THIS WEEK IN U.S. DOMESTIC MEDICAL TRAVEL

Volume 1, Issue 19

Dear Colleagues,

The medical travel industry encourages the collaboration of providers around the world to diagnose, manage and treat a wide range of health concerns.

Jeffrey Pruitt, president, founding partner and CEO, Tallwave, strongly believes that the utilization of digital technology can help to fuel the progression of the healthcare industry, as well as some of the world's leading issues.

Pruitt states: "Having access to people in the healthcare space has made it exciting to work within digital health. With the amount of increased expenses resulting from the Affordable Care Act - along with the influx of baby boomers -- the only way I see us being able to get a grasp on healthcare costs as a nation, and then globally, is through digital health and healthcare technology."

I am also pleased to announce that I was recently featured as a guest on an episode of HealthCare Consumerism Radio, where I had the opportunity to discuss the countless benefits of medical travel, both internationally and domestically. I invite you to listen to the informative interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KYz16zpGXM

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: Jeffrey Pruitt, President, Founding Partner and CEO, Tallwave

jeffrey.pruitt@tallwave.com
http://tallwave.com/

About Jeff Pruitt, President, Founding Partner and CEO, Tallwave
Jeff Pruitt is a founding partner and CEO of Tallwave where he leads the overall direction and growth of the company. Pruitt also drives substantial year-over-year growth in his role as chairman and CEO of ethology, an integrated digital marketing agency, and Tallwave's largest portfolio company. Prior to Tallwave, Pruitt served as president of iCrossing, where he drove the development and growth of the industry's largest independent digital marketing agency. During that time he sat on the advisory councils of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, and was the chairman of Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO). Pruitt started his career at Arthur Andersen after receiving his B.S. from Arizona State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

About Tallwave
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona,Tallwave was formed in 2010 to create commercial success for entrepreneurs and investors by scaling and managing early-stage ventures with a hands-on approach. Tallwave is the only venture development company with a captive Capital Fund in Arizona, giving Tallwave companies access to scarce seed funding. Tallwave currently has four companies in its portfolio: ethology, an integrated digital marketing agency, SOOH Media, an interactive photo and video kiosk network, Wholesalefund, the industry's only automated product sales platform, and SyCara, a local digital presence and local SEO analytics company. Tallwave has also acquired design firm 29th Drive. http://tallwave.com/

U.S. Domestic Medical Travel (USDMT): Describe the Tallwave business model -- how it has grown, progressed and changed.

Jeffrey Pruitt (JP): Over the years, we have seen steady maturation in our business.

Early on, we structured Tallwave's business model to provide entrepreneurs with a sustainable approach to validate businesses, build companies through understanding the overall marketplace, and create what we call "product market fit."

Tallwave has two distinct offerings:

  • The first piece is Venture Services -- a division that provides rapid growth companies with marketing, business development, finance, product validation, product design and operational services.
  • The second piece is Venture Management -- where we take more of a governing role with the company and tie in some of Tallwave's executives to help the business accelerate.

In terms of pivotal changes for Tallwave, we had to get to the point of better leverage to efficiently move companies through our acceleration process. Initially, companies were purchasing our services as a supplement to their marketing teams, or business development teams, and their expectations were that we would be fulfilling that role for them.

Even if a business is only paying for 10 percent of our time, they expect 100 percent because this is a vital part of an entrepreneurial business. We really looked at our capabilities, and started to recognize them as assets -- strategic marketing, operational go-to market planning, design and product validation work or customer validation work, and sales systems. It is the strategic thinking, design and execution of these areas of expertise that is the real need of our entrepreneurs, and produces accelerated value to their companies.

We learned that we need to come in and accelerate a path to success by owning capability outcomes, not necessarily by becoming the head of marketing or sales.

USDMT: Do you focus on the healthcare and/or healthcare IT space?

JP: It is something we focus on, but our background is in advertising technology, software and digital capabilities. We do utilize software and digital services to power healthcare companies.

In terms of relationships on the East Coast, we had significant reach into IBM healthcare technology, as well as GE.

In the local Phoenix market, we've developed a connection with the Mayo Incubation Group and some of the bigger hospital networks. Healthcare is a big center of enterprise here in Arizona, and one thing that entrepreneurs really need are large corporate enterprises tied in and committed to innovation.

Healthcare technology was an obvious area of focus for us, and with our excitement around innovation and entrepreneurs within technology, it was easy to get excited about healthcare.

