THIS WEEK IN U.S. DOMESTIC MEDICAL TRAVEL

Volume 1, Issue 14

Dear Colleagues,

As the cost of healthcare continues to rise, more employers are considering a domestic medical travel option that allows employees to travel within the United States for more affordable, high-quality care.

In this issue, Jason Jones, vice president, Human Capital Practice Willis Insurance Services of California, Inc., states that his company is engaging in domestic and international medical tourism as a way to offer clients tremendous financial discounts.

Jones believes particular areas throughout the United States are better suited to take advantage of the growing medical tourism industry - i.e. Las Vegas, Nevada, and parts of Florida and California.

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

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

The SIIA National Conference & Expo is the world's largest event focused exclusively on the self-insurance/alternative risk transfer marketplace, typically attracting more than 1,700 attendees from throughout the United States and from a growing number of countries around the world. The program features more than 40 educational sessions designed to help employers and their business partners identify and maximize the value of self-insurance solutions.
For additional details about SIIA and the medical travel panel, read the article entitled, "SIIA Panel Discussion: Domestic Medical Travel - Opportunities and Challenges for Self-Insured Employers," below.

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

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

Thank you for your interest in this exciting, growing market space. Please be in touch with your comments and editorial contributions, which can be sent directly to: editor@USDomesticMedicalTravel.com.


Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher

 

SPOTLIGHT: Jason Jones, Vice President, Human Capital Practice Willis Insurance Services of California, Inc.

 

Human Capital Practice Willis Insurance Services of California, Inc.
4250 Executive Square, Suite 250
La Jolla, CA 92037
Direct: 858-678-2130, Cell: 619-607-2824
jason.jones@willis.com, www.willis.com

About Jason Jones
Jason Jones joined the Willis team in 2010. As a client advocate, Jason's focus is to understand a client's business and human resource strategy and to assist them in developing and executing the strategy to achieve the desired objectives. Jason's goal for his clients is to aggressively manage their health and benefit premiums, improve day-to-day administrative functions, and become a seamless extension of his client's human resources department.

Jason has been working in the field of employee benefits for over eight years. During that time, he has managed complex Southern California-based clients ranging in size from 100 to 5,000 employees. He has been a speaker at many association meetings such as SHRM, NCPA and CBA, and has a strong background in health advocacy. His areas of specialty are working with healthcare, technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. With an emphasis on data directed healthcare cost containment through thoughtful, meaningful and deliberate health advocacy programs. He has provided exceptional client service as evidenced by a retention rate of over 90 percent.

Prior to his current role at Willis, Jason worked at Mercer for six years as a senior benefits consultant. Prior to this, he was a senior account manager/team leader with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Jason earned a B.A. in Business Administration and a Minor in Spanish from University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Universidad Del Pias Basco - San Sebastian, Spain.

About Willis Group Holdings
Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 17,500 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world's leading authorities on analytics, modelling and mitigation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website, www.willis.com, our leadership journal, Resilience, or our up-to-the-minute blog on breaking news, WillisWire. Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world.

U.S. Domestic Medical Travel (USDMT): Please describe your role at Willis and your involvement in the medical travel industry.

Jason Jones (JJ): I've been with Willis for the past three years, and prior to that I was employed by Mercer for six years.

Currently, I refer to myself as a senior client advocate. I am the vice president of the Human Capital Practice in San Diego, California, which is comprised of approximately 30 individuals and 1,000 clients.

Our company, and a number of companies in Southern California, is experiencing a significant amount of growth. California, generally speaking, views the overall offering of health and benefits much differently than the rest of the United States.

California, and perhaps Colorado, is much more proactive in aggressive wellness programs and a real commitment to healthcare cost containment as opposed to other states.

Our company is engaging in medical tourism as a way to offer our clients tremendous financial discounts, both domestically and internationally.

Clients are able to send employees to a center of excellence (COE) in the United States, or a facility abroad, that specializes in specific treatments and procedures at reduced costs.

USDMT: Do you have any medical travel programs in place?

JJ: We have a client in San Diego that has a program in place.

This particular client has had an individual travel to India for a hip and knee replacement, as well as a bariatric procedure - both successful.

A number of bariatric issues are the cause for hip and knee replacements, and often times individuals will need to fix both issues at the same time.

USDMT: Do clients rely upon your company to direct them to the hospitals and centers of excellence?

JJ: As the broker, we deliver the best healthcare cost containment strategy to the table.

Ultimately, we cannot control which COE is selected. We need to rely on the third party administrator (TPA), or the medical tourism vendor, to provide that information.

We then will make an educated and meaningful decision on behalf of our client.

USDMT: Do you think the demand among your clients for a domestic medical travel option within the 50 states is going to grow?

JJ: Yes, absolutely.

This past December at the 2013 IHC Forum West in Las Vegas there was an individual from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau who was completely dedicated to bringing people in strictly for medical tourism.

Not only do people want to travel to Las Vegas to experience the "Las Vegas Appeal," but now individuals are also opting to travel to Las Vegas for medical purposes.

Personally, I believe there will be particular areas throughout the United States that will be able to take advantage of the growing medical tourism industry more so than others -- Las Vegas being one of those locations.

I also see Florida and areas of California establishing similar protocol.

USDMT: Then you believe that eco-tourism is a factor, not necessarily a driving factor, but certainly a factor in where you would choose to send patients?

JJ: Yes, of course.

Certain COEs don't want to participate in a traditional health plan. Instead, they are contracting directly with the employer and finding that approach enhances savings and company profitability.

USDMT: Is cost or quality the primary driver?

JJ: Ultimately, I think cost is going to be more important to the employer and quality will be driven by the employee.

Obviously there needs to be a marriage in between. If the employer can contract directly with the COEs to provide great outcomes to the employee at a low cost, I think that's what we will start to see more frequently.

USDMT: What do you see as the barriers to adoption and are they able to be overcome in the near future?

JJ: I don't think the majority of individuals have looked at medical tourism from a domestic perspective.

For the most part, the industry has been advertised as an international resource or solution.

The idea of overcoming the international perception and creating a domestic education and direct marketing campaign would help overcome a significant amount of barriers.

USDMT: If you were sitting in the CEO's seat of a hospital or COE that wanted to attract your attention, what would you suggest they do?

JJ: I would highly suggest the idea of increasing outreach efforts to the larger brokerage firms, or even some of the regional players in their respective cities, which hospitals and COEs don't currently do at all.

The medical facilities place a lot of reliance on medical travel agencies to bring business to them.

Further advancement in the industry can be made if the facilities would take a stand and put marketing tactics in place for themselves.

