Tag Archives: dental medical tourism

Chat with MedVoy

The MedVoy website now has chat functionality enabled. Patients can now chat in real time with an expert which allows patients’ questions to be answered immediately and to deliver high quality customer service.

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Smile Makeover

Smile Makeovers

You may have heard the term “smile makeover” or “smile design” recently, but what exactly does that mean?
A smile makeover uses a variety of cosmetic dentistry techniques to achieve that elusive perfect smile that we see on the likes of celebrity and models. The techniques would vary depending on what you need – be it missing teeth, broken or deformed teeth, tooth discoloration and more. Some of the following techniques could include:
Dental Implants

Dental implants replace any missing teeth. The implant base is fused into the jaw and then a natural looking crown is fitted on top. Crowns and bridges are often placed on top of dental implants.

Teeth Whitening

Age, illness and lifestyle choices (such a drinking coffee/ tea / red wine) can stain your teeth over time. Teeth whitening will lighten your teeth to your desired color

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are paper-thin, custom made porcelain shells that are bonded onto the front and side surfaces of your tooth

Inlays and Onlays
Usually made of porcelain, inlays and onlays are matched to your tooth color to provide a durable and stain resistant surface

Cosmetic Re-contouring

Cosmetic re-contouring reshapes the gumline and may lengthen or improve the look of teeth that appear smaller due to gum tissue overgrowth.

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Medical Travel is Maturing but Patients are Still Confused

The medical travel industry is maturing.  Researchers have created centers to study it, like the Center for Medical Tourism Research at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas (http://www.uistx.edu ) and doctors have created organizations to professionalize it , like the International Board of Medicine and Surgery (http://www.ibms.us ). Conferences, seminars and trade associations are sprouting up all over the world and medical travel bloggers litter the medical tourism landscape.

Despite it’s growth, I think patients are still confused  about the multiple products and services that all seem to be the same. If you are considering offering medical travel benefits to your employees or are  considering leaving home for care, here are three questions you should ask  that might help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Who do you get connected to?

The traditional referral model is your doctor, someone you trust,  refers you to another doctor for  specialty care or consultation. In most instances in medical tourism, however,  a facilitator or other intermediary  connects you  to a hospital or ground agent partner in another country who connects you to a doctor on the medical staff of the overseas hospital. All those steps can be confusing, add middle-man costs, and create opportunities for errors.

How do you establish some kind of relationship with the consultant before leaving home?

Since it is impractical for you to see your foreign consultant preoperatively face to face, take advantage of facilitators, like Medvoy, that can help connect you to your doctor using telemedicine communications technologies.

What’s the difference between one facilitator and the other?

As the market matures, industry players are creating ways to differentiate themselves and break from the rest of the pack. In general, facilitators compete on price, access, service, experience and their product. Just as Hermes sells quality, Wal-Mart competes on price and Nordstrom’s is know for service. Decide what’s most important to you and pick a facilitator that will deliver.

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New Year – New You

Happy New Year! The New Year symbolizes a time of renewal as we reflect on 2010 and the ways to improve in 2011.

Some of us will turn inward and will seek ways to set goals and fit more into our ever hectic schedules. Many will be trying to fight the holiday bulge and race off the gym holding steadfastly to our resolutions. The holiday retail numbers were strong, economic indicators are improving and even the typically droll economists are optimistic about 2011.

  • Will 2011 be the year that you take care of those lagging health problems? One in five Americans put off going to the doctor due to the economic climate, so demand for procedures such as knee arthroscopy or a hip replacement is likely to increase.
  • Will this be the year that you finally get over the fear of the dentist? Prothodontists can help restore your smile through implants, bridges and fixtures, while Cosmetic Dentistry deliver an entire “smile makeovers”- filling in gaps, veneers, whitening teeth, etc.
  • Or will this be the year that you will finally has that cosmetic surgery procedure done? Newer methodology for facelifts and eye lifts (Blepharoplasty) utilizing a laser can significantly lower downtime and get you back to work looking refreshed in no time.

The year has just begun – what do you want to with it?

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Medical Tourism Evolution

Medical tourism used to be tiny and only for the wealthy. Now it’s ‘Medical Travel’ and it’s growing, fast.

Leaving home for care is nothing new. People have been traveling around the world for treatment since the beginning of time. Now we call it medical tourism, and it is growing quickly.

Patients seek care away from home because it is cheaper, unavailable in their home location, can be accessed without waiting for a long time, can be combined with a travel experience and can be kept secret. Despite the talk of healthcare reform, patients and employers are paying more for care with no forseeable decreases and they are looking for safe, affordable alternatives to care in the US.

There are several serious barriers to adoption and penetration of the notion of leaving home for care. In fact, we’re not even sure what to call it these days. “Medical tourism” has morphed into global healthcare referral or medical travel, underlying the fact that we are talking about healthcare in a different place, not sipping Margueritas by the pool. The growth of the industry is being fueled by mostly medical outsiders who see the commercial potential of opportunities that have resulted from medical cost inflation, globalization and cheap information and communications technologies.

