Tag Archives: international travel

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How to make money investing in the medical travel industry

By now, you’ve heard all the hype about the potential growth of the medical travel industry and how US patients are fleeing the country to get affordable care. Unfortunately, the experts agree, that there are few reliable statistics about the size and growth of the market, there are no common definitions of a medical traveler, comparisons of revenues and costs are hard to make, and there remain persistent, nagging barriers to widespread adoption by patients, payers and physicians.

That said, investors are still clinging to the promise of big returns fueled by patients losing their health benefits because of high unemployment, the aging population requiring more units of care and exploding costs of healthcare. If you think the medical travel industry is set to explode, there are some areas of investment to consider:

Foreign Healthcare infrastructure

  • Hospitals and systems
    Ambulatory surgery centers
    Clinical labs and imaging centers
    Disease specific treatment facilities like cancer centers, stem cell centers, etc
  • Foreign Travel and hospitality infrastructure

  • Hotels and Surgical Hotels
    Airport development

  • Tools and support companies

  • Players in global healthcare information exchange
    Data analytics and business intelligence
    Quality, price and value determinations
    Companies offering alternative pricing mechanisms

  • Supporting global healthcare insurance and travel products

  • Trip cancellation
    Follow up care
    Emergency evacuation
    Professional liability
    Infectious disease management
    Geopolitical risk insurance
  • Firms in the medical travel supply chain

  • Travel medicine clinics
    Medical travel facilitators and specialty travel agents
    Medical concierge ground operators
    Currency exchange risk managers

  • Expatriate retirement health cities and communities

    Like other industry sectors, gold, for example, you can invest in the product itself, the people who create the product, or investments that pools risks, like mutual funds or exchange traded funds.

    Look for companies in markets where the supply of care does not meet the demands of a growing middle class, that provide products and services delivering low, cost high volume care, and that provide platforms and infrastructure designed to reduce transaction costs for billing and collecting and value-based information.

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    Enrollment in High Deductible Health Plans Increased in 2010

    According to the survey from Benefit Research Institute, the 2010 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey showed that enrollments in high deductible health plans increased in 2010 – from 13% in 2009 to 14% in 2010.

    Large deductibles mean that patient will pay out-of-pocket for many of their medical expensive. As more and more Americans are tightening their belts, they will be looking elsewhere to lower their medical cost. This will raise demand for diagnostic tests (colonoscopies, endoscopies, CT scans, MRI), overall health screenings (Executive Wellness Exams) as well as other procedures, such as orthopedics, ophthalmology and others. Global healthcare can help to fill in the gaps to provide solutions to help families struggling with rising healthcare costs.

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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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    American Culture in Global Healthcare

    American Culture in Global Healthcare

    Global medical tourism exists because medicine transcends borders and doctors around the world genuinely care about patients. Apart from medicine, Americans have some unique commonalities that MedVoy’s providers and successful overseas healthcare providers already understand. As a reminder, here are some uniquely American cultural differences that are important to recognize:

    English is our Only Language
    Unlike other countries, Americans generally do not learn another language as part of their primary education. Since we only speak English, Americans are hesitant to speak other languages and tend to prefer to travel to countries where the language barrier is not an issue. While this trend is shifting, if you want to attract Americans, there needs to be an English speaking staff.

    Privacy Please
    It’s a fact – Americans like their personal space. This is noticeable in any restaurant where solo diners sit alone at a table for two rather than at a communal table with strangers. Our puritanical roots have also instilled a deep sense of modesty, especially when dealing with medical issues. The bottom line is understanding the need for personal space when considering your US guest. We prefer single hospital rooms and private waiting rooms, ideally with an international department allocated just for us.

    Aesthetics Count
    USA is a young country and as such there is a perception that new is better. It’s true that you cannot judge a book by its cover and that décor has nothing to do with medical outcomes. However, never underestimate your first impression. If Americans are heading overseas for medical care, we want to go to a modern facility – your photos and your facilities need to reflect this.

    This list is certainly not exhaustive, what are others that should be listed?

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    Designing a Perfect Smile in Costa Rica

    The world looks brighter behind a smile, yet for many people smiling can be a challenge. Medical tourism has made restorative and cosmetic dentistry more accessible and affordable for everyone. Housed in clean and modern facilities, next to partner CIMA Hospital, Dental Cosmetics Costa Rica specializes in cosmetic dentistry to help patients attain the bright, radiant teeth that transform their smiles and helps them regain their self-confidence.

    Founders Dr. Alejandro Lasso and Dr. Andres Fernandez Rodriguez are highly experienced and board certified – including certification by the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry. Additionally, Dr. Rodriguez is recognized as one of the preeminent maxillofacial surgeons in the country and is a member of several international boards, including the International Asociación of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, American Association of Cosmetic Surgery and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

    To learn more click here.

    Dental Cosmetics Costa Rica Doctors

    Dental Cosmetics Costa Rica Doctors

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    Former VP of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Joins MedVoy

    MedVoy announced today that they have added Lew Emanuelson to its advisory board to support and develop strategies for the employer benefit marketplace. MedVoy will now have an additional 32 years of specialized insurance experience in underwriting, sales and consulting for group health insurance plans and insurance brokerages in order to provide invaluable insight into the increasingly complex insurance vertical. It will enable MedVoy’s partners to draw from a new pipeline of patients to increase revenue streams, while also fulfilling MedVoy’s mission of connecting patients to domestic and international healthcare providers that administer the highest quality of care and accessibility at an affordable cost.

    Read the full press release

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    MedVoy launches the Jumpstart Program

    MedVoy now offers the Jumpstart Program to quickly and easily launch our partners into the realm of medical tourism. Combining the three most necessary components – MedVoy Showcase Center, MedVoy Lead Services, and MedVoy Portal Access Services – raises visibility, channels leads and facilitates communication.

    This program is designed to help consumers find the best medical travel for their needs by having the information in one-stop location. Through experience, we know providing information and enabling communication helps to mitigate against uncertainty, aids with continuity of care and improves the overall customer experience. This program is open to all types of providers in global healthcare. .

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    Medical Tourism: Planning for the worst

    None of us likes to think about it, but death following elective surgery or a procedure happens. If it happens while you are overseas, it can be particularly traumatic and difficult for your survivors. Whether you have surgery in Miami or Mumbai, here are some things to do to prepare:

    1. Be sure you have a living will and a durable power of attorney. These documents, describing who is your surrogate and empowered to make medical decisions if you are unable, are extremely important for those taking care of you. If you travel overseas for care, be sure to bring a copy that can be included in your medical records. Include the names and contact information for those who should be contacted in case of an emergency.

    2. Consider how you will return the body to a designated place. Discuss this with your provider and identify options before you need them

    3. If you have life insurance or survivor benefits, check with your insurance agent or company to confirm that your policy will cover events that occur outside of your home country.

    4. If you are using a medical tourism facilitator, discuss with them how they can help you handle the situation and what kind of contingency plans they have in place.

    Fortunately, postoperative deaths are unusual for most elective procedures. Should it happen, however, you should have a plan in place to minimize the stress of dealing with an already difficult situation.

    Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA
    Chief Medical Officer

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    What is Medical Tourism

    Medical tourism is the act of traveling to other coutries to obtain medical, dental or cosmetic care. Medical tourism is a new term but thousands of years old act. From the 18th century wealthy Europeans traveled to spas from Germany to the Nile.

    Factors such as high healthcare costs, long waiting list for transplants, ease and affordability of international travel, improving technology and high quality of healthcare standards in many countries of the world has led to the recent increase in popularity of medical tourism among U.S population.

    MedVoy is created understanding of these needs and growing demands.

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