USDMT: Do you perceive any quality or cost differential at this time between the traditional, high profile COEs and the physician-owned entities and ambulatory surgery centers?

JJ: You've got the Cleveland Clinic, Hoag Orthopedic Institute, St. Joseph's, Scrip Clinics, etc., which have been around and developed a reputation for high quality care. However, when an individual associates themselves with these reputable facilities, they are aware that high quality care comes at a cost.

We need to identify entities that are excellent in certain procedures and market that facility accordingly.

USDMT: How do you perceive your role in influencing employers, not only to adopt the benefit or introduce the benefit, but to pull it through to the work force?

JJ: As previously mentioned, at Willis our role is to educate our clients and to bring the best and brightest solutions to them.

With medical tourism, in particular, we feel as though there is an opportunity for stronger outcomes and lower costs and it is our duty to educate our employers on it.

Ultimately the employer has to make the decision. I don't force medical travel options upon the employer, but with enough education, they are going to make the proper decision.

USDMT: Do you think the international opportunity to travel to places such as Costa Rica or Singapore is viable?

JJ: I think that issue lies within an individual's perception of each specific international location.

Costa Rica is doing quite a bit right now with medical travel and has developed numerous COEs, but the general public doesn't typically hear about this.

Healthcare professionals are made aware of the strides being made in international locations during corporate conferences.

Cultural similarities definitely have an impact on the industry, as well. For example, it is probably more likely for an individual from Spain to travel to South America for treatment, as opposed to somebody from the Unites States going to South America for treatment.

My concern is that many countries are building COEs in an effort to attract international patients, but may be disappointed without any significant influx of patients.

Interview: John A. Rumberger, Ph.D., M.D., FACC, Director of Cardiac Imaging at Princeton Longevity Center

http://www.PrincetonLongevityCenter.com

About John A. Rumberger, Ph.D., M.D., FACC
Recognized as one of the country's leading experts in Cardiac CT imaging, Dr. John A. Rumberger started his training in engineering at The Ohio State University. He holds advanced degrees in Aerospace Engineering, Bio-Medical Engineering, Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics and then completed his Medical Degree at the University of Miami. Dr. Rumberger completed his internal medicine training at The Ohio State University and his Cardiovascular Diseases Fellowship under Dr. Melvin Marcus at the University of Iowa. He specialized in cardiac imaging [especially Cardiac CT], cardiac/coronary physiology and dynamics, and preventive cardiology.

In 1984, Dr. Rumberger began his study of Cardiac CT and continued his clinical and research studies at the University of Iowa, as a junior faculty member. In 1987 Dr. Rumberger became a consultant in the Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. During his tenure at the University of Iowa and his subsequent years at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Rumberger established himself as a leader in the development of cardiac imaging using Computed Tomography as it relates to cardiovascular disease and in practical and clinical applications of Computed Tomography in understanding cardiac physiology and coronary atherosclerosis.

Dr. Rumberger became Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, and Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at the Mayo Clinic in 1996. He has published over 250 scientific papers, 250 abstracts, 35 book chapters, numerous invited editorials, and two books dealing with the development and application of cardiac CT. He is also author of The Way Diet - a lifestyle plan of diet, exercise, and stress management. Dr. Rumberger was supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health and, in 1989, became an established investigator of the American Heart Association. Dr. Rumberger also continued his clinical work as a member of the prestigious Coronary Intensive Care Staff at the Mayo Clinic.

In 2006, Dr. Rumberger joined the staff of Princeton Longevity Center in Princeton, New Jersey, as director of Cardiac Imaging. Dr. Rumberger is recognized as an authority on the use of Cardiac CT, CT physics, and in developing practice guidelines for its interpretation in patients. Currently Dr. Rumberger remains active in clinical practice, epidemiological research, Preventive Cardiology/Medicine and teaching Cardiologists and Radiologists methods to interpret Cardiac CT in clinical practice.

Since his joining Princeton Longevity Center, Dr. Rumberger and his colleagues have trained >3000 physicians from all over the world in the use and application of Cardiac CT Angiography. He is a permanent member of Who's Who in Health Care and continues his research interests in early diagnosis of coronary disease. Dr. Rumberger also continues to lecture and travel extensively, and conduct numerous physician seminars regarding cardiac imaging.

About Princeton Longevity Center (PLC)
Founded in 2003, Princeton Longevity Center is a leading preventive medicine center headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton Longevity Center specializes in full-day Preventive Medicine Exams and Executive Health Exams with locations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

U.S. Domestic Medical Travel (USDMT): Give our readers a brief explanation of PLC's objective.

John A. Rumberger (JR): PLC offers Comprehensive Medical Examinations (CME).

We place heavy focus on early detection of disease, overall current health status and education in prevention and healthy lifestyle choices to help maintain longevity.

USDMT: Although your office is based in New Jersey, if an individual is located in a different state, can he/she still utilize PLC's services?

JR: Of course!

Currently, PLC has three offices: Princeton, New Jersey; Fairfax, Virginia; and Shelton, Connecticut. However, we are a national and international resource for clients.

Our primary focus is diagnostics and appropriate education on disease prevention in an integrative fashion. If further diagnostic testing is required, we can help facilitate.

We also do interval evaluations and offer long-term advice, but we do not do long-term care - that is left to the clients' own physicians.

USDMT: You mentioned that PLC is an international resource. Does the company have international clients?

JR: Absolutely. We have clients from all over the world who come to PLC for a comprehensive examination.

Regardless of a patient's home location, the same level of testing and service is provided.

USDMT: What comprehensive exams and programs do you offer in PLC's preventative medicine department?

JR: I think it is important for readers to understand the difference between comprehensive examinations that PLC offers versus the common executive physical done by others. In our case, specific testing provides the clinician with a wealth of information which requires an integrated/comprehensive evaluation.

The standard comprehensive examination begins with a thorough medical history form and a face-to-face consultation and physical examination with one of our doctors. This initial evaluation takes roughly 45-60 minutes.

A stress test, or fitness assessment, is then made by an exercise physiologist who later advises the client directly and provides in written form the individualized fitness prescription.

Next, a certified dietician reviews a provided food log and assessment of current dietary patterns and issues, including deficiencies. The dietician will provide individualized dietary advice in a face-to-face consultation, and again in written form.

Both the exercise physiologist and the dietician are also available for follow-up fitness and dietary counseling after the client has returned home.

Of course, when working on specific fitness and weight loss goals a combined consultative/follow-up approach is optimal.

A non-contrast, very low radiation heart-scan is offered to all clients, as well as a very low radiation screening full body scan. These imaging studies are a very important part of the assessments for early disease. Optional imaging, at the client's request, can include virtual colonoscopy, virtual cardiac angiography, virtual carotid angiography, carotid ultrasound and screening mammography.

