriate for membership in the organization?

Amy Nguyen Howell (AH): Most hospital systems have a medical group component affiliated with them on their ambulatory primary care side.  These are the groups that would fit perfectly within CAPG's membership structure, as long as they carried some sort of risk-based, coordinated model of care. 

Further, our members' successes are attributable to how well they manage both clinical and financial risk under capitated arrangements. 

By knowing how to manage risk appropriately, they have prospered in population-based payments and risk-based arrangements.

USDMT: Does CAPG extend its reach nationwide?

AH: Most definitely.

We have a strong footprint in California, but currently have a presence in 41 states.

Three years ago, we began to extend our reach and share our expertise nationwide. Today, we continue to attract accountable physician groups and health systems throughout the country because of the tremendous value proposition that we offer to these organizations.

Our national and regional symposia are strategically scheduled to make them accessible and convenient for travel.

USDMT: What are the key benefits of membership in CAPG?

AH: Our members take advantage of several key pillars of our service platform that distinguish our organization from others in the marketplace, such as AMGA.

Advocacy is one important component, and CAPG federal advocacy focuses on advancing risk-based alternative payment models in traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage. In recent years, the organization has seen significant achievement in advancing financial and clinical risk models.

Our achievements in 2015 demonstrate the strength of these initiatives.

CAPG is protecting and strengthening Medicare Advantage (MA), which we believe offers the best available option for physicians to advance capitated, coordinated care delivery models.

Despite its success, Medicare Advantage has faced cuts over a number of years, and these cuts flow to our physicians and their patients.

That's why we established our organization as a leading physician voice protecting MA. Together with our advocacy partners, we have successfully reduced past proposed cuts. In 2015, the Administration proposed a 0.9% cut to Medicare Advantage.

CAPG engaged in an intense advocacy campaign to avert these cuts. We are pleased to report that the Administration instead finalized a 1.25 percent increase to MA rates.

We have also tackled the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

For years, we worked with Congress to encourage faster and more aggressive development of alternative payment models in Medicare. We are thrilled to see that the SGR repeal law, enacted in April 2015, included a 5 percent incentive payment for organizations participating in risk-based alternative payment models.

We have also promoted coordinated, capitated payment models in traditional Medicare, and play a substantial role in pushing for more capitated payment model options.

This year, the Administration announced that it would begin testing a capitated accountable care organization payment model, the Next Generation ACO. CAPG looks forward to continuing to work with the Administration to develop this and other models.

And we are especially gratified by our role in advancing value-based delivery models. Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced ambitious value goals to transform Medicare from a volume-based system to a value-based system. In essence, the Secretary seeks to transform Medicare payments to the very model that CAPG members have been using for decades.

We look forward to working with the Administration to share best practices and provide valuable leadership in this critical transformation.

CAPG announced its own ambitious value goal: to move 90 percent of our members' Medicare payments (Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage) to capitation by 2018.

Today, we just announced our support for the ACO Improvement Act of 2016, a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Peter Welch (D-VT).

The legislation is aimed at improving outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries by making improvements to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.

USDMT: Looking on your website, there's a significant focus on education.

AH: In March 2016, CAPG launched its inaugural Educational Series, Essentials of Risk-Based Payment Models: Moving from Volume to Value. We recognized an ever-growing need for education on risk-based management and coordinated care for our leaders.

While national associations, consultants, health systems, state medical societies, and universities have identified the need for courses in leadership and population health management; until now, there is not a single organization that offers managed care tutelage and mentorship at a level of detail that can be operationalized by physician groups.

For example, at the recent CAPG Annual Conference attendees received hands-on knowledge and tools to navigate the brave new world of MACRA, MIPS, and APMs.

With MACRA right around the corner in almost three months, our members need to quickly address the impact of this game-changing initiative and others that are effectively making value-based payment mandatory for physician organizations.

As a result, they are better prepared for alternative payment arrangements with all payers: Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial.

Also, CAPG has recently announced support of a new national movement entitled, "A Call for Collaborative Action: Achieving Readiness for a Value Payment World," led by the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative (ACLC).

In an environment where old-school fee-for-service is being replaced by a risk-based care system that emphasizes value over volume to ensure healthier patient outcomes at lower costs, there's no better time to build on this momentum. A Call for Collaborative Action will bring diverse industry stakeholders together to share their best practices for population health management.

In line with the Call for Action, CAPG has a new online hub, www.capg.org/accountablecompetencies, which centralizes the association's educational resources on accountable care.

In adding its support to this influential cause, CAPG joins a number of other prominent healthcare notables including Mike Leavitt, former Utah Governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Mark McClellan, director of the Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University.

No other organization is providing this scope and depth of information, education, and training.

USDMT: Do you offer any consulting services?

AH: CAPG Consulting services are widely accessed throughout the year. They are positioned to serve those entities that are getting ready to take on risk or already in it, CAPG Consulting can help you accelerate your journey.

Our team is composed of executives with decades of success in risk-based care delivery at leading physician organizations.

With MACRA and other reforms, federal and state governments have confirmed an inevitable drive to alternative payment models. This movement is creating great demand for education and support on how to move into alternative payment models, or APMs.