Healthcare and education are two of the biggest transforming industries in the world, and it is invigorating to be at the cusp of what is really important.

USDMT: Tell us what you know about the medical travel industry and how you see it unfolding.

JP: I am familiar with the idea of top international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilities and insurance companies coming together with the common goal to promote the highest level of quality in healthcare for patients globally.

In these cases, a collaborator is really important in building connections. The ability to have providers from around the world work together and help diagnose potential issues that doctors in other parts of the world may be more familiar with is huge.

By using digital technology, I think this industry will evolve quickly and hopefully start curing some of the world's biggest issues.

USDMT: Describe your experience in business development for healthcare companies, particularly those that are technology-focused.

JP: One of our advisors comes from Enhanced Capital in New York, which is one of the larger investors in healthcare companies.

Having access to people in the healthcare space has made it exciting to work within digital health. With the amount of increased expenses resulting from the Affordable Care Act - along with the influx of Baby Boomers -- the only way I see us being able to get a grasp on healthcare costs as a nation, and then globally, is through digital health and healthcare technology.

Taken together, these capabilities allow for a broader reach, and a much lower cost, as well as the ability to focus on health and wellness, rather than how to cure someone who already has a problem.

The digitization of healthcare also enables individuals to self-monitor their own health and wellness.

USDMT: Typically, what is the size of the investment that you would make in a company?

JP: We have a lean business competition called High Tide, which typically starts with a hundred applicants from which we select a dozen or fewer to work with.

This program is funded by Tallwave, and ignites four to six months of work in which we roll-up our sleeves alongside these entrepreneurs to create and execute winning strategies to accelerate growth and help them secure funding.

At the earliest stages of this program, companies recognize the exposure they need and the acceleration they need, and try to progress as a company. The winner of the most recent High Tide program, from a monetary perspective, was awarded $45,000.

And, for those companies that already have capital and are purely looking for acceleration, Tallwave is also a perfect fit. We can provide them with a startup curriculum that gives them the knowledge, tools and experience to grow and sustain their businesses.

USDMT: What would be your advice to companies that are in this space and want to establish the kind of credibility that they would need to raise capital?

JP: I think credibility equals progress, and progress can be as simple as working with respectable advisors who wouldn't put their name on an idea they didn't believe in.

Progress is taking an idea and building it into a prototype, then receiving customer validation.

Capturing mind share and market interest isn't limited to investors and advisors. It is important to get the company's employees to believe in a vision and dream, and part of that is showing progress.

USDMT: What are the basic criteria for Tallwave to entertain a company in the medical travel space?

JP: Having a good gauge on the quality and integrity of the entrepreneur is our main focus.

For a lot of industries, the early stages begin with all kinds of innovators, including those who can process and work the system.

Until you start to build progress in any industry, it is impossible to offer education, or get non-profit boards to help regulate or set standards.

I grew up in the search marketing industry, and although I don't believe there were any illegal activities in search marketing going on, there were ways to clog the engines with bad information and still get top listings.

In order to mature as an organization or as an industry, things have to be done right. The organization that I was on the board of in the search marketing industry started producing educational material on how to "do things right."

We began presenting webinars, and working with different search engines to get accurate information on their rules in order to help get the word out in the digital world.

USDMT: Do you think that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) bodes well for healthcare companies?

JP: Whether you believe in the ACA or not, it is important for everybody to have healthcare. I am not sure if the ACA matters materially when it comes to innovators.

Innovators are always going to try to find gaps in the market place that need to undergo transformations. They try to evolve those challenges into monetary events and economic structures that change the environment.

I would hate to see the government have too much control over anything as large as healthcare because I don't think it's economically viable. But that's why I am a believer in pre-market innovators who will always find a way to make it work in the U.S. structure.

HHS Awards $3,000,000 to New Jersey to Develop an Innovative Plan to Improve Health Care Quality, Accessibility and Affordability

New Jersey will receive up to $3,000,000 to design healthcare payment and service delivery models that will improve healthcare quality and lower costs, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell announced today.

Nationwide, 28 states, three territories and the District of Columbia will receive over $665 million in Affordable Care Act funding to design and test healthcare payment and service delivery models that will improve healthcare quality and lower costs.  Together with awards released in early 2013, over half of states (34 states and three territories and the District of Columbia), representing nearly two-thirds of the population are participating in comprehensive state-based innovation in health system transformation. 