Other standard evaluations include: pulmonary function testing, hearing and vision screening, and quantitative assessment of body fat/bone/muscle composition and bone mineral densitometry.

A comprehensive standard blood testing panel is done on all clients and can be extended to additional testing at the request of the client and/or at the request of the doctor.

Throughout the day the results of these tests on individual clients are provided to the doctor who creates his/her own client clinical record.

In the afternoon, after the results come back from all of the tests done in the morning, as well as the review of the clinical history and physical examination, the doctor will meet again with the client to review the results, discuss implications and provide additional individualized medical advice.

A doctor sees no more than three clients in a given day and spends up to two hours total with each individual. Each client will spend from six to eight hours at the center, completing all tests and consultations in a single day.

The client is then provided with a compendium of all results and examinations, as well as detailed directives from the doctor, the exercise physiologist and dietician.

USDMT: What is the difference between biological age and chronological age? How does PLC determine that difference?

JR: Chronological age is the current age in years from your date of birth. Others over the years have tried to then determine a so-called biological age to define if your physiologic abilities are above or below your chronological age.

We do provide general information about a client's exercise oxygen consumption compared to the average individuals at various ages, but this is used only to define the level of aerobic conditioning to then individualize the exercise prescription.

We also provide information about vascular age as it relates to the presence of atherosclerotic plaque defined on the heart and vascular scans, but this again is used to define the level of aggressiveness necessary to arrest the plaque development modified by medications and appropriate changes in lifestyle.

But an overall biological age provides limited insight, in our opinion.

USDMT: Is surgery a last resort? Can most issues really be resolved with better health habits over time?

JR: It depends on the medical issue.

Cancerous or pre-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body require aggressive interventions of which surgery is often a viable option or necessary for a cure.

When it comes to heart and vascular disease, surgery can be avoided by early detection and early lifestyle interventions, appropriate supplements and appropriate prescription medications.

USDMT: How exactly does a CT Coronary Calcium Scan work?

JR: The CT scanner is set to take very thin, contiguous slices (tomograms) of the heart using a universally accepted protocol - these are done in synchrony with the heart beat and during a single breath-hold. The images are then analyzed using an internationally established method to review and determine the amount and localization of calcified atherosclerotic (hardening of the arteries) plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries.

USDMT: What is a Coronary Calcium Score?

JR: The coronary calcium score (CAS) is derived from the scans as discussed above. The score is a valid surrogate to what we call atherosclerotic plaque burden and is the only non-invasive way to determine if early heart disease is developing in your coronary arteries. A zero score means that no calcified plaque has been found - a positive CAS indicates the presence of atherosclerotic plaque.

USDMT: How does this prove better results than other tests that detect early heart disease?

JR: It is necessary to note that all traditional non-invasive cardiac tests - such as echocardiography and various forms of stress testing -- determine the consequences of prior heart disease or the presence of severe and advanced obstructive atherosclerotic plaque.

CAC scanning, using state-of-the-art CT scanners, are the only available non-invasive tests that can detect early, and unfortunately advanced, atherosclerotic plaque. It makes good clinical sense to treat common conditions, such as mild high blood pressure, with medications to prevent future problems such as heart disease and stroke.

However, in the case of CAC and CAS, we are determining if and where plaque is developing, often many years prior to an event, and by doing so we can then prevent heart attacks and strokes by focusing on the individual as personal risk.

Traditional risk factors are great for large population studies but to determine personal or individual risk, you need to have a test that will give you an assessment of the compendium of ALL risk factors. It makes sense to find cancers early and treat them - the same is very true for heart and vascular disease.

USDMT: What is visceral fat?

JR: Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds the visceral, or internal organs within our abdomen.

Subcutaneous fat is also important as well, but it appears that the development of excess visceral fat is related to increased inflammation and oxidative stress on the entire body and contributes to many issues such as hypertension, abnormal cholesterols, snoring/sleep apnea, diabetes and even fibromyalgia syndromes.

Identifying visceral fat is important for many reasons in terms of treating or preventing these common medical issues. Education is also very important. Discussing these issues with a client, and showing them the visceral fat image and values, allows them to understand the importance of proper diet and exercise in preventing disease.

USDMT: Will weight loss programs reduce this type of fat?

JR: Most likely, but the increased values of visceral fat are linked to excess carbohydrate intake as opposed to the traditionally suggested high fat diets.

Cutting out calories in general can be helpful in losing weight anywhere - but that then contributes to not only fat loss, but muscle loss as well, and the only way to properly take care of both the subcutaneous fat and the visceral fat is to incorporate adequate and proper aerobic AND resistance training.

Weight loss diets alone are not sufficient.

USDMT: Why is this plan the best solution for our executives?

JR: Our clients have a demanding schedule and appreciate an efficient and succinct approach to clinical assessment, appropriate medical testing and thorough and comprehensive advice in a reference that can be reviewed in a straightforward manner.

I believe in the 80/20 rule for most things. We get away with the annual physical and/or some executive examinations because if all looks good on superficial examination and testing, then all is likely good - 80 percent of the time. Batting 800 is a great record. But the other 20 percent who are not good may look as good as the 80 percent.

Additionally, the other 80 percent may not be as good as they look on a thorough comprehensive examination. The average doctor may say ‘lose some weight and watch your cholesterol' - but the average doctor does not show them how to do this.

USDMT: What does the future hold for the Princeton Longevity Center?

JR: PLC will continue to explore and implement the latest in preventive medicine testing and treatment plans. For instance, PLC has recently added a Memory & Cognitive Health Program which can identify and address many of the treatable causes for memory problems and assess cognitive function as "normal aging" or premature aging.

We have also started our expansion process and would like to see PLCs throughout the country over the coming years.

Stay tuned!

Will Medicare Become Like the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?

Aapsonline.org-Most veterans get most of their medical care from private doctors through Medicare or private insurance. Just think what those secret waiting lists would be like if they didn't!

Still, a VA-like system for all has been proposed as a replacement for our unsustainable current system-at least until the recent scandals broke.

One enormous difference between the VA and Medicare is that veterans are free to go elsewhere-if they pay privately. Some veterans use their VA doctor only to get free medications.

Medicare patients, on the other hand, are trapped. There is virtually no private coverage available to persons over 65 to replace Medicare-President Lyndon Johnson wiped it out to prevent competition with "his" beloved system. There are only policies to "supplement" Medicare. And Medicare patients can't just pay out of pocket for a "covered" service they can't get otherwise because the Medicare-allowed price is too low-unless they see a doctor who is opted out of Medicare or disenrolled. For doctors, Medicare is all or nothing, so most doctors are still enrolled.