At the same time, CAPG is fortunate to have a group of highly experienced, recently retired physician organization CEOs. They've learned what works and what doesn't, sometimes the hard way. And they want to help others succeed-because they strongly believe risk-based care offers the best outcomes and highest value for patients.

NOTE: To learn more and get connected with one of the CAPG experts, contact my colleague Nelson Maldonado at 213.239.5041 or nmaldonado@capg.org

USDMT: Does CAPG advocate any innovative models for direct contracting with payers?

AH: I'm glad you asked about this. CAPG continues to work to advance alternatives to Medicare ACOs for groups that are ready for higher levels of risk and reward. We call this alternative "A Third Option."

Here are the highlights:

  • Clinically integrated organizations (CIO) would contract directly with CMS
  • Beneficiary selects from traditional Medicare, CIO, or Medicare Advantage
  • Beneficiary enrolls in the CIO and commits to stay within the CIO for one year

In this model, CIOs would report quality information. Beneficiaries would be able to compare quality across different Medicare options -- "apples to apples."

CIOs could receive incentives for quality performance (like Medicare Advantage 5 Star Ratings Program) and could tie individual physician payments to quality as desired.

Currently, we have groups like MemorialCare Health System who are doing exciting and innovative direct contracting with prominent employers and following the concept of the Third Option.

USDMT: Does CAPG provide guidance on bundled pricing?

AH: Absolutely.

We have active members like Providence Health Systems who created a bundle care package for elective total knee and hip replacements which helped to improve patient expectations, reduced length of hospital stays, and enhance clinical outcomes.

CAPG can facilitate formal and informal networking opportunities for those interested in getting more into bundled payments for their organization.

We have a contracts committee whose members often discuss topics like bundled pricing along with other financial contracting elements.

USDMT: How does CAPG help support the ACO movement?

AH: Recently, CAPG published a comment letter on the policy considerations in CMS/CMMI's treatment of the interplay between the bundled payment initiatives (bundled payments for care improvement, BPCI, and the comprehensive care for joint replacement, CJR) and the accountable care organization programs (Medicare Shared Savings Program, MSSP, Pioneer, and Next Gen).

While we believe that there is great opportunity for these programs to support one another, we believe that current policy may disrupt and undermine the accountable care organization (ACO) programs.

This is occurring at the very time when CMS is trying to encourage participation in Advanced Alternative Payment Models, like Next Gen and Tracks 2 and 3 of MSSP.

In particular, we are concerned in cases where the ACO operates independently from the hospital participating in the bundled payment model. This is the case for many CAPG members.

To illustrate the overlap issue, we will use the CMS guidance for such situations between Next Gen ACOs and BPCI participants.

In the example in the guidance, the bundled target price is $10,000.

The hospital participating in the bundled payment initiative achieves an actual expenditure of $8,000.

The expenditure that is included in the ACO's reconciliation is $10,000.

CMS pays the $2,000 in savings to the hospital, the ACO does not receive any of those savings.

Because that $2,000 in savings is credited only to the bundled hospital, the savings opportunity is taken from the ACO.

We see two problems with this treatment of overlap situations.

First, this approach makes it increasingly difficult for ACOs to achieve savings as compared to an historical benchmark.

Second, this approach treats the care associated with the bundled payment episode as separate and distinct from the activities of the ACO, rewarding only the hospital bundler for the savings associated with a bundled payment patient.

USDMT: Is capitation a dirty word?

AH: Ahh...to some perhaps.

At CAPG, this is our bread and butter. Having grown up in California, the land of the delegated, capitated model, we have thrived in pre-payment coordinate care, and we are well-positioned to educate the rest of America on how to prosper in alternative payment models.

As we all know, the healthcare delivery system is on a journey from volume to value.

A driving force of this change is the offering of new APMs in traditional Medicare.

To date, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has offered several options with increasing levels of risk. Relevant to physician organizations, these models tend to be ACOs.

ACOs are groups of providers that come together with the goals of coordinating healthcare services to reduce costs and improve quality.

However, the delivery system reform options available today are largely focused on the "on-ramp to risk" (e.g., shared savings based on fee-for-service).

To continue to drive delivery system reform forward, especially since MACRA has become law, additional models are needed that enable physician organizations to gain experience in taking on more risk.

Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would help to meet this growing need by testing a new model for patient care networks (PCNs) in Medicare Part A and Part B.

A patient care network (PCN) is a new model of integrated care that is made up of (1) a hospital, and (2) participating physician group practices that provide both primary and specialty care to patients in traditional Medicare.

Through a PCN physicians, at the group level, would be allowed to directly contract with CMS to negotiate capitated payments for their Part A and Part B patients - a model that does not exist in Medicare today - provided that they meet robust quality and performance standards.

The PCN model holds participating practitioners accountable for the quality, cost and overall care that the patients participating in their networks receive.

This new model achieves several important objectives.

First, it offers an additional option for physicians that want to pursue the advanced APM option under MACRA.

Second, it tests a new model of payment that has not yet been tested in traditional Medicare.

Third, it builds on the success of models in the commercial and Medicare Advantage space - models that have been proven to increase quality and lower cost for decades.

Concurrently, CAPG supports legislative efforts to institutionalize the PCN model, including a bipartisan bill introduced by Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA), H.R. 5841.