"We are committed to partnering with New Jersey to advance the goals we all share: better care, smarter spending and, ultimately, healthier people," said Burwell.

"We're seeing states do some very innovative things when it comes to improving the ways we deliver care, pay providers and distribute information. These funds will support states in integrating and coordinating the many elements of healthcare - including Medicaid, Medicare, public health, and private healthcare delivery systems - to the benefit of patients, businesses and taxpayers alike."

State Innovation Model funds will support states in planning or implementing a customized, fully developed proposal capable of creating statewide health transformation.  Example initiatives include:

Improving primary care through patient-centered medical homes, building upon current Accountable Care Organization models or integrating primary care and behavioral health services.

Providing technical assistance and data to healthcare providers and payers that are working to advance models of integrated, team-based care, or transition to value-based payment models.

Creating unified quality measure score cards that healthcare payers and providers can use to align quality improvement and value based payment methodologies.

Expanding the adoption of health information technology to improve patient care. 

Fostering partnerships between public, behavioral and primary healthcare providers.

Strengthening the healthcare workforce through educational programs, inter-professional training, primary care residencies and community health worker training.

Today's awards include states that are designing plans and strategies for statewide innovation and states that are taking the next step from designing to testing and implementing comprehensive statewide health transformation plans.

Nearly $43 million in State Innovation Model Design Awards will support 17 states, including New Jersey, three territories and the District of Columbia to create and refine proposals for comprehensive healthcare transformation.

Over $622 million in State Innovation Model Test Awards will support eleven states - Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington - in implementing their State Health Care Innovation Plans.  These states join six previous round one Model Test awardees: Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont.

States will engage a broad group of stakeholders, including healthcare providers and systems, long-term service and support providers, commercial payers, state hospital and medical associations, tribal communities and consumer advocacy organizations.  Transformation efforts supported by this initiative must improve health, improve care and lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries. In addition, CMS will identify best practices among state-led transformations that are potentially scalable to all states.

The State Innovation Models initiative is one part of an overall effort to help lower costs and improve care through the Affordable Care Act.  Initiatives like Accountable Care Organizations, the Partnership for Patients and others have helped reduce hospital readmissions in Medicare by nearly eight percent between 2007 and 2013 - translating into 150,000 fewer readmissions - and quality improvements have resulted in saving 50,000 lives and $12 billion in health spending from 2010 to 2013, according to preliminary estimates. 

For more information on the awards, please go to: http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/State-Innovations/.

To learn more about other innovative models being tested by the CMS Innovation Center, please visit: innovation.cms.gov

Like HHS on Facebook, follow HHS on Twitter @HHSgov, and sign up for HHS Email Updates
Follow HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Twitter @SecBurwell 

Contact:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
News Division
202-690-6343
media@hhs.gov
www.hhs.gov/news

Capstone Consulting Group, LLC Introduces The Healthcare Research Foundation

 

Capstone Consulting Group, LLC recently announced the introduction of The Healthcare Research Foundation, (THRF) a private, tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded with a primary mission to drive healthcare delivery and finance information from the private to the public setting and to share data and information for the overall social good.

"Capstone has a thorough understanding of the complexities of providing healthcare in the United States, and we realize that the current market structure and regulatory environment certainly have their flaws," said Dennis A. Baker, founder and president of THRF. "The mission of THRF will be to work with the medical community, academic community, insurance industry intermediaries, and payers following a doctoral level research pathway that appreciates that working for the general public best interest may also be in the best interest of our industry members, as well."

It is also a pleasure to announce that Michael Frank, president of Aquarius Capital and a professor at Columbia University, has joined the THRF board of directors. "I have known Dennis for more than 20 years and think that the healthcare industry will benefit significantly from his vision. With the healthcare industry going through drastic changes in technology and regulatory reform, the impact is significant to all aspects of the U.S. healthcare delivery system, including the providers, the health insurers, and the consumers of care. More energy and resources are needed around research and analysis of current and future trends in the industry. The industry should see significant benefits of THRF under Dennis' leadership, and I am happy to assist the foundation in its mission."

Our Research Scope:

The Healthcare Research Foundation will focus on researching healthcare delivery, its financial elements, and the transparency of statistical and mathematical measuring techniques required to accurately forecast future trends so that the industry members and general public can anticipate the future healthcare environment and adopt appropriate forward strategies. THRF has the distinction of being able to predicate future research not only from an academic perspective, but on some very credible and proprietary previous experiences, as well.

In addition to our doctoral level research, previous Capstone Consulting Group commercial projects will act as research building blocks for THRF. They have involved the development of medical care financing structures, adjudication arrangements, medical network development, volume purchasing agreement development and provider/physician delivery practices. More specifically:

  • Health plan financial studies involving minimum premium, self-funding and unique stop-loss arrangements
  • Custom claim adjudication systems and the development of targeted risk-sharing based withholding arrangements
  • Medical network development and the introduction of the initial private direct contracting methods
  • Developing and writing the syllabus for the first medical network contracting certification
  • Physician-hospital organizational development and developing the first financial models and corporate structures
  • Medical network pricing methods and best practice research pertaining to unit cost, utilization management, and outcomes development
  • Provider practice psychologies and the development of the first physician-based defensive medicine studies
  • Regional provider-based health plan development and the creation of the initial hospital/physician-based programs

Initial research studies will include:

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA): Discovering how different levels of actual ACA growth impact the administrative cost logics of the ACA program
  • Medical service discount contracting and the use of outcomes methodologies
  • Target-based medical risk-sharing and the impact on outcomes
  • Medical Outcomes: The relationship of target cost risk-sharing and clinical metrics
  • Defining medical outcomes in relation to cost-based targeting methods
  • Private medical network direct contracting as a viable medical management alternative
  • ACA Tax Subsidies: Addressing the tax credit variances and the impact of Medicaid
  • Electronic Medical Records: The impact on physician practice patterns
  • Physician Practice Protocols: The impact of liability limits and the physician mindset
  • Unit Medical Cost: The primary basis for healthcare discount contracting
  • Utilization controls and the pricing impact in physician and hospital discount agreements
  • The impact of additional intermediaries entering the healthcare marketplace by 2020

About Capstone Consulting Group:
Capstone Consulting Group, LLC was established in 2007 by Dennis A. Baker, who has over 38 years in the financial sciences field and who leads the firm as principal. Mr. Baker is also a founder and adjunct professor at the Insurance & Risk Management Center at the University of Houston Downtown's College of Business and is a 2016 Ph.D. candidate focusing on healthcare finance.
Capstone provides fee-based actuarial, auditing and advisory services to employers sponsoring general asset healthcare plans ranging from 200 to 25,000 employees, medical service providers, attorneys and the professional insurance community.

Contact Dennis A. Baker at 713-275-4044
Dbaker@TheHealthcareResearchFoundation.org

Or visit www.TheHealthcareResearchFoundation.org for additional information.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Introduces 24/7, No-Cost "Telehealth"

As part of an ongoing commitment to improve its members' healthcare experience through innovation and technology, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has created Horizon CareOnline, a telehealth benefit that offers access to a board certified, licensed doctor online 24 hours a day, seven days a week - and no appointments needed.

"Horizon recognizes that there are times when individuals cannot get to a doctor quickly or easily when they get sick, so Horizon CareOnline will go a long way to adding convenience to receiving care from a licensed physician," said Christopher M. Lepre, senior vice president, Market Business Units, Horizon BCBSNJ.

Horizon CareOnline is available at no cost share to individual policy holders -- and family members on their policies -- who purchase Horizon products through the Federal Marketplace (Healthcare.gov) or directly from Horizon BCBSNJ. The service is offered through American Well, a market leader in telehealth. Beginning January 1, 2015, members can access Horizon CareOnline on their laptop or desktop computers by signing up at Horizon.Amwell.com, or calling 1-855-818-DOCS (3627). Smart phone and tablet users can enroll by downloading American Well's free Amwell app from the ITunes Store or Google Play. Members are then able to select from a list of doctors, including Spanish-speaking physicians, for their virtual visits. Doctors on Horizon CareOnline for BCBSNJ members are board-certified, and New Jersey licensed and credentialed.

"Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey is bringing healthcare home to members," said Roy Schoenberg, CEO of American Well, "We are proud to collaborate in this mission."

Horizon CareOnline is one of many ways that Horizon BCBSNJ is making healthcare more convenient through technology. For more than a decade, Horizon BCBSNJ has offered members a 24/7 registered nurse phone service. Members on the go can also use Horizon BCBSNJ's mobile app, which allows users to create a virtual ID card, review the status of a claim, find a network physician and access other health insurance benefits.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of healthcare in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.7 million members.