Most people don't care about that-not yet. Who would want to pay for something that is free?

So it's a good idea to look at those "free" (taxpayer-paid) VA services.

In an online survey by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), less than two percent of 1,000 respondents said care at the VA was the equivalent of the care in the private sector or a model for the entire U.S. medical system. Only four percent said it was "generally good, but uneven." A bare majority (52 percent) said that VA care was "good in some areas, but fraught with many serious problems," and 22 percent responded that it was "ok if you can get it, but access is seriously limited." Nearly 20 percent checked "other" and suggested a term equivalent to "poor." One said "hard to tell how bad because they destroy or hide records."

Only about nine percent of respondents said the problems could be "fixed" by firing people, and less than three percent by large increases in funding. The main problems, elaborated on in the more than 200 comments, are a huge, rigid bureaucracy and the "VA way" at the "VA Spa."

The bureaucracy interferes with care and punishes anyone who calls attention to problems. The main concern of the unionized workers appears to be to leave work on time. This means that surgery cannot be scheduled to start much later than 1 p.m. The response to a request to call a "code" for a patient who has had a cardiac arrest might be "I'm on break" or "it's not my job." Staff might record normal vital signs every four hours on a patient discovered to be dead and cold when physicians make morning rounds.

"No VA employee, however incompetent, could ever be fired," stated one physician. Another said, "Incompetence is accepted, and keeping quiet about it is the accepted norm."

There are many dedicated physicians and workers who truly care about the veterans, rather than seeing them as "something to be endured in order to receive a paycheck." And some facilities, mostly associated with medical schools, are described as excellent. But they seem to be exceptions to the rule.

"Basically, patients need a doctor advocate in the private sector," one respondent commented.

And what will happen to the private sector under Obamacare? Reformers want to abolish fee-for-service payment (payment for doing work) and replace it with VA-style incentives: a steady paycheck with "bonuses" for making the numbers look good. The VA's electronic medical record is said to be particularly good for tracking those metrics, though private doctors complain that they cannot get a useful, accurate record for a VA patient, if they can get any record at all.

Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board will soon be clamping down on total Medicare expenditures, and then private expenditures also. It is already "fraud" to provide a "medically unnecessary" service to a Medicare patient, and physicians can be excluded from all Obamacare health plans for not "performing" as the bureaucrats think they should.

Doctors may be soon escaping to the VA, instead of the other way around. But patients will have nowhere in the United States to go.

Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has been in solo practice of general internal medicine since 1981 and is a clinical lecturer in medicine at the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is the author of Sapira's Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis; the fourth edition has just been published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. She also authored YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Health Care, published by Crown.

To read the original article click here.

New Service Connects Hospitals and Doctors, Offers Hiring Tips

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there is a shortage of doctors in the country that is a bit alarming. In fact, they report that by the year 2020, there will be a shortage of over 91,000 physicians in the country, and by 2025 there will be a shortage of over 130,000 doctors. This shortage has made things difficult for those looking to hire doctors, particularly for hospitals and clinics, as they scramble to be first in recruiting talent to their facility. A new online service called HiredMD, aims to help those hiring to quickly locate physicians seeking employment.

HiredMD's new website service helps connect hospitals with top-notch physicians around the country. This comes at a time when many rural hospitals are having difficulty finding qualified talent to recruit for their teams. This site aims to help level the playing field, making it easier for hospitals to easily gain access with and make the connection to the doctors they need and want, including those in specialty areas.
"We are excited to help doctors and employers make the connection," explained Dan Mullaney, co-founder of HiredMD. "This service is exactly what many hospitals and clinics around the country are in need of, and we are happy to bring it to them."

HiredMD, referred to as The Physician Marketplace, offers doctors of all types the opportunity to create a free profile, showcasing their talent. They can provide information about their specialty, experience, licensure, and more. This information is accessible by those looking to hire physicians, including hospitals and clinics. Physicians can use the site to help negotiate a more desirable salary and determine if they are receiving full market value.

Those looking to hire a physician can search through the database of candidates for free, read their profiles, and arrange for interviews. The service helps them shorten the hiring process and possibly gain the ability to hire those they wouldn't be able to in a closed environment. Similar to an auction, the employer or recruiter can place a salary bid of what they would like to offer the candidate. They have the ability to see the other salaries that have been offered, yet each company remains anonymous. Only if they decide to hire the doctor does the employer pay a fee for using the service that helped them make the connection.

This service provides an ideal platform that is easy to use and allows employers and doctors to use it when it is convenient. Hospitals will find that they are able to connect with top-notch doctors in a wide variety of specialty areas. They can also narrow doctors down to states they are licensed in, as well as those states that the doctors are willing to become licensed in.

Here are some tips for physicians who are seeking employment:

  • Know what you want out of a position before you even create your profile. This will help you tailor your profile so that it is found by those seeking someone with the same goals.
  • Don't hold back in creating your profile. This is the time to focus on your accomplishments and showcase your abilities. Consider what your potential employers will want to know regarding your specialty, experience and licensure.
  • If you are not comfortable writing your own profile hire a professional writer. Many people find it difficult to write about themselves. Hire either a resume writer or bio writer, as they will be able to capitalize on your best features and write a compelling profile that gets noticed.
  • Don't be afraid to negotiate on more than just the salary. Most hospitals and clinics are desperate for qualified physicians, so you can use that to your advantage to get what it is that you need to make it more enticing to join their team.
  • It goes without saying, but even though profiles should showcase your important information you also want to make sure it's all truthful. Avoid stretching the truth or adding in something that hasn't yet happened.
  • Be open to taking interviews from all the places that contact you. In other words, don't automatically discount a hospital because of its location. One interview can change your thoughts on the place and it could turn out to be a wonderful opportunity.

"We have created this easy-to-use service with both the doctor and potential employers in mind," added Mullaney. "We are confident that those looking to hire a good doctor will find exactly what they are looking for at HiredMD. Hospitals have a reputation of helping those in need -- now we are putting our minds together to help them in return."

The Physician Marketplace aims to become the most used source for connecting hospitals and doctors in America. It is a service that helps to level the playing field between urban and suburban hospitals and clinics seeking top physicians to hire.  For more information, to create a profile or search through them, visit the site at: www.hiredmd.com.

About HiredMD
HiredMD is a recruitment service site that provides the ideal platform for connecting doctors and their potential employers. The site offers profiles of doctors in all fields and states who are looking for employment. For more information, visit the site at: www.hiredmd.com.

Source: Association of American Medical Colleges. Addressing the Physician Shortage Under Reform.

