THIS WEEK IN U.S. DOMESTIC MEDICAL TRAVEL

Volume 1, Issue 23

Dear Colleagues,

Following the implementation of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, many consumers now face excessive health insurance premiums, high-deductibles and minimal access to care.

As individuals, employers and major health plans search for ways to maximize the value of their healthcare spend, access to transparent information has become an imperative.

Grace-Marie Turner, founder, president and trustee, Galen Institute, Inc., suggests that the concept of medical travel may become increasingly attractive to consumers as a way to receive high-quality access to care at an affordable price.

With the new healthcare consumerism paradigm, individuals are seeking more options on how to receive coverage, where to receive care and how much it will cost - setting the perfect stage for vast medical travel opportunities!

We're starting to hear from many hospitals, independent surgi-centers and provider groups that want to be better positioned to serve self-funded employers offering medical/surgical travel options.  If you have a good story to tell us, please be in touch!  We want to boost opportunities for Centers of Excellence nationwide. 

Tell us:
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: Grace-Marie Turner, Founder, President and Trustee, Galen Institute, Inc.

www.galen.org

About Grace-Marie Turner
Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute, a public policy research organization that she founded in 1995 to promote an informed debate over free-market ideas for healthcare reform.

She has been instrumental in developing and promoting ideas for reform to transfer power over healthcare decisions to doctors and patients. She speaks and writes extensively about incentives to promote a more competitive, patient-centered marketplace in the health sector.

She testifies regularly before Congress and advises senior government officials, governors and state legislators on health policy.

She was named by House Speaker John Boehner in 2013 to serve as a member of the Long Term Care Commission.

Previously, Grace-Marie served a three-year term on the National Advisory Council of Healthcare Research and Quality, and as a member of the Medicaid Commission, making recommendations to modernize and improve Medicaid.

She has been published in hundreds of major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today, and has appeared on ABC's "20/20" and on hundreds of radio and television programs. She is a co-author of Why Healthcare law Is Wrong for America, published by HarperCollins in 2011, and editor of Empowering Healthcare Consumers through Tax Reform. Grace-Marie speaks extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including at the London School of Economics, Oxford University, and the Gregorian University at the Vatican.

Grace-Marie is founder and facilitator of the Health Policy Consensus Group which serves as a forum for analysts from market-oriented think tanks around the country to analyze and develop policy recommendations.

She received the 2007 Outstanding Achievement Award for Promotion of Consumer Driven Healthcare from Consumer Health World. In the mid-1990s, Grace-Marie served as executive director of the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform. For 12 years, she was president of Arnett & Co., a health policy analysis and communications firm. Her early career was in politics and journalism where she received numerous awards for her writings on politics and economics.

About Galen Institute
The Galen Institute is a non-profit, Section 501(c)(3) public policy research organization devoted to advancing ideas and policies to create a vibrant, patient-centered health sector. It promotes public debate and education about proposals that support individual freedom, consumer choice, competition and innovation in the health sector. The Institute focuses on individual responsibility and control over healthcare and health insurance, lower costs through competition, and a strong safety net for vulnerable populations. Galen's policies will promote continued medical innovation, advances in personalized medicine, and expanded access to healthcare and coverage in a 21st century Information Age economy.

U.S. Domestic Medical Travel (USDMT): What are your thoughts on patients traveling for care to Centers of Excellence (COEs) - domestic or international?

Grace-Marie Turner (GM): Today, health plans, employers and individuals are looking for ways to maximize the value of their spending on healthcare and coverage. With the rising cost of medical treatment, some individuals and companies are looking beyond traditional boundaries of local hospitals and providers to send employees to Centers of Excellence (COE) domestically and abroad for high-quality, cost-effective care.

USDMT: Are COEs reserved for high-profile hospitals such as Cleveland Clinic, or can other facilities compete in this arena?

GM: COEs do not necessarily have to be "mega-systems." It is important to evaluate hospital networks and individual facilities on their competitive advantages.