About American Well
American Well is a telehealth services company that brings healthcare into the homes and workplaces of patients. The Company's Web and mobile telehealth platform connects patients and clinicians for live, clinically meaningful visits through video, supplemented by secure text chat and phone. American Well and Amwell are trademarks of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. For more information, visit www.americanwell.com.

Consumers Who Auto-Enrolled in Health Insurance Plan Could Have Missed Five Opportunities to Cut Costs in 2015, New Study Finds
Almost 70 percent of federal marketplace plan offerings have premium increases for 2015;
85 percent of those plans have money-saving alternatives available to Americans who change their health insurance coverage by February 15, 2015.


HealthCare.com- Americans who simply let their health insurance roll over from 2014 to 2015 would be wise to take a second look at their coverage, according to a new study released today. Odds are, they'll be paying more than they need to in the new year. The good news is, they have until February 15 to correct what may be a costly oversight.

Under the open enrollment provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans must have personal health insurance, either through their employer or by purchasing it themselves, or be subject to a hefty tax penalty. The first deadline for shopping plans in time for January 1 coverage was December 15.

HealthCare.com, the nation's leading private comparison tool and search engine for health insurance plans, today released a white paper study that found 68.2 percent of the 42,728 plans available on the federal marketplace in both 2014 and 2015 (same Plan ID for the same state/county/rating area) have premium increases of at least $10 for the coming year - that's 29,129 plans in all. Increases are automatically passed on to consumers who did not proactively shop a new plan and consequently were automatically enrolled in the ones they had.  On its website, HealthCare.com offers federal plans, as well as virtually all the state exchange plans and many private off-exchange plans.

Fortunately, these increases don't have to happen, and consumers have a second chance to put money back in their pockets. The same study found that 85.6 percent of the federal marketplace plans have at least one similar alternative plan available that would prevent a consumer from paying a premium increase, and would either hold medical deductibles steady or even decrease them in most cases. More than 70 percent of the federal marketplace plans have an average of 4.8 money-saving alternative plans available. And, on average, those plans can save consumers up to $703.32 a year.
Consumers who did not proactively pick a plan by December 15, and consequently auto-enrolled in the same plan for 2015, still have until February 15, 2015, under the ACA to pick a new plan.

"Multiple news reports have cited the broad, and often steep increases in health insurance premiums and related costs," said Dr. April Seifert, Data Innovation lead for HealthCare.com. "The fact is, with 85 percent of the federal marketplace plans, there are money-saving alternatives available that may work just as well as a current plan. Many consumers will benefit from doing a little comparison shopping. And with all of the insurance shopping sites available, including HealthCare.com, it's easier than ever to take a look at the plan options out there."

Many health insurance shoppers have done just that. Earlier this month, HealthCare.com reported that it had seen a nearly 60 percent increase in the number of people that the online service had successfully referred to one of its insurance partners to buy a healthcare plan. The increase was determined after analyzing HealthCare.com consumer referrals three weeks prior to the beginning of the November 15 open enrollment period for health insurance, compared to the week prior to December 15. Since December 5, referral business has increased 88 percent compared to the prior week. And, based on how referrals were trending, HealthCare.com estimated that it is on pace to help more than 400,000 connect with agents, call centers, web-based entities and other enrollers to find medical insurance coverage during the federally mandated enrollment period that ends on February 15, 2015.

Since 2006, HealthCare.com has been a provider of online healthcare-related services. Over the years HealthCare.com has continued to grow and offer the country's most comprehensive selection of health insurance options, including nearly all state-based exchange plans, federal exchange plans and many private, off-exchange plans. Using proprietary technology that continues to expand, HealthCare.com helps consumers compare costs and subsidies for free, and enables them to purchase their insurance online, over the phone with a licensed advisor, or in person with a local agent.

HealthCare.com recently announced $7.5 million in Series A funding, led by Jeffery H. Boyd and Robert J. Mylod, Jr.  Boyd is chairman of the Board of The Priceline Group and was its CEO from 2002 to 2013. Before joining priceline.com, Boyd was executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Oxford Health Plans, Inc. Mylod served as Priceline's chief financial officer from 1998 to 2009 and as its vice chairman from 2009 to 2012. Mylod serves on the Board of Directors of Dropbox, EverBank Financial Corp. and Redfin.