2014's States with the Best & Worst Health ROI
by Richie Bernardo

Wallethub.com-Under the Hippocratic oath, physicians and other healthcare professionals vow to improve the quality of life. But for whom, exactly? For a country that spends $2.9 trillion a year on healthcare - twice as much per capita as other industrialized nations - one would think the United States is home to the healthiest humans on the planet. And yet, the reverse is true: Americans have shorter lives, higher infant mortality rates and more cases of chronic diseases than populations of other wealthy countries.

To add insult to injury, someone's pockets are getting deeper, and it's definitely not the patient's. Looks as if Hippocrates left out the clause on offering the best treatment to patients without ruining their finances. In 2013, the average annual health insurance premium for an individual had a price tag of $5,884 while families paid an average of $16,351 for group coverage. To put that in perspective, single coverage has increased by 74 percent and family coverage by 80 percent since 2003. It's no surprise that millions of Americans consider forgoing medical attention a better option than draining their savings.

As the United States undergoes the most sweeping health insurance expansion since Medicaid and Medicare, healthcare expenditures and standards continue to dominate the discussion regarding policy. And only recently have researchers been able to gauge the number of uninsured Americans after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. To examine the quality of American healthcare relative to its cost, WalletHub used data from 47 states to construct a health-related return on investment (ROI) metric. In doing so, WalletHub can educate Americans on the level of care they can expect for the price they must pay in their states.

Main Findings

Overall Rank

State

Americans Health Ranking

Death Rate Ranking

Health Care Costs Ranking

1

Minnesota

3

2

1

2

Utah

6

15

3

3

Kansas

27

29

2

T-4

Hawaii

1

7

9

T-4

Iowa

18

17

6

6

Illinois

30

22

6

7

Nebraska

11

13

13

8

Arizona

28

21

11

9

Maryland

24

18

12

10

Idaho

12

19

16

11

Oregon

13

16

20

12

Oklahoma

44

48

3

13

Michigan

34

32

10

14

Colorado

8

10

28

15

South Dakota

22

26

19

16

North Dakota

9

20

26

17

Texas

36

27

14

18

Connecticut

7

5

38

19

California

21

1

33

20

Massachusetts

4

3

42

21

Virginia

26

25

24

22

Washington

14

6

37

23

New Hampshire

5

7

44

24

Florida

33

22

23

25

Tennessee

42

43

8

26

New Jersey

10

9

43

27

North Carolina

35

33

16

28

New York

15

4

45

29

Wisconsin

20

14

39

30

Pennsylvania

29

28

25

31

Missouri

39

41

15

32

Georgia

38

39

18

33

New Mexico

32

33

26

34

Montana

23

37

34

35

Wyoming

17

35

46

36

Delaware

31

30

39

37

Alaska

25

31

47

38

Nevada

37

36

32

T-39

Alabama

47

49

5

T-39

Ohio

40

38

30

41

Kentucky

45

43

20

42

South Carolina

43

42

31

43

Indiana

41

40

41

44

West Virginia

46

45

36

45

Arkansas

49

45

29

46

Louisiana

48

47

22

47

Mississippi

50

50

34

N/A

Maine

16

24

N/A

N/A

Rhode Island

19

12

N/A

N/A

Vermont

2

11

N/A

Ask the Experts

As we've determined in this study, expensive health costs are no guarantee of superior care. With that in mind, we've asked a panel of experts in various fields for advice on cost-cutting measures and local program implementation. Click on the experts' profiles to read their bios and responses to the following key questions:

  1. Is it possible to buy a nutritious meal at the same price as a fast-food meal? If so, what tips can you offer to people who want to eat healthy but are on a tight budget?
  2. What are the most important measures (e.g., opening a health saving account, exercising, etc.) that Americans can take to minimize health-related expenditures?
  3. How effective could overtaxing fast food be at encouraging Americans to make healthier meal choices?
  4. How effective are awareness campaigns at educating Americans about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle?
  5. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, more than half of all cardiac arrest victims survived in cities with strong training programs and quick EMS response times. In light of that fact, what key changes should local governments implement to duplicate the findings of the study?

Susan Massad
Professor of Foods and Nutrition, Framingham State University

Melissa Fuster
Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University

Heather A. Eicher-Miller
Assistant Professor, Nutrition Science, Purdue University

Melinda Johnson
Clinical Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Health Promotion, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University

Laura Bellows
Assistant Professor of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University

Kristin Madison
Professor of Law and Health Sciences, Northeastern University

Methodology

To highlight the ROI for healthcare services in 47 of the U.S. states, we looked into three key metrics, including death rates, America's Health Rankings® and average individual health insurance premiums. Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont were excluded from the analysis due to data limitations.
To calculate the ROI for healthcare expenditures, WalletHub used the following formula:

  • Health ROI = Quality of Health Ranking/Health Care Costs Ranking

Each variable can be broken down as follows:

  • To determine the Health Care Costs Ranking, we used the average individual health insurance premiums as a proxy.
  • To determine the Quality of Health Ranking, we used America's Health Rankings® and death rate rankings.

More specifically, we assessed quality based on observed death rates on the following age groups: less than 1-year-old, 1 to 4 years old, 5 to 14, 15 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 54, 55 to 64, 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 and older. All age groups were weighted equally. We also used America's Health Rankings®, one of the most reliable sources tracking the health of Americans on the state level. America's Health Rankings® measures health using 27 metrics that range from smoking and obesity to sedentary lifestyle and diabetes. 

Source: Data used to create these rankings is courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, America's Health Rankings® and eHealthInsurance.

To view the original article click here.

Who and Where Are The Uninsured Consumers?
by Dina Overland

Fiercehealthpayer.com- Almost 14 percent of the American adult population remains uninsured since open enrollment closed three months ago, according to the Health Reform Monitoring Survey from the Urban Institute. The survey parsed out various characteristics of the remaining uninsured, which can help insurers target their outreach and education efforts as they focus on the 2015 enrollment period.

To view the original article click here.

Going The Distance: Domestic Medical Travel Steerage Programs
by Laura Carabello, Founder and Principal, CPR, and Publisher of Medical Travel Today and U.S. Domestic Medical Travel™

TheIHCC.com-The fast-growth phenomenon of U.S. domestic medical travel - inter-state to Centers of Excellence throughout the country - is capturing the attention of employers, payers, third party administrators, insurance companies and other intermediaries throughout the country. With the influence of health care reform, the significant shift toward cost-containment and patient-centric care, employers now put enormous stock in preventive health care programs and options that offer quality, transparency and value. 