Two examples: physician-owned hospitals that focus on delivering high-quality, efficient care for specific medical procedures in which they have particular expertise; and smaller entities that focus on procedures in which they have skills and expertise. Both can have a major market advantage.

USDMT: Are physician-owned hospitals and surgi-centers able to excel because they aren't burdened by Medicaid and the uninsured?

GM: Some physician-owned hospitals and surgi-centers are able to offer urgent care, but most don't have the capacity to provide the full range of services required of an emergency room. Nevertheless, they do try hard to be responsive to the needs of their communities without going beyond their skills and resources. Community hospitals that have large Medicaid and uninsured populations resent these practical limitations and have successfully lobbied to curtail the growth of these specialty hospitals. But the mega-hospitals should see them as part of the mosaic of providers serving communities up to the limits of their capacity and expertise.

USDMT: Is bundled pricing the wave of the future?

GM: As consumers become increasingly involved in making personal healthcare decisions, they are going to seek both more and better information, as well as greater transparency and simplicity.

Bundled rates appeal to consumers because they offer certainty, and in turn, shift the financial responsibility to the facility in case something goes wrong.

There will continue to be providers and medical facilities that operate on the traditional fee-for-service service model. The more that consumers are involved, however, the greater the appeal of bundled rates.

USDMT: How is the issue of pricing and quality transparency unfolding?

GM: Our health sector has been opaque to consumers for many decades, and we still have a long way to go to figure out how to bring consumer transparency into this industry. Of course, there are many people and businesses offering services based upon a plethora of transparency concepts because they know there is a high demand for valuable information.

Oddly enough, one of the major pushes for transparency stems from the healthcare law. Today, there are consumers who have $10,000 deductibles before their insurance policy will even pay a penny, and these individuals want to know, "If I need a procedure, how much is it going to cost me?"

At this point, I don't see a single model for providing accessible data rising above the others, but I think that this industry will evolve as more and more players enter this space, and as we begin to see which ones offer information that connects with consumers.

USDMT: Do the hospital system ratings hold any value in consumer decision-making?

GM: Branding is very important when it comes to ratings -- consumers must have confidence in the company or organization that is providing the information.

For example, we see the World Health Organization raking the U.S. healthcare system as 37th in the world, after Cuba. Is that a rating system consumers would trust? I think not. People want to know how the ratings are developed and what information is being used to come up with the assessments. Credibility is everything.

USDMT: What are your thoughts on employers sending employees outside the U.S. for care?

GM: This is a sensitive topic. Many people believe that the U.S. healthcare system is the best and, for a number of reasons, would prefer to receive treatment here.

With that being said, when consumers begin to realize that care abroad is equivalent, if not better in terms of quality and lower cost, then they will begin to look at those alternatives more closely.

But as long as employers and government are in charge of healthcare financing and benefit decisions, there will be fewer people with the means or the options to seek care through international medical travel.

USDMT: Will high deductibles influence the uptake of medical travel?

GM: Absolutely. There are up to 11 million people with insurance policies subsidized through the healthcare law, and the majority of them have very high deductibles.

For example, most bronze plans have an annual deductible of $10,000 for a family. They might as well forgo the insurance because paying the deductible to access an elective surgery, for example, is just not possible for them.

As the cost of healthcare continues to rise, consumers are going to demand transparent information and, I believe, they are going to demand more options not only for affordable health coverage, but also for affordable healthcare.

USDMT: Do you think it is likely that parts of the healthcare law will be overturned?

GM: We are all awaiting a decision in the King v. Burwell case currently before the Supreme Court. If the court decides in favor of the petitioners, that would mean that subsidies and mandates required by the healthcare law would be void in the 37 states operating under federal health insurance exchanges.

At the same time, we are working closely with Congress to develop solutions to ensure that the estimated six million people in those states currently receiving subsidies for their health insurance don't lose the subsidies and consequently their insurance. They also want to return control over health insurance regulation to the states and choices of coverage to consumers.