Industry News

See Me, Heal Me
Dr. Alejandro Badia, Renowned Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon Brings Care to Patients World Wide with Introduction of Telemedicine Services

Contact: Andrea@latin2latin.com

On the heels of a recently released BBC report stating that the global demand for telehealth services is anticipated to grow from 11.6 billion in 2011 to 27.3 billion in 2016, Dr. Alejandro Badia, Founder of Badia Hand to Shoulder Center, announced today they will now accept appointments for Telemedicine e-visits via Zoom for Healthcare, a robust HIPAA compliant e-visit platform. The software allows the patient and doctor to communicate in real time using video conferencing where two way conversations take place and the affected area can be viewed.

Dr. Badia, an internationally respected hand and upper extremity surgeon who has been instrumental in positioning South Florida as a center for clinical excellence and a renowned international medical destination throughout his career, is planning on utilizing telehealth technology to expand access to quality care for both international and domestic patients alike. "For international patients telemedicine e-visits will be used for initial consultations," Badia explains and adds "this technology removes the barrier of having to be physically at our center in Doral, reducing travel costs and opening the doors to specialized care to those in distant locations". In addition to offering better outcomes through superior care, telemedicine e-visits can negate travel times for domestic patients for routine post-operative follow up visits."

Industry experts anticipate strong demand for United States based telemedicine will come from neighboring Caribbean and Latin America countries. The Badia Hand to Shoulder Center team has multilingual speaking intake staff to work with the patients to complete necessary forms and coordinate transmission of their medical records. The average patient will spend fifteen minutes of private interview time with the doctor at which time an initial diagnosis and course of recommend treatment will be discussed.

Telemedicine is here to stay and thought leaders project that its use will continue to expand and put a new spin on the expression" the doctor will see you now!"

For more information or a telemedicine e-visit appointment visit: drbadia.com.

About Dr. Alejandro Badia
Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS is a hand and upper extremity surgeon at Badia Hand to Shoulder Center, a fully integrated clinical facility for the upper limb, including Hand, Wrist, Shoulder and Elbow, located in Doral, Florida.  Dr. Badia was educated at Cornell and NYU, trained in orthopedics at Bellevue Hospital/NYU Medical Center, followed with a hand/microsurgery fellowship in Pittsburgh and trauma fellowship in Germany.  He has served as worldwide president of the International Society for Sport Traumatology of the Hand (ISSPORTH) and co-founded the Miami Anatomical Research and Training Center (M.A.R.C.), the world's largest surgical cadaveric training lab and The Surgery Center at Doral, an elite state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center.

Dr. Badia has published numerous articles, written multiple book chapters, and has been an invited speaker or lecturer in nearly twenty-five countries. He is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) as well as numerous other international hand surgery and arthroscopy associations. Additionally, Dr. Badia served as honored professor at the prestigious Philadelphia Hand Course. For 10 consecutive years, Dr. Badia has been on the editorial review board of the Techniques in Upper Extremity Surgery, comprised of International key opinion leaders in upper limb surgery. Dr. Badia runs an active international hand fellowship, serves on the editorial board of two hand journals and for eight consecutive years, organized a two-day conference and learning symposium for surgeons/therapists devoted to upper limb arthroscopy and arthroplasty.

After years of a successful medical career and a renowned international speaking legacy, he saw a need for specialized orthopedic urgent care centers to immediately assess and treat a range of orthopedic and sports injuries and founded OrthoNOW®, the only orthopedic urgent care center franchise in the country.  He serves as Medical Director of the franchise's flagship location in Doral, Florida which has a team of orthopedic specialists on staff that treat broken bones, sprains, torn ligaments and muscles, cuts, sports and workers compensation injuries. 

Dr. Badia, a two-time South Florida Business Journal Top 100 Power Leaders in Healthcare and a Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leader by Diversity MBA Magazine, has also been honored with Legacy Awards from Today's Work Comp Professionals and The Doral Business Council.  OrthoNOW® was named a "Top Ten Franchise Opportunity" in healthcare by Entrepreneur Magazine and featured in the following media: Franchise Times, Orthopedics This Week, South Florida Business Journal, Franchise USA Magazine and The Miami Herald.

For more information visit: www.drbadia.com or @drbadia

For appointments contact: Susan Iglesias, International Coordinator at 305-227-4263 or internationalcoordinator@drbadia.com

Industry News

The Global Healthcare Accreditation Program Leads Future of Medical Travel Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations

The Global Healthcare Accreditation (GHA) Program is pleased to announce an unprecedented healthcare accreditation program designed specifically for organizations seeking to elevate the quality, patient experience, and excellence of care they provide to medical travel, medical tourism and/or international patients.  Our mission is simple - Better Process. Better Performance™.

As part of the unique GHA program, organizations will be able to obtain knowledge on medical travel exemplar practices and unique business solutions that provide value for an organization at any stage of development. GHA aims to enable each accredited organization to achieve better process and better performance on a daily basis.

The GHA program focuses specifically on an organization's entire Medical Travel cycle, encompassing the entire pathway of medical travel, as well as setting high expectations for transparency and cultural sensitivity. The program offers four distinguished areas of accreditation: Hospital (24-hour setting), Ambulatory (non-24-hour setting), Diagnostic, and Laboratory.