COEs range from high-profile hospitals and health systems to physician-owned surgi-centers specializing in specific procedures such as orthopedic and cardiac care. Retail giants Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Boeing, Lowe's and PepsiCo -- to name a few - offer domestic medical programs for a number of reasons: 

  • Baby Boomers are aging, raising the necessity for knee, hip, spine and heart-related surgeries
  • Surgery costs account for a substantial percent of total health care spend
  • Complex, high-cost surgeries are infrequent, but consume disproportionately high resources
  • COEs have demonstrated promising results in avoiding unnecessary procedures

This last point is especially important given that as much as one-third of surgeries may be medically questionable or unnecessary, according to a Consumers Medical Resource study. This includes surgical procedures for seven complicated and serious medical diseases such as breast cancer, heart disease and prostate cancer. 

Benefits of Domestic Medical Travel

The success of domestic medical travel programs relies upon transparent pricing and quality measures, which can vary widely across hospitals and regions. Companies are able to negotiate bundled, fixed-rate prices that are generally 20 to 50 percent below rates charged through traditional insurance plans. This savings enable them to a) waive co-pays or offer cash incentives, b) cover the full cost of travel for the patient and caregiver and c) still save on procedure costs. 

Providing access to COEs helps employers reverse a costly trend in which plan members typically make decisions about surgery guided solely by their physician. Studies show that when patients engage with highly specific, detailed information on their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options, they make informed medical decisions that lead to healthier, and more personally satisfying, outcomes. Given the ability to understand their options and actively participate in surgical decisions, plan members can play a role in cutting the costs of surgery.

Shifting high-cost procedures to COEs can also help plan members avoid unnecessary risk associated with overtreatment, while enabling employers to receive significantly better value at lower cost. 

Another benefit of COEs: avoiding costs related to complications. For years, hospitals have been rewarded for medical complications with the ability to bill for the additional services provided - while employers have paid a high price for mediocre outcomes. One study shows that the average surgical complication generates an additional $13,000 in revenue for the hospital. 

Despite the many benefits of domestic medical travel, companies may encounter reluctance from executives and plan members. Therefore, it's important to develop steerage programs to inform them about strategies for leveraging the domestic medical travel opportunity.

Steerage Programs

Factors that impact the success of a COE program include employee willingness to travel, the role of incentives, ease of travel, waived co-pays and deductibles, and coverage of all travel costs. Steerage programs can be implemented to: 

  • Help employees fully understand all of the benefits
  • Establish top-down commitment to the benefit offering
  • Share the experience of other employers of similar size that have introduced the benefit
  • Arrange programs for spouses/traveling companions

The use of incentives is key, and many employers arrange complementary programs for spouses/traveling companions, eliminating co-pays and deductibles, and going the extra distance by providing some "pocket money" to cover the cost of meals, gas, tolls and other expenses.

The purpose of a steerage program is to spread the word that travel to COEs is in the employee's best interest -- and dispel any negative perceptions or confusion. Emphasis should be placed on a commitment to high-quality care, less cost for employees and access to alternative sites for surgery. COE programs are of special value to those living in rural communities with limited access to high-quality care.

A steerage program also addresses obstacles. For example, when Lowe's asked its benefit administrator to develop ways for workers to determine the best hospitals for cost and quality, the insurer dragged its feet for years, and Lowe's ended up doing the research. 

Las Vegas: Wellness Destination

After a hospital stay, many patients and companions choose to remain in the host city for a period of time before going home. An extended stay represents additional tourism revenues to the local economy and further stimulates job creation. The influx of visitors drives revenue for the COE, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, museums, local attractions or points of interest, entertainment venues, sports events, airports and transportation services.

Las Vegas is a pioneer in this field and is making a huge play in the domestic medical travel arena. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has taken a multi-faceted approach by focusing on hosting health care meetings and medical meetings, such as bio-skills training and continuing medical education for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. 

In November, LVCVA will feature its hotels, spas, accommodations and specialized accommodations for corporate medical travelers and others interested in Las Vegas as a medical/wellness destination at the City Healthcare Consumerism™ FORUM West. Their goal is to promote the concept that Las Vegas is a medical and wellness travel destination. 

Top reasons to choose Las Vegas for medical travel include:

Comprehensive Medical Care: 16 hospitals, nearly 3,500 patient beds and access to a world-class collection of renowned medical experts.

Specialty Areas of Medicine: Medical providers who excel in unique specialties such as brain health, executive physicals, age management medicine, reproductive/fertility medicine, cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery, and dental treatments and cosmetic dentistry.

Medical Services for Executives: A variety of services designed for executive business travelers, as well as their guests, including comprehensive executive physicals, age management services, dental treatments and cosmetic dentistry services.

Continuing Medical Education: An array of unique medical laboratory meeting facilities for hands-on bio-skills labs and surgical training, as well as a clinical simulation center and specialized continuing medical and dental education training facilities.

Physician Expertise: Diverse community of dedicated physicians, dentists and other practitioners representing numerous ethnicities, cultures and religions, representing exceptional training from institutions around the country and the world.

Hospital Accreditation: Acute-care hospitals in Southern Nevada are accredited by the Joint Commission. 

Hospital Facilities: Technology infrastructure has reached nearly $1 billion on construction of new facilities and major facility expansions and renovations, allowing hospitals to offer the latest state-of-the-art surgical care in the areas of cardiology, orthopedics, and emergency and trauma services.

Electronic Medical Records: $19.6 million grant to construct and operate a statewide broadband network for the purpose of improving patient care by eliminating technology disparities between rural and urban areas through telemedicine and health information exchange. 

Nevada Biotechnology: Generates $281 million in value output, employs 654 people and creates $58 million in household income, with new biotechnology research being conducted to address the use of proteins to regenerate blood vessels, skin and other tissues. 

Leading Global Spa Trends: World's top global spa trends, including culturally diverse treatments and services (Japanese stone beds, Turkish hammams, Shio salt rooms and Ayurvedic treatments, acupuncture and Moroccan rhassoul); healthy foot treatments and gait analysis; ice and cold therapies (arctic ice room, cedar wood saunas, laconium rooms, tea rooms); and massage and reflexology (pre- and postnatal massage).

Visitors with Disabilities: More accessible guest rooms than any other city in the country, with hotels offering rooms with roll-in showers, transfer showers, tubs with built-in or portable seats and lifts for swimming pools. 

Air Service: More than 900 flights per day and nonstop services from 120+ U.S. cities, with McCarran International Airport conveniently located just one mile from Las Vegas Boulevard. 
Weather: Averages 320 days of sunshine per year and averages less than five inches of precipitation annually, which is particularly beneficial for medical travelers. 

Licensing: Nevada physicians must pass stringent licensing requirements and comprehensive investigation programs. 