There are lots of opportunties for physicians in the medical travel industry. Substantial challenges to the traditional notions of face-to-face care, continuity of care, itinerant surgery and global healthcare information exchange are but a few of the issues that the medical provider establishment will have to confront as medical travel continues to grow around the world.

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What's hot

By now you know that the landscape of medical tourism changes on an almost monthly basis. Geopolitical eruptions, natural disasters or the latest headline about US healthcare reform changes the industry on a dime. Here’s what’s hot this week:

1. The person sitting next to you on the plane is your surgeon-off-shore health communities are looking for US- based surgeons to participate in foreign offices to do surgery, and bring their patients, for less cost in the host country. Grumpy doctors in the US are interested.

2. The person you see on your computer is your doctor- information and communications technologies are providing a way to deliver follow up care at minimal cost

3. Click to see your record anywhere in the world- global healthcare information exchanges are growing as more doctors around the world adopt and connect electronic medical records.

BOTTOM LINE: Global healthcare referral coordination is more about moving information than moving people.

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Lorenzana Dental Center: an American Board Certified Dentist Abroad

American Board of Prosthodontics logoDental implants are relatively new area of dentistry in which Dr. Rafael Lorenzana of Lorenzana Dental Center in El Salvador has been a true pioneer. Dental implants first arrived in the US in the early 1980s when Dr. Lorenzana was at a student at Baylor University and he has been perfecting his technique since inception.

As a Prothodontist, a specialist who has studied the mouth and jaw for an additional three years and replaces the look and function of lost or damaged teeth, Dr. Lorenzana specializes on full mouth reconstruction and is board certified by the- a distinction that less than five percent of US Dentist can claim.

People from around the world come to Lorenzana Dental Center because his credentials make a difference; Dr. Lorenzana studied Prosthodontics for three years at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the Medical University of South Carolina. He went on to graduate as a member of the honorary dental society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon, and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Baylor College of Dentistry, where he was also a professor in Prosthodontics for ten years. The American Board of Prosthodontics also requires stringent recertification every eight years which keeps him abreast of the latest technology.

As an American citizen born in El Salvador, Dr. Lorenzana has the mindset of an American and also practiced for seven years in Highland Park, a tony suburb of Dallas, Texas. He is a respected researcher and speaker, has visited facilities all over the worlds and prides himself that he uses the same standards, advanced techniques, materials and equipment that you would find in the United States.

See the video interview.

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Has Medical Tourism Gone Mainstream?

A new reality show entitled The Health and Wellness Travel Show takes men around the world to explore alternative treatments in a variety of exotic locations. The show will take a look at a variety of ancient and modern treatments from a variety of practitioners ranging from traditional doctors to shamans. This premise has been given the Hollywood spin and dramatized for television since medical tourism connects patients to accredited and highly-trained medical doctors. However, the fact that this show even exists makes the case that global healthcare has become mainstream and the concept of leaving home for a cure is becoming commonplace.

What do you think?

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Medical Tourism Dental

Just like any other procedure category, the primary reason for patients using Dental tourism or Dental medical tourism is cost savings. Today, majority of the dental patients seek dental procedures such as root canals, root canal, implants, cavity fillings, or even simple teeth cleanings. Given that only about 50% of the U.S population has dental insurance, compared with the 85% who have medical benefits, patients traveling abroad for dental treatments is not surprising.

Various global dental medical tourism providers are listed here at http://www.medvoy.com/procedure/dental

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Global Healthcare Is Not Just About The Cost

3 Million people spent $76B on care away from home in 2010.
A recent Frost and Sullivan research report on the medical travel business predicts that medical tourism will come a $100 B business by the end of 2012 and that hot spots to watch will be: the Middle East, Asia and Germany.
While most believe that cost is the main driver this is not true across the board. A McKinsey and Company 2008 report emphasizes that 40 per cent of medical travelers seek advanced technology, 32 per cent seek better healthcare, 15 per cent seek faster medical services and only 9 percent of travelers seek lower costs as their primary consideration. Click to view the full report.

As reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare continue to decrease and increasing numbers of US doctors indicate they will cut back seeing patients insured by these government insurance plans, or stop seeing them altogether. This will fuel access, rather than cost, to the forefront of medical travel.
Inbound tourism is the flip side of the same coin – as US healthcare continues to get more expensive and more difficult to access, hospitals are looking for ways to fill the beds. Foreign patients are attractive market and also pay in cash.
As I””ve pointed out before, these market eruptions present entrepreneurs with big opportunities. Healthcare reform might change the rules, but I don””t think significantly, given the big picture patient demographic and manpower supply and demand challenges.
Global referral communications, coordination and care is a growth industry begging for talent and $100B is likely to get a lot of attention. It certainly got mine.

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