The Global Healthcare Accreditation program reflects the growing number of medical travelers /patients worldwide, the evolution of the global healthcare industry, and provides healthcare organizations a sustainable and competitive advantage in this young market. "Having worked with many healthcare organizations around the globe, I am struck with their commitment to provide high quality of care, while ably adapting and responding to changing market conditions.  The GHA Program represents an innovative and resourceful way for organizations to not only improve their service excellence to medical travel patients, but also improving their overall business strategy," says Karen Timmons, Chief Executive Officer for the GHA program.  And most importantly, patients will be the main beneficiary.

Currently, 50 organizations achieved Global Healthcare Accreditation through the GHA program to enhance their health tourism and medical travel programs. This number is projected to increase specifically in developed markets as the industry-recognized accreditation signifies a healthcare organization's superior commitment to patient care and engagement, ethical practices, and keen business strategies.

Some benefits and key areas of value provided by the GHA program include:

Analysis of Core Competencies-The GHA program acknowledges important areas of competence such as quality of care, patient safety, ethics, risk management, clinical assessment, and treatment, and requires an organization to track data, benchmark, and create meaningful goals related to medical travelers and/or international patients as it pertains to these core competencies.

Unique Business Solutions-As part of the accreditation process, the GHA program addresses primary factors such as marketing initiatives, financial transactions, advanced management skills, and medical travel technology.

Comparative Metrics-No other program in the world offers healthcare organizations the ability to benchmark against similar organizations serving medical travel patients in other global markets.

Return on Investment-The GHA program is designed to provide all healthcare organizations with a portfolio of value added patient and business solutions that serve to secure success and return on investment.

Organizations interested in The Global Healthcare Accreditation Program can make a request at info@ghaccreditation.com |Tel US 001.561.327.9557 |www.GlobalHealthcareAccreditation.com

CONTACT: Joseph Dawson, (561) 791-2000 x814, jdawson@employerhealthcarecongress.com

To view the original release click here.


Industry News

Medical Tourism a Win - Win Situation
by Laura Alvarado 

Costaricastar.com-According to Stratistics MRC, the Global Medical Tourism Market is accounted for $17.1 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $57.2 billion by 2022. Patients Beyond Borders estimates 11 million people travel abroad to seek medical care.

Costa Rica is a very popular destination for Medical Tourism, and although most people think of esthetic procedures when the term Medical Tourism is used in reference to Costa Rica, this is a mistake, as in recent years  a lot of people travel from Europe and North America to treat health conditions that require a specific treatment or even just medical checkups simply because it is either more affordable in Costa Rica or  it makes more sense to have it done here due to wellness factors.

Costa Rica has a reputation for providing affordable high-quality medical care, the numerous rehabilitation centers and convenient post-surgical care facilities make Costa Rica a perfect destination for Medical Tourism.  Why spend $8,000.00 in a breast augmentation  in the U.S. when you can get the same procedure done in Costa Rica for half the price and you can use the rest of the money vacationing? The same applies for Dental Tourism, which is a fast-growing sector of Medical Tourism; in Costa Rica dental implants are about half the price compared to their cost in U.S. and Europe and you can find Dental Clinics with high-end technology and impressive patient care such as Flikier Institute of Oral Rehabilitation.

PROMED, the Council for the International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine continues to work to ensure quality in the medical services provided to travelers, and constantly seeks to broaden the network of medical tourism alternatives to give the traveler options that fit their needs.  Throughout this year PROMED has been training small and medium size enterprises located in five areas of Costa Rica (Guanacaste, los Santos {Dota, Tarrazu and Leon Cortes} and San Jose) on how to properly attend to the needs of patients and follow and comply with international protocols.

Medical tourism is a great niche market for Costa Rica; it brings economic benefits for the medical, dental and tourism industries, while at the same time giving patients the care they need and expect at a better price. A win-win situation anyway you look at it.

To read the original article click here.

Industry News

Evaluating the Market Size of Global Wellness Tourism 
by Camille Hoheb, M.S.

Gaining Exposure through Big Numbers
Big numbers get media attention and wellness tourism is no exception. Journalists and writers, Google key words to find statistics and facts about the industry and mistake a projection as fact.

Lack of Data
There are no booking categories for wellness tourism. Tourism boards, visitor's bureaus and destination management organizations have no tracking system or resources for collecting data on wellness travel which is squarely at odds with the projections that are quoted consistently without question.  How are these projections figured? 

Defining the Market
One of the major challenges is defining the wellness traveler is: what behavior or activities qualify a tourist to be identified in this niche category? Does this include a vacation dedicated to improving well-being or a trip that includes some aspect of wellness? If it is the later, than practically any travel can be a wellness trip if it includes healthy food, physical activity, time in nature, volunteering and a plethora of other choices leading to improved well-being.  Does wellness tourism involve both leisure and business travel? How does one truly define the market? Rather than count healthy lifestyle consumers (aka secondary wellness travelers), narrowing the focus to travelers who's primary motivation is to vacation for well-being should provide more credible data. It is also a much smaller piece of the pie.

Proceed with Open Eyes
Destinations, investors and anyone seeking to enter the wellness tourism market should look with a critical eye.  Overly optimistic numbers are a problem to every business (example: McKinsey's report on medical tourism). Non-profits seeking grant funding, start-ups, existing businesses and even large investors are at risk when they blindly accept projections as fact.  