About HealthCare.com 
HealthCare.com has been a longtime provider of online healthcare-related service since the company's founding back in 2006. Privately-owned HealthCare.com is the nation's leading unbiased search and comparison engine for personal healthcare. The website features virtually all of the state-based exchange plans, federal exchange plans and many private, off-exchange plans. Using powerful proprietary technology and tools, HealthCare.com continues to grow its technology, interfaces and services to help consumers compare health insurance costs and subsidies for free, and enable them to purchase their insurance online, over the phone with a licensed advisor, or in person with an expert, local agent. HealthCare.com's goal is to help consumers easily research information and compare health insurance quotes from insurance carriers using interactive tools and an intuitive interface. The company's website offers trusted recommendations and a comparison shopping experience to simplify decision-making, allowing consumers to find the right health insurance plan that fits their lifestyle. It also offers online calculators and shopping tools to make buying easier and more efficient. With more than one million visitors each month, HealthCare.com partners, and integrates with industry-leading health insurance companies to help consumers enroll into plans. HealthCare.com has offices in New York City, Miami, Minneapolis and Guatemala City. For more information, visit www.healthcare.com.

To view the release click here.

Deadline Approaching for IMTJ Medical Travel Awards 2015

There's still time to enter this year's IMTJ Medical Travel Awards, but you need to be quick - entries close on January 31.

The Awards celebrate the very best in innovation, improvement and excellence in the medical travel, medical tourism and health tourism industry.

Keith Pollard, CEO of Intuition Communication, publishers of the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ), said that 2014's awards attracted high quality entrants, and that 2015 is looking even stronger.

"The awards are judged by an independent panel of international judges who follow a very rigorous process, so it's a real accolade to be chosen as one of our category winners," he said.

"We've had a lot of very strong applications so far, but we're keen to hear from any other organizations that would like to enter."

The Awards will be presented at a gala dinner, hosted by IMTJ at the Royal Garden Hotel in London, on the evening of April 15, 2015, which coincides with the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit.

The two-day Summit will address key issues facing those working in medical travel, helping to create the agenda for the industry's future.

Items to be debated by key opinion leaders and senior executives from across the world include how to build a sustainable international patient business, digital marketing, emerging markets and the law and ethics of medical tourism.

Note to Editors
For more information, contact Ian Manley at ianmanley@imtj.com.

U.S. Stifles Health Innovation While it Flourishes Abroad
by Katie Dvorak

Fiercehealthit.com-Getting new healthcare technologies off the ground can be a challenging task in the United States, but many of the ingredients for flourishing health IT innovation can be found abroad, Leonard D'Avolio writes in a commentary at InformationWeek.

To view the original article click here.

40 States Get "F" Grades for Meager Info on Physician Quality
by Emily Rappleye
Becker's Hospital Review is the original producer/publisher of the content

Beckershospitalreview.com-The Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute flunked 40 states and Washington, District of Columbia, and gave four states a "D" in providing objective, publically accessible information on physician quality, based on a recent study.

To view the original article click here.

New York Enacts Telehealth Parity Law
by Susan D. Hall

Fiercehealthit.com-New York has become the 22nd state to pass legislation requiring that telehealth visits be reimbursed at the same rate as in-person visits.

To view the original article click here.

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors
100 percent of all donations on MatchingDonors.com go to help people get organ transplants on MatchingDonors.com.

MatchingDonors is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the nation's largest online living organ donor organization finding living organ donors for people needing organ transplants.  In conjunction with various health organizations throughout the United States we have created a very successful Public Service Announcement campaign to help people recognize that they can save lives by being a living organ donor, to encourage them to register as an altruistic living organ donor, and to make them realize they can help save the lives of people needing organ transplants by donating other things. This MatchingDonors Living Organ Donor Initiative program has already saved thousands of lives.

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.

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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.

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Spotlight Interview

Jeffrey Pruitt, President, Founding Partner and CEO, Tallwave

News in Review

HHS Awards $3,000,000 to New Jersey to Develop an Innovative Plan to Improve Health Care Quality, Accessibility and Affordability

Capstone Consulting Group, LLC Introduces The Healthcare Research Foundation

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Introduces 24/7, No-Cost "Telehealth"

Consumers Who Auto-Enrolled in Health Insurance Plan Could Have Missed Five Opportunities to Cut Costs in 2015, New Study Finds

Deadline Approaching for IMTJ Medical Travel Awards 2015

U.S. Stifles Health Innovation While it Flourishes Abroad

40 States Get "F" Grades for Meager Info on Physician Quality

New York Enacts Telehealth Parity Law

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