Tag Archives: Medical Tourism Association

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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MedVoy in Colorado Biz Magazine

MedVoy, a global medical tourism company based in Denver, is one of the first three companies in the world to be certified by the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) as a Medical Tourism Facilitator.

Medical Tourism is a growing industry which recognizes that manpower shortages, the need to leverage care, different health care delivery models, an expanding global market and utilization of new information technologies are enabling a shift of power to the consumer without the need of a medical professional playing middleman.

Essentially, this means that people from around the world can request medical procedures be done in foreign locations. Medical Tourism Facilitators are the intermediaries that can make it happen. They are the ones that coordinate the medical care of patients traveling from one country to another. They provide health care consumers with the information/services they need to access affordable, high quality health care procedures internationally.

The MTA is an international non-profit association made up of the top international hospitals, health care providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies and others with the common goal of promoting the highest level of quality health care to patients in a global environment. Their certification process is based on standards for best practices for medical procedures.

The goal is to encourage international “transparency” in the services offered to patients, regardless of where they are from or where the services are offered. For example, a US citizen can expect to receive the same quality of care with the same positive outcomes whether undergoing a procedure in Geneva or in Singapore.

Raj Joseph and Dr. Arlen Meyers co-founded MedVoy when they met at the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado, where Dr Meyers was an advisor to Raj. Raj wrote and presented a business plan for a medical tourism model, which the university recognized as the best international business plan.

His concept was born out of a personal experience involving an emergency evacuation, three countries, a nurse and a doctor, he and his parents, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. All this, and sadly, his father did not survive.

The whole experience caused him to reflect on how he could do something towards helping other patients/families so they would not have to endure the same hardships he’d gone through. After a thorough and careful study of the marketplace, MedVoy was established to help patients shop for affordable, high quality, accredited health care worldwide.

MedVoy connects patients with healthcare providers through a user-friendly online platform and assists patients in making arrangements with hospitals and care facilities. According to Dr. Meyers, “Health care, like everything else, has gone global. Medvoy helps patients find quality, affordable care throughout the US and the world from providers they can trust.”

MedVoy is one of the first three organizations to receive MTA certification. This international recognition provided a construct from “which to put processes and procedures in place, but also an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment towards patient safety and positive outcomes” says Raj, CEO of MedVoy. According to him the benefits of the certification include:

• Reducing the potential for logistical errors and medical problems for patients
• Increasing the chances of long-term positive patient outcomes
• Ensuring that procedures are in place to specifically help patients with cultural, religious, or other requirements when traveling for medical care
• Providing patients with a specialized area of expertise.

MedVoy was founded on the principle of providing customers with a premier consumer driven health care experience by connecting them with a choice of domestic/international service providers (e.g. hospitals, doctors, dentists, and wellness practitioners).

Raj stated “ All of our customers return from medical treatments abroad with surprise – a pleasant surprise – on the quality of the facilities and the professionalism of all the medical staffs that go beyond anyone’s expectations.”

As in any new industry, growth opportunities abound. Other medical tourism trends to watch for include:
• global healthcare information exchanges
• redefinition of professionalism and ethics
• healthcare insurance products designed to empower patients
• changes in the global healthcare workforce
• growth of programs offering MBA’s in medical tourism
• electronic markets offering unused healthcare capacity

So, what kind of implications does that have for you and your organizations? Think more jobs in global health care, a changing model for physician-patient interaction and new challenges in the legal, socioeconomic, regulatory, reimbursement, and professionalism arenas.

Original article can be found at http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/health-care-really-goes-global-with-medical-tourism/

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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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MedVoy receives Medical Tourism Association Certification

MedVoy is one of  the first medical tourism facilitators/medical travel facilitators to be certified by the Medical Tourism Association’s, Medical Tourism Facilitator Certification /Medical Travel Facilitator Certification.  

Medical Tourism Facilitators are organizations that are involved in the coordination of patient care for patients traveling from one country to another.  The certification process is a detailed process of evaluation which may take up to 120 days to complete. The standards have been developed by healthcare leaders from around the world in an effort to create best practices in the medical tourism industry.  The key to the MTA’s program is transparency in the services being offered to international patients.

MedVoy is proud to receive the MTA certification and this certification has not only enabled us to put the right processes and procedures in place but also provided an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment towards patient safety and positive outcomes. 

Patients all over the world must take the time to understand whom they are working with to avoid any surprises.

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Testimonials in Global Healthcare

A few months ago, we blogged about finding a reputable medical tourism facilitator in How do I find the best medical tourism company?

Another important factor is… a patient testimonial. Does the medical tourism facilitator have reference from past customers who were delighted by both the service provided by the company AND the doctor?

If not, you may want to think twice….

Anne Marie from Virginia

Looking in the mirror I saw sagging cheeks and droopy eyelids and I knew it was time to do something to reverse the “old” look. I also knew I wanted to find a surgeon who was the best with no regard to where he or she was located.

After searching the world, I was lucky enough to find, with the help of MedVoy, Dr. Edmond Khoury. He specializes in only faces so I knew he was performing the kind of face procedures I needed daily, not monthly. My experience with Dr. Khoury was incredible. Minimum pain, little downtime, totally natural look and, best of all, no one knows I had anything done! Friends and family just know I look great. Thanks to MedVoy for helping me find this fine surgeon.


Anne M.

To read more, please visit: http://mycommunity.in/medvoy/testimonials.php

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MedVoy participates in Medical Tourism Facilitator Certification Program

We are happy to announce that MedVoy is participating in the Medical Tourism Facilitator Certification Program conducted by a non profit organization, Medical Tourism Association. The certification is a detailed process of evaluation which may take up to 90 to 120 days to complete. We strongly believe that this will strengthen us in delivering medical tourism packages to customers and focus on having the right medical tourism processes, procedures in place that can reduce the likelihood of errors and problems and increase the chances of positive outcomes

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