Looking Ahead
While I believe that wellness tourism has enormous potential to change lives, communities, businesses and economies, a clearer picture is needed. Definitions need to be better understood and applied. Transparency in methodology is needed. Independent thought in a collaborative environment is highly valuable. 

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

MinuteClinic Announces New Travel Health Services Just in Time for Summer Vacation Season
Typhoid Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention Among New Offerings
Original Source: MinuteClinic

To help patients prepare for a safe and healthy travel season this summer and beyond, MinuteClinic, the walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS Pharmacy and Target stores nationwide, has added several new travel-related services and immunizations.

"Whether attending the upcoming 2016 Summer Games in Brazil, performing humanitarian service in a developing country, preparing for a semester abroad, or simply enjoying a tropical beach vacation, international travelers should consider the health risks of the destination they are visiting and the preventive measures available to avoid harmful illness and disease," said Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BCMinuteClinic's Chief Nurse Practitioner. "Our new suite of travel-related health services assists families and individual travelers as they make plans for overseas trips."

Patients can now see a MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant for a pre-travel risk assessment in advance of their trip and receive an individualized plan for prevention and treatment specific to the country they are visiting. Educational information is provided on health risks, disease outbreaks, recommended vaccines and preventive measures, including the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, MinuteClinic nurse practitioners can provide guidance on prescribed travel-specific medications, over-the-counter medications, first aid supplies, food and water guidance and even mosquito bite prevention, if applicable.

Patients can also choose to visit MinuteClinic for individual travel vaccinations and prescriptions for preventive medications. MinuteClinic's robust suite of travel health related services include: 

Typhoid Vaccination: About 22 million cases of typhoid worldwide are reported annually according to the CDC. Vaccinations, both oral and injected, now offered at MinuteClinic, reduce the risk of disease by 50 to 80 percent. Typhoid can cause lasting fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headaches and other symptoms and can lead to internal bleeding and death in rare instances. The vaccine is available to patients older than 24 months in most states. 

Malaria Prevention: Medications to prevent malaria infection, a potentially fatal disease transmitted by mosquito bites, are now available at MinuteClinic. Practitioners will prescribe the most effective medication based on an assessment of the overseas destination, season of travel, duration and the patient's access to medical care. Malaria occurs in many popular regions including Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the South Pacific.

Hepatitis A Vaccination: Travelers can reduce their risk of contracting hepatitis A, a liver disease spread by contaminated food and water, through a series of two vaccinations issued six months apart at all MinuteClinic locations. According to the CDC, Hepatitis A is among the most common vaccine-preventable infections acquired during travel. In the United States the most frequently identified risk factor for hepatitis A is international travel. 

Motion Sickness Prevention: Nurse practitioners can provide customized treatment plans for patients, ages six and up, reporting a prior history of motion sickness. Treatment options include over-the-counter medication recommendations and prescriptions when appropriate. Motion sickness is most common among children, women and seniors.

Travelers' Diarrhea Prevention and Treatment: MinuteClinic practitioners can provide medical advice on over-the-counter options to pack in the event of illness and can also provide treatment upon a patient's return.

MinuteClinic is open seven days a week and with no appointment necessary. A new digital tool accessible viawww.minuteclinic.com allows patients to view wait times at all MinuteClinic locations and hold a place in line from the convenience of their smartphone, computer or tablet.

Many travel-related services at MinuteClinic, including pre-travel risk assessments and typhoid vaccinations, cannot be billed to insurance. Other services such as hepatitis A vaccinations and travelers' diarrhea treatment, may be covered based on the individual patient's insurance plan.

About MinuteClinic
MinuteClinic is the retail medical clinic of CVS Health (NYSE:  CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with more than 1,100 locations in 33 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has provided care through more than 30 million patient visits, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive four consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.minuteclinic.com.

To view the original release click here.

Industry News

Why Health Tourism Destinations Succeed and Fail
...lessons from the Silicon Valley of the Second Industrial Revolution
by Constantine Constantinides, MD, PhD

Some of the Websites cited may, at the time of reading this paper, be temporarily inaccessible.

Policy and Strategy "Bottom Line Executive Briefs"
"Bottom Line Executive Briefs" aim to extract and present the essential information related to specific issues and topics - as briefly as possible. For deeper dives, one needs to read the corresponding Policy and Strategy Papers.
Health Tourism Policy and Strategy "Bottom Line Executive Briefs" are only available "by invitation" or "by referral."

EMVIO Entities
This Document is an EMVIO Entity meaning that it is ever-evolving (probably containing errors) and never definitive - aiming for perfection but probably never achieving it. As such, it is revisited and updated - if and when necessary.
See: http://www.healthcarecybernetics.com/EMVIO/Documents/About-EMVIO-Entities.pdf

This Executive Brief is also available online: http://www.healthtourismpolicyandstrategy.com/Policyand-Strategy-Executive-Briefs/Why-Health-Tourism-Destinations-Succeed-and-Fail.pdf

The Story which goes with it...past prominence is no guarantee of future eminence
Before writing this Paper, I had written an article in Health Tourism Affairs titled: Health Tourism and Survivorship Bias. Its subtitle was: "past prominence is no guarantee of future eminence."