If King does prevail before the Supreme Court and legislation is passed by Congress and signed by Obama to continue the subsidies, I think that we would see a power boost for consumerism where people have a variety of choices in state-approved policies and where they demand pricing transparency.

If the court sides with the government and allows the subsidies to continue through the federal exchanges, however, the debate will shift to the presidential primaries where candidates will be fighting to gain attention for their health reform replacement plans after the healthcare law.

Perhaps medical travel should be on the agenda!

USDMT: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

GM: Despite the debate our nation has had over the last five years, which has moved our health system toward a command and control operation, the pressure from consumers is now undeniable - they want more control over their healthcare decisions.

At this point, I think we are set up for consumerism where individuals are given more options in how to receive coverage, where to receive care, and knowing how much it will cost.

What is different now than before the Internet is that consumers have the ability to access information immediately. Instead of being told, "These are your three choices," individuals can now search on their own to find the best care for the best value right on their laptops. We are just beginning to see the transformation that will be possible in our health sector!

New Campaign to Advocate for Healthcare Transparency

Today, representatives from AARP, Aetna, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, Novo Nordisk, and the National Consumers League launched the Clear Choices Campaign. This coalition of consumers, healthcare providers and industry will advocate for more transparent, accountable and consumer-friendly health markets.

"Our members come from all sides of the political debate," said Joel White, president of Clear Choices. "But we all agree that consumers should have access to affordable healthcare -- and that transparency will enhance choice and competition to make healthcare more affordable."

The Campaign is focused on policies that provide better tools for consumers to make informed health decisions, better data to power those tools and better markets for the tools. Among the Campaign's priorities are:

  • More transparency on the federal and state-based health insurance exchanges, including searchable online prescription drug formularies, detailed provider directories and clearer summaries of benefits.
  • Better up-front information on the price, cost, quality and safety of healthcare providers and their services. Consumers need and want to know which doctor is best or charges the least before having a procedure done.
  • Better measures of quality in federal and state healthcare programs. For consumers to have good information, they must have good measures. Right now, 90 percent of quality measures are focused on underuse of health services and are burdensome on providers to report. Prioritizing the measures to ensure a mix related to overuse, underuse and misuse will ensure a more complete picture of provider performance, and allow consumers to have more readily available information.
  • More and better data to power technology tools that empower comparison shopping and informed consumers. For example, Clear Choices is advocating for Medicare and Medicaid to share their data with the experts so that physicians and researchers can identify what procedures work best for different patients. Thirty-seven organizations affiliated with Clear Choices wrote Congress to request that any efforts to reform Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate -- the so-called "Doc Fix" -- authorize such data-sharing. And the bill did.

"We racked up a legislative win before we officially launched," said White.

Clear Choices' members include consumer advocates, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, employers and doctor groups. All are committed to empowering consumers with the information needed to make wise healthcare decisions and eliminate wasteful healthcare spending.

"As consumers take more responsibility for healthcare decision-making, the demand for personalized, accurate information on healthcare costs and quality is gaining momentum," said Chris Riedl of Aetna. "Aetna fully supports the efforts of Clear Choices to help promote clarity for consumers and empower them to become more engaged in their healthcare."

Better healthcare transparency will not only empower consumers, but it will lower health costs.
"Up to $8 trillion of the $40 trillion the United States will spend on healthcare over the next decade will pay for unnecessary services or to treat preventable conditions," said Andrew Scholnick, senior legislative representative from AARP. "Our nation can't afford such waste. To ensure the sustainability of programs like Medicare -- and our entire economy -- we must capitalize on the power of data to create a more functional healthcare system."

For more information please contact Sandra Ramos at (202) 471-4228 ext.115 or email.

About Clear Choices
The Clear Choices Campaign (http://www.clearchoicescampaign.org) is a new consumer-industry coalition, dedicated to making health markets more transparent, accountable and consumer-friendly. Doing so will not only empower consumers, it will improve quality, improve health outcomes and lower health costs. Clear Choices is part of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (www.cahc.net).

To view the original release click here.