Academic Institutions: Academic institutions of higher education providing medical, nursing, dental and pharmacology education to ensure that the future of medicine remains stable. 

Accommodations: More than 150,000 rooms, averaging nightly room rates of $107. 

Dining: World-class chefs offering great food for every culinary taste, including vegan, superfood and farm-to-table choices.

Wellness Spas: More than 50 of the world's finest wellness spas and thousands of wellness treatments. 

Transportation: Close proximity of Las Vegas hotels, in many cases, eliminating the need for transportation as visitors can walk to many destinations, or use car rentals, buses, taxis, shuttles and the country's first automated monorail. 

Pools: Year-round sunshine allows for year-round swimming. 

In collaboration with the multi-disciplinary, not-for-profit health care organization Las Vegas HEALS, the City of Las Vegas plans to span its economic developing agencies, medical schools and the University of Las Vegas for the development of a strategic plan for the community to look at the development of medical tourism in the community. Part of this involves price transparency and packaged pricing, and bundling of medical services. 

Some health care providers in Las Vegas are already on board and offer package programs with transparent pricing. Others are still in the development process. A number of hotels have taken the lead as well, and have begun incorporating wellness technologies and amenities into their rooms:

  • The Stay Well Room Product at MGM has worked with the Cleveland Clinic and a company called Delos Living to integrate wellness technology.
  • M Resort has a new room called the Experience Room, which is basically a room that comes with wellness amenities. They also offer a Vitamin C-infused shower head and other types of aroma therapy and enhancements that create more of a wellness environment.
  • The Hilton Grand Vacations has a new medical traveler's discount program.
  • Trump International Hotel Resorts and Spas in Las Vegas offers Trump Wellness, which includes everything from an early morning boot camp for organized workouts to complete spa treatments -- all designed around a wellness and preventative health experience.

Las Vegas' city-wide effort is designed to target the traditional medical surgical traveler and the wellness preventative traveler, serving as a pioneer in what is likely to become a boom industry as more employers and their employees recognize and embrace the substantial advantages of domestic medical travel.

The End Result

Many companies have watched the big retailers begin offering domestic medical travel to COEs, and have taken their own first steps in exploring this benefit offering. As more employers adopt domestic medical travel, they will be motivated more by cost control, while moving toward paying for quality care - rather than simply paying per service. 

Domestic medical travel can play a critical role in mitigating the high cost of unnecessary surgery. Utilizing robust health data, employers can identify plan members who are on the path to major surgery -- and who would benefit from learning more about the surgery, as well as less invasive but equally effective options. 

As an innovative approach to health care, domestic medical travel helps to reduce financial risk for employer organizations of all sizes, while a relationship with a COE empowers them to anticipate costs and take positive, proactive action. Steerage programs are critical for getting a domestic medical travel program off the ground. They should be designed to inform and enlighten a company from the top down, with a focus on keeping employees healthy and productive for the company's long-term sustainability. 

About the Author

Laura Carabello has been an entrepreneur and a strategy consultant in both domestic and international businesses related to health care and technology since 1985. She is the publisher/managing editor of Medical Travel Today, the authoritative, online business-to-business international newsletter of the medical tourism industry, as well as US Domestic Medical Travel, the newsletter dedicated to U.S. intra-state and inbound medical travel. In 2011, Carabello published Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making

To read the original article click here.

 

Join employers, brokers, health plans, TPA's, consultants and solution providers to LEARN, CONNECT and SHARE over HealthCare Consumerism trends, challenges and solutions at the 4th Annual 2014 IHC FORUM West.
As a benefit to our partnership with IHC, MEDICAL TRAVEL TODAY would like to extend to you a complimentary registration FREE of charge*

Use Promo Code: MEDICALTRAVELVIP

This offer expires September 15, 2014 so Register TODAY!

  • Learn next steps and best practices in HealthCare Consumerism
  • Compliance issues with health care law in 2015 and beyond
  • Access latest health and benefit innovations and trends
  • Look into real time open enrollment statistics

 

  • Analyze benefit models, including defined contribution and exchanges
  • Network with your peers and other industry stakeholders
  • See what others are doing to empower and engage employees
  • Become Certified in HealthCare Consumerism (CHCC)

 


The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism
Produced by: The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism
292 South Main Street, Ste 400
Alpharetta, GA 30009
404.671.9551

 

Study: Care Transitions Intervention, Including Home Calls, Results in Cost Reduction

Care transitions intervention, a patient-centered coaching intervention, results in reduction of average cost of care among Medicare patients, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Becker's Hospital Review as the original producer/publisher of the content.
To view the original article click here.

Why It's a Great Idea to Get Travel Insurance
by Vitals

In a recent post on travel vaccines, I wrote about getting sick during my vacation in South Africa and how lucky I was that the antibiotic I got ahead of the trip at a travel clinic cured me. If it didn't, I knew I'd have to go to an unfamiliar hospital in an unfamiliar country, and I had no idea what the cost of treatment would be. However, my fears could have been allayed if I had purchased travel insurance ahead of my trip.

Read the full story here: What To Know About Travel Insurance

The World of Medical Tourism and the Cosmetic Surgery Industry
Originally published by Verve Cosmetic Clinic


Please visit Verve Cosmetic Clinic here.

AAAASF Welcomes New Public Relations and Marketing Manager

Kubiak joins team in Chicago

The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) welcomes Kim Kubiak to its management team. Kubiak has been named the organization's public relations and marketing manager.

Kubiak has spent more than 25 years in the public relations, media and healthcare industries. She will serve as media liaison and manage day-to-day marketing and other public relations initiatives. She may be reached at kim@aaaasf.org or by calling 847-775-7915.

About the AAAASF
The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) was established in 1980 to develop an accreditation program to standardize and improve the quality of medical and surgical care in ambulatory surgery facilities while assuring the public of high standards for patient care and safety in an accredited facility.

Today, more than 2,000 ambulatory surgery facilities are accredited by AAAASF, the largest not-for-profit accrediting organization in the United States. Surgeons, legislators, state and national health agencies and patients acknowledge that AAAASF stands alone as the program setting the "gold standard" for quality patient care. For more information, visit http://www.aaaasf.org.

Contact: Public Relations and Marketing Manager Kim Kubiak
Phone: 847-775-7915
Email: kim@aaaasf.org

M Resort Introduces New Experience Rooms
Available now, the new rooms offer a luxurious spa experience for optimum rest and relaxation

Guests of the Forbes Travel Guide four-star M Resort Spa Casino can now enjoy the benefits of a luxurious spa experience with the introduction of the resort's new M Experience Rooms. With 14 added amenities and services in each room, the new M Experience Rooms are designed to deliver optimum rest and relaxation.