The point I wanted to make in that article was that when it comes to Health Tourism Destinations, we only get to hear and read about the successful ones (suggesting that they are the ones whose model and approach to development we should all emulate).

But the question that should be asked is: how many emulated the model and adopted this approach and failed?

This is something we do not get to hear or read about.

No doubt, we can blame this "failure to report failures" on the Media ("how to succeed" stories, press releases, advertorials and the work of paid sycophants).

No doubt, the Gurus (who populate the Health Tourism Sector) also contribute to the phenomenon of survivorship bias and to the shaping our selection bias. But as Nassim Nicholas Taleb (the author of
Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan) points out: Gurus will fall into the trap and be shown to be wrong - since most have not had any proper training in inference (the relationship between cause and effect).

Inspiration and Motivation for this Paper ...with due attribution to The Economist
I was motivated and inspired to write this Paper by a "Schumpeter" article titled Silicon Valley 1.0 (in The Economist, 23 July 2016). The article's subtitle is: "Cleveland can teach valuable lessons about the rise and fall of economic clusters."

The Economist article reminds us that Cleveland was the Silicon Valley of the Second Industrial Revolution - but that the city has clearly fallen from greatness.

The Economist article closely reflects my already-documented views on the factors leading to Health Tourism Destination success and failure.

Health Tourism Destinations as Economic Clusters ...and the role of West's Revenge
In my spoken and written word, I have often pointed out that Integrated Health Tourism Destinations can be regarded as Industrial or Economic Clusters (and vice versa).

With regards to Health Tourism Destinations, I have also pointed out that "past prominence is no guarantee of future eminence". Furthermore, I have also written and spoken about "West's Revenge" - a term I introduced to describe the phenomenon whereby "nations" once regarded as "Sources of
Medical Tourists" (by Medical Tourism Destinations) became Destinations themselves - often leading to the loss of prominence of once-leading destinations.

How to Succeed...something "in the air" - the Culture and Ambience of a Destination
Some who read what I write (and say) may be tired of my repeated claim that the "Culture" and "Ambience" of a Destination is of paramount importance in leading to and sustaining success.

Additionally, I have emphasized the need for the leadership of destinations to provide incentives which will attract Investment and "value-adding" Human Resources.

The "Schumpeter" article points out that economists from Alfred Marshall on have dwelt on the self-reinforcing characteristics of successful clusters:

  • They can protect their pre-eminence by producing a distinctive "culture." (Marshall said that there was something "in the air" in Sheffield that was conducive to steelmaking)
  • They provide incentives to attract money (investment) and talent

How to Fail ...the three ways
Firstly, I am on record for warning destinations against "overspecializing" - by focusing exclusively on, for example, just Medical Tourism - which on its own (as I have demonstrated) is not enough to make a
Destination Sustainable and Resilient.

Secondly, I have, for years been pointing to Fragmentation (in the context of Destinations) as the cause of inefficiency and non-competitiveness - and have been urging Integration - and have also warned that
"Show, Flash and Hype" cannot fool the Health Consumer into believing that a Destination is efficient and competitive (worthy of his or her "preference").

Thirdly, I have claimed that the other cause of "failure" can be attributed to Black Swans - unpredicted events with a high detrimental impact - because the Destination did not "build in" resilience - in addition to sustainability.

According to the Schumpeter article, clusters fail because:

  • They overspecialize in products or services that are later improved elsewhere
  • They complacently fail to upgrade their productivity (efficiency) - Detroit, for example, thought more about providing its cars with ornate fins than it did about their efficiency and performance
  • They suffer from an (unexpected) external shock (Black Swan) - for which they had made no provision (and from which it is extremely difficult to recover)

The Story to end the Story...quoting, almost verbatim, from the Schumpeter article
Cleveland's story is a warning that rebuilding failed clusters or destinations is extremely difficult.

Reversing decline is harder than capitalizing on success.

Success is a delicate flower that can easily be killed.

Failure is a weed that is almost impossible to exterminate.

All the above (referring to Economic Clusters) are equally applicable in the Case of Health Tourism Destinations (a.k.a. Clusters).

To read the online version click here.

Industry News

Consultancies and Health Tourism
... "knowing about" but not "deeply understanding"
by Constantine Constantinides (Director, healthCare cybernetics)

The Story which goes with it...borrowing your watch to tell you the time

The cliché states that: "Consultancies borrow your watch to tell you the time."
Sadly, in the case of Health Tourism, Consultancies often borrow a faulty watch to tell you the wrong time.

Jumping onto the Bandwagon...aiming to exploit an opportunity

As one would expect, Consultancies (including the "Big Four") were quick to opportunistically jump onto the Medical Tourism / Health Tourism bandwagon.
Do they add any value?

What is known about Consultancies and Health Tourism...an indictment of the profession

Generally, Consultancies:

  • Know about:
  • The Healthcare Sector
  • The Tourism Sector
  • "Claim" to know all about Medical Tourism / Health Tourism
  • Have no "first hand" knowledge and deep understanding of the Health Tourism Sector (which includes Medical Tourism)
  • "Mis-equate" Medical Tourism and Health Tourism - and often use the terms interchangeably
  • Take the "easy and lazy" approach by trawling the Internet for (unsubstantiated) data and information - which they then "dress up" as proprietary "intelligence"
  • Do not attend conferences where the evolving Contemporary Health Tourism Sector is configured and shaped

Mis-Equating "Medical Tourism" with "Health Tourism"...and using the terms interchangeably

Consultancies frequently make the "common" error of mis-equating "Medical Tourism" with "Health Tourism" - and using the terms interchangeably.

Everyone is "copying and pasting"...the same "impressive" misinformation

The Internet is overflowing with unsubstantiated assertions and claims about the millions, billions and trillions associated with Medical Tourism / Health Tourism.

This impressive misinformation is propagated (through the usual "copy and paste" approach) and adopted, used and presented (by many) as "fact."

No doubt, this practice conveniently serves vested interests.

The truth in "real numbers"...and the role of the Health Tourism Satellite Account

The unsubstantiated and hyper-inflated numbers are used by many to support and promote "pet projects" and "recommendations."

The truth is that no one, yet, has real numbers - because no one is counting or is able to count.

Real Numbers on Health Tourism, and each of its Segments, simply do not, yet, exist - anywhere.

We will only start getting real numbers with the adoption and implementation of the Health Tourism Satellite Account (HTSA).

The HTSA (a concept and practice introduced by healthCare cybernetics) is a universal, Sector-specific, Accounting System which documents Health Tourism Activity (in each of the 8 Segments) - and also serves to determine the Economic Impact of this activity.

The decency and honesty to withdraw a "flawed" Report...the exception

Consultancies publish studies and reports on Medical Tourism / Health Tourism (mainly to support their claim of competency and expertise).

Several of these studies and reports were subsequently shown to be flawed.
Out of all the consultancies associated with such studies and reports, only Deloitte had the honesty and decency to admit its error and retract its "contribution."

Where Health Tourism is Configured and Shaped...and the consistent absence of Consultancies

The Contemporary Health Tourism Sector is Configured and Shaped at the several Health Tourism or Medical Tourism Conferences staged around the world each year.

I have been a regularly invited and hosted speaker at the more "credible" conferences (for over a decade) - and have yet to see a representative from any of the Big Four consultancies (or any recognized consultancy, for that matter) at these conferences.

Industry News

The Greek Health Tourism Confederation
...the National-Level Industry Representative Body of the Sector

The Greek Health Tourism Confederation (the national-level Industry Representative Body of the Greek Health Tourism Sector) was founded on 29 June 2016 in accordance with Greek Law (pertaining to the founding and operation of Not-for-Profit Organizations).

Membership is extended to Greek Individuals (Natural Entities) and Organizations (Legal Entities) with a legitimate vested interest in the Health Tourism Sector.

Members fall into two groups:

  • Providers of Health-related Services (in the 8 Segments)
  • Providers of Sector-supporting Services and Products (representing several "industries")

The Confederation is committed to playing a purely subsidiary role - initiating and implementing concerted actions which cannot be performed at the "Local Health Tourism Destination" level.
The Purpose and Mission of the Confederation (through specific Concerted Actions) is:

  • To contribute towards the Development and Promotion of Greece as a credible and attractive Health Tourism Destination - through the implementation of the "...health in GREECE" Master Plan
  • To encourage and support the expansion of the Industry so that it can address a broader Market
  • To encourage and support the creation of integrated, efficient and competitive local-level Health Tourism Destinations
  • To contribute towards the Promotion of Destinations, Providers and Services
  • To encourage and support the integration of the 8 Health Tourism Segments (ht8) of the Sector:
  • Medical Tourism
  • Dental Tourism
  • Spa Tourism
  • Wellness Tourism
  • Culinary Tourism
  • Sports Tourism
  • Accessible Tourism
  • Assisted Residential Tourism
  • To encourage and support the integration of the several Supporting Industries of the Sector:
  • Supporting Services
  • Supporting Products
  • To encourage and support the induction of Students and Young Entrepreneurs (Health Tourism Protégés) into the Sector
  • To engage the Greek Diaspora as Good Will Ambassadors, Consumers, Providers, Investors and Sponsors

The Concerted Actions

...to be led or supported by the Confederation
The Concerted Actions, led or supported by the Confederation, will aim to be harmonized with the spirit and requirements of the prevailing Development Law, with regards to the provision of Economic Support to Destinations and Providers.

The Greek Health Tourism "Local Level" Destinations

Greece is a Tourism "Destination of Destinations".
Likewise, it will be a Health Tourism "Destination of Destinations".
The following Tourism Destinations have been selected for Health Tourism Development and Promotion:

  • Andros
  • Athens
  • Corfu
  • Crete
  • Evia
  • Kos
  • Lesvos
  • Mykonos
  • Rhodes
  • Samos
  • Santorini
  • The Peloponnese
  • Thessalia
  • Thessaloniki

Of course, it needs to be pointed out that a number of these will be developed and promoted as Boutique Health Tourism Destinations (i.e., small scale).

Each local destination will have its own Industry Representative Body.

The Representative Body for the Peloponnese has already been formally founded - and the stakeholder leadership in Crete, Thessaloniki and Athens are preparing to do the same.

Transparency and Disclosure

The Confederation aims to be transparent and provide full disclosure - to its Members and to the public at large.
All the Confederation's Activities and Dealings will be documented at the Confederation Sites (Greek and English).

For additional information click here.

Industry News

Prescription Drug Costs Around the Globe
by Kelly Gooch 
Becker's Hospital Review is the original producer/publisher of this content.

The International Federation of Health Plans has released its 2015 Comparative Price Report, detailing its annual survey of medical prices per unit.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Cleveland Clinic Exec: Bundled Payments Require Close Clinical Attention
by Ron Shinkman

Fiercehealthcare.com- Success in the bundled payment environment requires extensive preparation and planning before a patient enters a hospital--even when the organization is powerful, prestigious or well-managed.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Sixth Annual IHC FORUM West + Private Exchange FORUM
Join us at the sixth annual IHC FORUM West + Private Exchange FORUM for cost-saving, empowering tools, top-quality solutions and a clear understanding of the changing landscape in health and benefits. IHC FORUM West + Private Exchange FORUM will be November 9-10 at the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

The sixth annual IHC FORUM West in Las Vegas is part of the ONLY conference series 100-percent dedicated to health care consumerism - where employers, brokers, health plans, TPAs, consultants and providers gather under one roof to LEARN, CONNECT and SHARE best practices, innovation and expert insights.

With Private Exchange FORUM, we've created a collaborative environment that brings together all industry stakeholders to explore and truly investigate what's working and what's not in the emerging private exchange market. Our goal is to help all stakeholders cut through the clutter by crafting a balanced conference program that eschews misinformation and gets to the heart of the issues around private exchanges and defined contribution.

Click here for an offer to gain free registration!

Be a VIP Guest at 2016 FORUM West + PEF

The sixth annual IHC FORUM West in Las Vegas is part of the ONLY conference series 100-percent dedicated to health care consumerism - where employers, brokers, health plans, TPAs, consultants and providers gather under one roof to LEARN, CONNECT and SHARE best practices, innovation and expert insights.

And with Private Exchange FORUM, we've created a collaborative environment that brings you together with all industry stakeholders to explore and truly investigate what's working and what's not in the emerging private exchange market. Our goal is to help you cut through the clutter by crafting a balanced conference program that eschews misinformation and gets to the heart of the issues around private exchanges and defined contribution.

Laura Carabello, Principal, CPR Strategic Marketing Communications
is lead speaker of workshop 202.


You have been invited to attend FORUM West + Private Exchange FORUM as a VIP guest courtesy of Medical Travel Today

*Enter the code MEDICALTRAVELVIP when prompted during registration


This offer is only valid for employers, brokers, consultants, health plans and TPAs.

FORUM West + Private Exchange FORUM
Red Rock Casino | November 9-10, 2016 | Las Vegas, NV

Copyright © 2016 The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism
292 South Main St.

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.



Upcoming Events


10th Annual Global Wellness Summit

October 17-19, 2016 - Tyrol, Austria
To learn more or to register click here.

The 7th Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Conference

October 20-22, 2016 - Seoul, Korea
To learn more or to register click here.

7th International TEMOS Conference

November 13-15, 2016 - Berlin, Germany
To learn more or to register click here.

Health in Greece Convention

February 11-12, 2017 - Athens, Greece
To learn more or to register click here.

Pan-African Health Tourism Congress

March 29-31, 2017 - Umfolozi Hotel Casino and Convention Resort, South Africa
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Fair India 2016

April 6-8, 2017 - Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
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

Top 7 Destinations for Medical Tourism in 2016

Ftnnews.com-Healthcare can be quite expensive at times. Especially if you need treatment immediately and you do not have time for doing in-depth survey.

Medical Tourism in Latvia Gaining Popularity Among Ukrainians

UAtoday.tv-Latvia instead of Crimea. More and more Ukrainians tend to travel to Latvia on medical purposes rather than search treatment in Ukraine.

Want to Cut Healthcare Costs? Help Employees Avoid Back Surgery

Hr.blr.com-About 60% to 80% of the adult U.S. population has low back pain, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, with billions of dollars being spent annually on workers' comp and back pain injuries

Dubai Cosmetic Surgery, NMC Hospital Ink Partnership Deal

Tradearabia.com-Dubai Cosmetic Surgery clinic and NMC Healthcare, one of the largest private sector healthcare providers in the UAE, have announced a business collaboration in a bid to boost medical tourism in UAE.

Mapping the Future of Global Travel and Tourism

Usa.visa.com-More than fifty years ago, the burgeoning Jet Age introduced bigger, faster airplanes-which made travel more affordable than ever before and transformed international travel and tourism from a luxury requiring significant time and money to a leisure activity enjoyed by a much broader spectrum of society.

Medical Tourism Expected to be Valued at $3 Trillion by 2025

Travelweek.ca-Medical tourism equals big bucks and is projected to grow at a staggering rate over the next 10 years, says a new report by VISA and Oxford Economics.

Up to 1.65 Million Women of Childbearing Age at Risk for Zika

Reuters.com-As many as 1.65 million women of childbearing age in Central and Latin America are at risk of being infected with Zika, resulting in tens of thousands of pregnancies that could be affected by the mosquito-borne virus that is linked with severe birth defects.


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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.