White Paper: Increased Physician Access via Instant Messaging as a Platform for Behavioral Change in Patients

INTRODUCTION
The U.S. healthcare system is in a state of great transition. Incredible efforts to serve the health needs of the American people are being made in both the private and public sectors. President Barack Obama's healthcare law has been a controversial topic of discussion since before its inception. Despite the nationwide debate about the law's mechanisms for achieving improved quality of care and greater cost efficiency, among other goals, most people would agree that it represents the single most substantial regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since 1965 when Medicare and Medicaid were introduced.

The political impetus for change, in conjunction with advances in technology over the last several years, has brought tremendous innovation, especially in the realm of mobile health applications and technologies. Various product and service offerings are changing the daily practice of medicine and, in at least some cases, bringing about greater access to health-related data that is becoming more automated in how that same data is being collected. Finding the right balance of data collection and implementation for meaningful use is a delicate challenge as primary care providers sift through valuable information for the benefit of the patient. If the information that is impactful can be identified and accessed by the doctor, then the imperative transitions to one of coaching the patient on modifying lifestyle behaviors, achieving compliance with medications and other interventions.

As American society shifts its focus to the need for increased access to primary care, concerns have surfaced about capacity constraints of the existing provider network and the ability of our system to accommodate office visits longer than several minutes in duration. Complementing the benefits of a traditional office visit is a pursuit of First Opinion, Inc. of San Francisco. The First Opinion mobile application matches users to a First Opinion-certified doctor who builds a relationship with the user over time. The relationship with the user is then leveraged through a variety of mechanisms to motivate the user toward healthy behaviors. While the initial interaction that a patient has with a First Opinion doctor may be an acute medical need or question, the process of engaging users over the long-term through relationship building is a core principle of the First Opinion approach.

The function of the First Opinion application is straightforward. Patients download the application on their iPhone and are matched to a certified doctor on the platform after a short registration process, which collects age, gender and other basic information. The patient is then able to send a written message to their matched doctor within minutes of having downloaded the application. Patients typically present with primary care issues and occasionally with more specialized medical needs that frequently result in educating the user to the greatest extent possible before referring the patient to seek the care of a specialist, if indicated. First Opinion services are available 24/7 through a clinic-based system in which the patient interacts primarily with her matched physician and two to three other physicians who provide after-hours coverage.

In an effort to better understand how convenient and frequent access to doctors via a messaging application on the iPhone correlates to patient behavior in making healthy lifestyle choices, First Opinion recently conducted a survey of qualified users on its platform. This paper reviews the results of the survey and further explores the benefits of a strong patient-clinician relationship as well as factors that may influence development of that relationship.

To view the white paper in its entirety click here.

Health eCareers Offers Tips to Healthcare Employers and Recruiters to Manage Physician Shortage
- Look Ahead and Make Succession Plans Now to Avoid Physician Shortage -

Health eCareers' new 2015 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Survey found that the demand for healthcare services is predicted to swell over the next ten years. Unfortunately, the supply of healthcare providers is unlikely to keep up with this increased demand, creating a shortage of qualified physicians - especially those in family medicine, psychiatry, internal medicine and a variety of other specialties.

Health eCareers offers tips for healthcare employers and recruiters to address the intense hiring challenges created by the gap between physician supply and demand.

Factors Creating Physician Shortage
Bryan Bassett, managing director of Health eCareers, says four demand-side factors are driving this shortage: millions of newly insured people entering the system due to the healthcare law, aging baby boomers with increased medical needs, aging caregivers reaching retirement age and a stronger economy.

There are also lifestyle factors at play causing shortages in specific fields, such as primary care. "Although more students are actually entering medical schools and residency programs than a decade ago, today's young physicians often choose to specialize rather than choosing primary care as a way of ensuring a better work-life balance than their predecessors," says Bassett.

But there's also good news for hospitals hoping to hire new doctors.

"In the past two years, we have seen more physicians who want to be employed by healthcare organizations rather than going into private practice," explains Barkley Davis, senior director, Physician Recruitment at LifePoint Hospitals®, a public company with 70 hospitals in 22 states focused primarily in non-urban markets. "They're looking for a stable environment that has financial backing and a lot of things already in place, such as a built-in practice, electronic records, billing and collections and minimal financial risk. It's a security thing."

Five Tips for Hiring Doctors Today and Tomorrow
Bassett and Davis offer tips to healthcare employers and recruiters to address the physician shortage without shorting the bottom line with new and expensive physician incentives.

1. Anticipate shortage cycles and plan ahead
Much like the financial markets, the healthcare landscape is in a constant state of flux. "The biggest issue of all for recruiters is planning for the unknown," says Bassett. His advice to recruiters is to look ahead and make succession plans now.

Davis offers another idea: use stipends to build affinity with doctors while they're still in training. "If residents can commit early to practice with us, maybe one to two years out, then we have a package where we can start paying them a monthly stipend," he says.

2. Design new types of compensation packages
Recruiters must recognize and respond to the changing needs - both financial and lifestyle - of new physicians.

Davis cautions against relying solely on salary to attract new doctors. Instead, he says it's important to look for other financial incentives that aren't tied directly to salary. "The number one thing that almost all new doctors need is debt relief," explains Davis.

Bassett adds that the needs and wants of today's providers - ultimately, being happy and satisfied in their work - aren't always financially motivated. "You're going to need to design things like job sharing and thoughtful compensation packages that are economically feasible for your hospital, but also give professionals the work-life balance they want."

3. Build and nurture your pipeline
Building a pipeline of talent could be all in who you know - or who you don't know you know.

"There needs to be more forward thinking about using talent relationship management, as well as job boards and association contacts, to meet candidates and stay in touch with those who might be available in a year or two when you need them," says Bassett.

This pays off in succession planning, and it may even help healthcare employers get a jump-start on the next specialist cycle. "Make sure you're recruiting in specialties where you can make hires today, even if you're a couple years out because those areas will get tight again," he advises.

4. Stretch the chain of command
Aggressive tactics often come into play in physician recruiting because doctors provide a lot of income to hospitals. But from a capacity standpoint, hiring managers may want to consider the trend of hiring highly qualified non-physician providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, who can take on much of the workload.

"For physicians, we have to figure out new ways to do things more efficiently," explains Davis. "Today you see two-physician offices with maybe four other non-physician providers, such as PAs or NPs, helping out. It's almost like you triage a physician's office depending on what patients need; it's not about always seeing a doctor anymore."

5. Use technology and use it wisely
Health eCareers' data reveals that 45 percent of respondents are not using any alternative candidate pools (such as travel or per diem staff, retired professionals, international workers, etc.) to fill difficult positions. But many are using technology to find new candidates: Nearly 80 percent use job boards, 48 percent use social media sites, and 43 percent use their in-house applicant tracking system (ATS).

"We're located in non-urban places, so seeking primary care physicians has been a big, big push because of the shortage of candidates," says Davis  "We've found that tweeting our jobs is a good way to reach doctors on social media. We also use email and cell phones, because you must also continue to contact doctors directly."

Most importantly, to get the most from your recruiting budget, it's critical to use targeted job boards. Health eCareers' survey shows that online healthcare job boards like www.healthecareers.com usually outrank even a company's website as the most effective method for filling job openings.

"We are working hard to bring more qualified candidates to healthcare employers and recruiters, and more effectively convert them with a better user experience built on rich job opportunities and compelling employer content," adds Bassett.

Learn More: Read the Health eCareers' 2015 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Blog Series and Download the Full Survey Report
To learn more about hiring the best healthcare talent, visit the 2015 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Survey blog series at http://news.healthecareers.com/2015/03/physician-shortage/ and download the full 2015 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Survey Report at http://news.healthecareers.com/2015/02/2015-recruiting-trends-survey/?type=pr&source=staff-turnover-release

Learn more about Health eCareers at http://www.healthecareers.com

About Health eCareers
Healthcare is all about connection, and Health eCareers is the healthcare industry's career hub for professionals, providers and associations. With a network of more than 1.7 million job seekers, thousands of healthcare employers and more than 100 exclusive association partners, Health eCareers is designed to match qualified healthcare professionals - from physicians to non-clinical staff - with medical providers looking for top talent. But Health eCareers is more than just a place to look for your next job - it's a resource to help you advance your career at every stage. That's why Health eCareers also includes industry news and career advice targeted to your healthcare specialty. For employers, Health eCareers offers innovative recruiting tools and services and healthcare hiring data that you won't find anywhere else. To learn more, visit, http://www.healthecareers.com, check out our blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

EdisonHealth Network's ROI Estimator validated by the Care Innovations Validation Institute

The Care Innovations™ Validation Institute's certificate of validation is a "seal of approval" for EdisonHealth ROI Estimator.

EdisonHealth is pleased to announce the validation of its ROI Estimator tool (Return on Investment) by the Care Innovations™ Validation Institute. The Care Innovations™ Validation Institute's certificate of validation is like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for service providers in the healthcare industry. The Validation Institute only awards its certification to organizations that compete on the basis of integrity and proven performance with respect to their reported outcomes, contractual promises and other claims.

EdisonHealth provides members of contracting health plans with access to heart, valve, spine, orthopedic and transplant care at some of the highest-performing clinics and health systems in the United States. These EdisonHealth Network medical centers are committed to offering multidisciplinary, team-based approaches to patient evaluation and treatment - ensuring they receive high quality and appropriate care. By focusing on the limited, but growing number of patients with these high cost and often mistreated conditions, EdisonHealth is able to deliver tremendous value to these individuals and health plan sponsors.

The Validation Institute's process applies accepted industry standards in outcomes analysis to determine if the statements or claims a company makes are true and precise. The Institute's goal is to help organizations involved in population health - from health plans to employers to vendors of solutions to the industry - adhere to the highest standards of validity.

Al Lewis, co-author of Cracking Health Costs and an independent consultant, remarked:  "This is an outstanding model, and kudos to the Validation Institute for highlighting a company that is able to put together such a useful tool." 

"We are pleased to work with the Validation Institute to validate our own work, and to help establish credible methods for others in the industry to use," says Tom Emerick, Edisonhealth co-founder and one of Forbes' 13 Unsung Heroes Changing Healthcare.

An employer or plan advisor may use EdisonHealth's ROI Estimator tool to forecast the impact of EdisonHealth's services on health plan costs and members. Other authorized professionals can also use the tool to develop impact estimates based upon EdisonHealth's experiences and authoritative sources, or develop estimates based on their own assumptions and health claim experience.

About EdisonHealth
EdisonHealth provides members of contracting health plans with access to heart, valve, spine, orthopedic and transplant care at some of the highest-performing clinics and health systems in the United States. The service is offered to organizations with 10,000 or more employees, as well as smaller groups through third party "aggregators." Participating employers and health plans also receive a suite of care coordination, claims payment, performance reporting and related services. For more information, visit http://www.edisonhealth.net

About the CI Validation Institute
The CI Validation Institute's goal is to help organizations involved in population health - from health plans to employers and vendors - adhere to the highest standards of validity, allowing them to compete on the basis of integrity and performance rather than hyperbole.

The Validation Institute will impartially challenge the status quo of typical population health outcomes measurement, with the objective of impacting how the industry establishes its credibility. Visit http://www.validationinstitute.com to learn more.

Leading Healthcare Organization Expands Audience and Reach
The Managed Care Executive Group re-launches as the HealthCare Executive Group, now includes executives from across the spectrum.

After months of planning and development the Managed Care Executive Group (MCEG) is proud to announce its new brand, name, website and member strategy. Now the HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG), the organization is expanding its charter from its previous focus: the payer space, to now include executives from all major sectors within the healthcare industry, providing a comprehensive focus on the industry as a whole.

With over 25-years as a leading network of thought-leaders within healthcare, HCEG continues to be a platform for industry-wide innovation and transformation through exclusive, ongoing opportunities available to members.

"The expansion of HCEG to now include executives from the entire healthcare industry is key in providing our member organizations with resources to truly help transform the Healthcare System," Says Tom Carleton, Chairman of the Board for HCEG. "Collective input and participation of HCEG executives will continue to drive the development of an optimal healthcare ecosystem with nationally recognized contributions from the HCEG Annual Forum and HCEG Top 10."

The HCEG Annual Forum brings HCEG members from across the country together for 3-days to discuss industry specific topics and trends, while providing a setting for real, relevant and productive dialog amongst peers. Forum attendees collectively develop the HCEG Top 10 a keystone for industry-wide analysis that communicates critical issues and trends in the market.

This year’s Annual Forum scheduled October 25-28th in Fort Lauderdale, FL; promises to provide an invaluable experience that fosters personal development, education, trends, new and emerging technologies and a plethora of other innovations that will directly impact costs, effective service and quality of healthcare.

Members of HCEG are on a mission to transform the Healthcare System through the exchange of information, ideas and experiences from key executives across the industry. Member specific access to industry insights, key trends and research opportunities from HCEG, will continue to encourage relevant dialog and provide valuable information that will ultimately contribute to the success of their organizations members and sponsors.

About HECG
The HealthCare Executive Group is a national network of select healthcare executives and thought leaders, who navigate the tactical and strategic issues facing organizations today and provide a platform that promotes healthcare innovation and the development of life-long relationships. Originally the Managed Care Executive Group (MCEG); The HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG), was founded in 1988 by healthcare executives looking for a forum where the open exchange of ideas, opportunities for collaboration, and transformational dialogue could freely ensue.

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1ETX8sq
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Media Contact:
Teana McDonald
info@hceg.org

For more information, please visit www.hceg.org.

How a Lack of Healthcare Price Transparency Compares to Purchasing a Bad Car
by Ron Shinkman

Fiercehealthfinance.com-Healthcare delivery in its current state may have something in common with purchasing a bad car, according to Jeffrey W. Jones, a managing director with Huron Healthcare, a Chicago-based consulting group.

To read the original article click here.

Traveling Thousands of Miles Can Lead to Thousands in Saving

Eba.benefitnews.com-Medical tourism is gaining traction among Americans, and it can be a tool for brokers seeking to keep their self-funded clients' healthcare costs down.

To read the original article click here.

How Much is That Doctor in the Window? A New Healthcare Transparency Initiative to Provide Quality and Cost Information You Can Actually Use

Nrhi.org-When you buy a car, blender or toothbrush, you can research what you're going to get. Healthcare? Not so much. Despite years of effort to measure the quality and cost of healthcare services, there exists almost no meaningful information available for purchasers, providers and patients to make informed decisions.

To view the original article click here.

CMS Rolls Out Five-Star Scale to Rank Hospitals on Patient Experience
by Leslie Small

Fiercehealthcare.com- In an attempt to simplify hospital quality ratings for consumers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has unveiled a new feature on its Hospital Compare website that ranks facilities on a five-star scale, CMS announced Thursday.

To read the original article click here.

Bundled Payment Project Saved $1M in First Year
by Ron Shinkman

Fiercehealthfinance.com-The jury still remains out on many bundled payment programs, but one such effort by Baptist Health in San Antonio and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) saved more than $1 million during its first year of operation, according to a CMS report on the project.

To read 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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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

Grace-Marie Turner, Founder, President and Trustee, Galen Institute, Inc.

News in Review

New Campaign to Advocate for Healthcare Transparency

White Paper: Increased Physician Access via Instant Messaging as a Platform for Behavioral Change in Patients

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EdisonHealth Network's ROI Estimator validated by the Care Innovations™ Validation Institute

Leading Healthcare Organization Expands Audience and Reach

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Bundled Payment Project Saved $1M in First Year

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