Each M Experience Room includes features like aromatherapy and mood lighting to help improve sleep, while the advanced water system infuses Vitamin C into the shower water to neutralize chlorine to promote healthy hair and skin.

"From the moment guests enter their room to the time they leave we want to provide them with amenities that will truly deliver a spa-like environment," said Jason Dougan, vice president of M Resort. "Above and beyond the amenities, we've included services like complimentary transportation to alleviate stress for our guests once they arrive in the city."

The new M Experience Rooms include:

Amenities

  • Skin-conditioning Vitamin Infused Shower Head - Let the anti-oxidant power of Vitamin C infused in your shower water negate chlorine toxins with the healing qualities of Vitamin C on your skin and hair.
  • Luxurious 500 Thread Count All Cotton Linens with convenient Wedge Pillow
  • Aromatherapy Diffuser with Remote Control - Soothe away the stress of the day with heavenly scents for optimum rest and relaxation
  • Welcome Bowl of Fruit
  • Living Lavender Plant - enjoy the healing benefits of the scent of fresh lavender
  • iHome® Audio Docking Station
  • Mood-enhancing candles
  • Spa Robe and Slippers
  • Keurig® Coffee Maker with Green Mountain Coffee® and Tea
  • Spa Mio Beauty Products - soaps, shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, bath gel, bath salts and convenient bath mitt

Services

  • Nightly Turndown Service
  • Complimentary In Room Wireless Internet
  • Daily Newspaper - delivered to your room
  • Complimentary Transportation - to and from McCarran International Airport

The M Experience rooms will include a $75 per night upgrade above the prevailing room and suite rates. M Experience accommodations can be reserved at mresort.com or by calling 1-877-673-7678

About M Resort Spa Casino
M Resort Spa Casino is a Forbes Travel Guide Four Star rated resort located on over 90 acres at 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. S. on the southeast corner of St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard. Situated higher in elevation than other resort-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, the M Resort provides optimal views of the world-famous Las Vegas skyline from its guest rooms, suites, conference center and restaurants. The resort offers 390 guest rooms and suites, over 92,000 square feet of gaming, restaurants and bars, more than 92,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, a state-of-the-art spa and fitness center and a 100,000 square foot events piazza. For more information, visit www.theMresort.com. Find us on Facebook - M Resort Spa Casino. Follow @MResort Twitter. Read our M Point of View Blog. M Resort is operated by Penn National Gaming, Inc.

Contact:
Rina Foster
M Resort Spa Casino
Direct: 702.797.1560
Cell: 702.401.6570
rfoster@themresort.com

Las Vegas debuts its medical travel video. A "must see" production.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ussi61xKOrE&list=PL64A1FE3B688992B7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register Now: www.siia.org/national

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

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

Moderator: Laura Carabello
                           Editor and Publisher:  National and International Newsletters
                           U.S. Domestic Medical Travel:  www.USDomesticMedicalTravel.com
                           Medical Travel Today:  www.MedicalTravelToday.com

Panelists:

  • Ruth Coleman, CEO, Health Design Plus
  • G. Keith Smith, M.D., CEO, Surgery Center of Oklahoma
  • Olivia Ross, Senior Manager, Employers Centers of Excellence Network
  • Pacific Business Group on Health

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

Her experience, expertise and leadership have guided Health Design Plus through incredible growth, recognized by numerous awards, including the prestigious Inc. 500 and 11 consecutive years as part of the Weatherhead 100, along with being named one of the Top Ten Women Business Owners in Northeast Ohio, and a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

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

In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available.

Operation of this free-market medical practice, arguably the only one of its kind in the United States, has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally. More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith's pricing model, resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans. His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs for all and improve quality of care.

The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is a 32,535 square-foot, state-of-the-art multispecialty facility in Oklahoma City, owned and operated by approximately 40 of the top surgeons and anesthesiologists in central Oklahoma.
If you have a high deductible or are part of a self-insured plan at a large company, you owe it to yourself or your business to take a look at our facility and pricing which is listed on this site. If you are considering a trip to a foreign country to have your surgery, you should look here first. Finally, if you have no insurance at all, this facility will provide quality and pricing that we believe are unmatched.

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

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

About Olivia Ross
Olivia Ross is senior manager with the PBGH Paying for Value team. Her projects include management of the Employers Centers of Excellence Network, which is a multi-purchaser (employer) collaborative established by PBGH as part of its commitment to improving the quality and affordability of healthcare. Additionally, Olivia participates in several ongoing projects focused on changing physician and hospital financial incentives to ensure high-quality healthcare delivery, while also containing costs.

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

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

Olivia holds a master's in Public Health (MPH) from UCLA, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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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.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Do you know of any available job openings relative to the U.S. domestic medical travel industry? We encourage readers to submit any available, relevant job opportunities along with its descriptions and requirements for fellow readers and industry professionals to consider. All submissions are appreciated.

PRIVACY POLICY

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Summary

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How we treat your information
We will not spam our subscribers. You will receive U.S. Domestic Medical Travel only, and you can choose to unsubscribe at any time. Subscribers may opt in to receive occasional messages from our partners or sponsors.

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Printable Version

Copyright © 2014
U.S. Domestic Medical Travel™

About U.S. Domestic Medical Travel
U.S. Domestic Medical Travel, a sister publication to Medical Travel Today www.medicaltraveltoday.com, is a newsletter published by CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, an international marketing and public relations agency based near New York City that specializes in healthcare and life sciences. In the new era of health reforms, U.S. Domestic Medical Travel discusses the growth of domestic medical travel and its importance to hospitals, employers, insurers, health plans, government, TPAs, brokers and other intermediaries.

For advertising inquiries, please email us at advertising@usdomesticmedicaltravel.com

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Spotlight Interview

Spotlight: Jason Jones, Vice President, Human Capital Practice Willis Insurance Services of California, Inc.

Interview: John A. Rumberger, Ph.D., M.D., FACC, Director of Cardiac Imaging at Princeton Longevity Center

News in Review

Will Medicare Become Like the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?

New Service Connects Hospitals and Doctors, Offers Hiring Tips

2014's States with the Best & Worst Health ROI

Who and Where Are The Uninsured Consumers?

Going The Distance: Domestic Medical Travel Steerage Programs

Study: Care Transitions Intervention, Including Home Calls, Results in Cost Reduction

Why It's a Great Idea to Get Travel Insurance

The World of Medical Tourism and the Cosmetic Surgery Industry

AAAASF Welcomes New Public Relations and Marketing Manager

M Resort Introduces New Experience Rooms

Las Vegas debuts its medical travel video. A "must see" production.

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

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

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors