Volume 2, Issue 12

Dear Colleagues,

According to TJ Morrison, vice president, Benefit Design Specialists: "Part of what I think we all struggle with in America is that we are used to this box: The healthcare system, in general, and the delivery model of how we access and utilize healthcare. For some reason, we seem to think we need to find solutions within this box, but let’s face it - half of our healthcare box is caved in, crushed down and broken, and will continue to break. As Americans, we need to take a step back and look at how we utilize healthcare, in general."

Benefit Design Specialists has teamed up with DoctorGlobe - an interactive online platform dedicated to self-funded employers and their health-plan participants - to offer its clients another way to select quality providers who offer high-quality, affordable care.

While the adoption rate may initially take time, Morrison expects that once the first 15 percent of employer clients jump on board, others will begin to follow suit and recognize the value of DoctorGlobe as an added benefit to their design structure.

Self-insured employers of all sizes are re-evaluating the size and scope of their networks to ensure that individuals are accessing quality care at the most cost-effective sites. This new trend will be on my mind when, once again, I chair a panel presentation at SIIA’s upcoming Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, September 25-27, 2016.

Judging from the turnout and enthusiasm at last year’s event, I am certain that this year will be even better.  Take a look at the speakers - high profile leaders who are positioned to make these decisions for the marketplace.

Whether you are an employer, provider or intermediary, you will want to attend. Look forward to seeing you in September!

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.

"Rising health insurance premiums, lack of transparency and increased awareness of how varied medical costs and quality vary dramatically between hospitals and across regions, have pushed consumers right into the arms of international and domestic medical travel. The growing industry provides the perfect solution for patients to receive the high-quality, cost-effective care that they need AND rightfully deserve!" - Laura Carabello, Executive Editor and Publisher, Medical Travel Today and U.S. Domestic Medical Travel.

READERS: I invite you to send quotes relevant to domestic medical travel to to be featured in upcoming issues of U.S. Domestic Medical Travel.

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:

Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher


SPOTLIGHT: TJ Morrison, Vice President, Benefit Design Specialists, Inc.

TJ Morrison
600 Wilson Lane, Suite 200
Mechanicsburg, PA  17055

About TJ Morrison
TJ joined BDS in June of 2008. TJ is responsible for the future direction of the company and finding opportunities that increase BDS’s book of business. TJ is most well known for his vast experience in the self-funded health plan arena. Anyone can work with clients on self-funded solutions, however, TJ has successfully delivered a new level of control for employer clients with cutting edge solutions.

About Benefit Design Specialists, Inc.
BDS offers a range of services and products dedicated to a two-fold goal; delivering quality, cost-effective employee benefit plans coupled with hassle-free benefits management for our clients HR departments.

Click here to read the full story

Medical Tourism: What You Need to Know
by Linda Hepler, BSN, RN

Max Sports and Fitness - Putting off that dental implant or knee surgery because you simply can’t afford it? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, 126 million Americans lack dental coverage, and for those who do have a dental plan, the quality and economics of coverage are not always optimal. Likewise with medical insurance. According to the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey 2014, 31 million Americans - or 23 percent of 19- to 64-year-old adults who are insured all year - had such high out-of-pocket costs or deductibles relative to their incomes that they were considered "underinsured."

Click here to read the full story

National Business Group on Health Comments on House Republican Task Force Outline for Health Care Reform

The National Business Group on Health (NBGH) applauds the House Republican Task Force on Health Care Reform's recognition of the important role that employers play in providing affordable, high-quality coverage to working Americans and their families and in driving innovation in the delivery of health care. However, the NBGH, a non-profit association of 425 large U.S. employers, expresses concern that changes to the tax treatment of employer-sponsored health benefits would make it more costly for employers to offer and employees to afford coverage. 

Click here to read the full story

Baby Delivery Costs Vary Wildly and Not Only by Region
The price differential is so great that a cesarean delivery in Cleveland is less expensive than a routine vaginal delivery in 17 of the 30 costliest cities, researchers find.

HealthLeaders Media News-Having a baby in Sacramento? It might be worth it to go elsewhere.
Sacramento tops the list of the costliest places to have a baby, on average, topping even San Francisco, in second place. Stay away from Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Portland, OR, too.

Click here to read the full story

MinuteClinic Announces New Travel Health Services Just in Time for Summer Vacation Season
Typhoid Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention Among New Offerings
Original Source: MinuteClinic

To help patients prepare for a safe and healthy travel season this summer and beyond, MinuteClinic, the walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS Pharmacy and Target stores nationwide, has added several new travel-related services and immunizations.

Click here to read the full story

36th Annual National Educational Conference & Expo
September 25-27, 2016 • JW Marriott Austin • Austin, TX

SIIA's National Educational Conference & Expo is the world's largest event dedicated exclusively to the self-insurance/alternative risk transfer industry. Registrants will enjoy a cutting-edge educational program combined with unique networking opportunities, and a world-class tradeshow of industry product and service providers guaranteed to provide exceptional value in four fast-paced, activity-packed days.

Monday, September 26, 2016
TIME: 1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

"Taking a page from the travel surgery playbooks that the large, high-profile companies have followed over the past few years, mid-size or smaller employers and plan sponsors now recognize that the site of service significantly impacts the quality and cost of care. These are the keys factors in selecting where to have procedures performed - everything from MRIs and diagnostics to complex surgeries. 

Learn how TPAs, brokers and employers are educating and incenting employees to make better choices - from reducing coinsurance to eliminating copayments, paying travel expenses or cash rewards.  The goal is to help employees seek the right care, at the right time, and in the right place - in or out of current networks."

Panel Chair: Laura Carabello

Editor and Publisher


777 Terrace Avenue
Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey 07674
< DIRECT > x12

Laura Carabello, principal and chief creative officer, CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, is a strategy consultant in healthcare and technology who has more than 25 years of experience in positioning public, private and non-profit entities in medical travel, health information technology, managed care and employee benefits, and life sciences. Carabello presents and chairs numerous industry conferences, and has testified before the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on healthcare advertising and marketing ethics. The recipient of multiple leadership and humanitarian awards, Carabello serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Bergen County. She received a B.S. in Journalism from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.

Simeon Schindelman, CEO, Brighton Health Plan Solutions

One Penn Plaza, 46th Floor, New York, NY 10119
Office Phone:  212.485.9017

Combine a commitment to multiple market stakeholders and a passion to empower individuals and families with the healthcare tools that they have long desired, and you'll have an introduction to Simeon Schindelman, CEO, Brighton Health Plan Solutions (BHPS), parent of MagnaCare LLC, MagnaCare Administrative Services, as well as a brand new commercial health plan currently in development.

Simeon is responsible for all aspects of these businesses including current performance, as well as establishing and implementing strategic priorities that will enhance future success.

Effective and transformative innovation is Simeon's personal trademark, and he will draw upon his broad management experience, leadership expertise and deep understanding of the varied participants in the healthcare marketplace to drive the growth of BHPS.

Given his demonstrated success building businesses that transform the traditional approach to healthcare, and proficiency in working with plan sponsors of all size and scope, Simeon is powering a business model that leverages data analytics, consumer service, and advanced technology to deliver personalized healthcare solutions. He is recognized for incorporating high-touch, thoughtful services that people value in virtually every aspect of their lives, but have been missing in their insurance and healthcare experiences. His formula is also designed to serve the targeted, unique needs of providers, employers and brokers, all of whom are key to bringing tomorrow's healthcare solution to the marketplace today.

This brand of forward-thinking management contributed to the success of his most recent leadership role as chairman and CEO of Bloom Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2012 - 2015), a leader in designing, building, and operating private exchanges. Simeon drove rapid growth that was catalyzed by a commitment to bringing consumers "knowledge, trust, and confidence."

Previously, he was senior vice president, Commercial Markets (2009 - 2012) at Medica Health Plans, Minnetonka, Minnesota, where he and his team created My Plan by Medica, an exceptional provider-oriented product developed in partnership with health systems. Over the years, he has held senior level management positions at several high-profile healthcare companies including a succession of leadership roles at UnitedHealthcare.

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Schindelman is determined to make a measurable difference in people's lives and bring about positive change. These are the hallmarks of his unique approach and vision for the success of BHPS.

Mark Kendall, Senior Partner, HUB International Midwest Limited

55 East Jackson Boulevard Chicago, Illinois 60604
Direct Dial: 312-429-2287
Mobile: 312-848-8298

With 30 years' experience in the corporate employee benefit industry, Mark has a proven record in consulting corporations. His core competencies include alignment of strategic and tactical objectives of Fortune 500 corporations to enhance their own future financial position with their total rewards plans and with the insurance carrier. Starting his 16th year in consulting, Mark has created over $150 million in documented savings for large corporations and their employees relative to their plans.

Mark is a senior partner at Hub International located in their Chicago office. Hub International is the largest privately held brokerage in the U.S. with over 8,500 employees serving customers in North America. Mark has worked with many of the Fortune 500 companies over his consulting career, including Accenture, W.W. Grainger, Gannett, HCR ManorCare, HSBC, JohnsonDiversey, ArcelorMittal, Presence Health, United Airlines, Union Pacific Railroad and Reyes Holdings.

Prior to his consulting career, Mark's carrier background includes leading the Chicago operation of Unum and leading Prudential Financial's Midwest operation. Throughout his career, Mark's experience also includes extensive training to the industry, product innovation and development specifically directed towards national account sized multinational companies.

Carrie Hatch, Chief Operating Officer, AmeriBen

3449 Copper Point Drive Meridian, Idaho 83642
Office Phone: (208) 947-9229

Carrie has been with AmeriBen since 2004. As chief operating officer, she is responsible for Operations and is a member of AmeriBen's Executive Leadership Team. She oversees the Claims and Customer Care Centers, Provider Relations, Client Accounting, Plan Build, and Support Services. Carrie's exceptional attention to detail and ability to understand the complexities of the TPA business have been instrumental in the quality of AmeriBen's operations.

Prior to joining AmeriBen, Carrie served seven years as a project coordinator for a large executive consulting firm. Previous capacities she has served in here at AmeriBen include Accounting, Technology Services Center Analyst, and EDI Services Coordinator. Her internal advancement and contributions to the organization truly embody our Core Purpose as it pertains to developing great leaders.

Carrie received her Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Phoenix in Arizona.

VIP Pass for U.S. Domestic Medical Travel Subscribers to Attend IHC Private Exchange FORUM

YOU'RE INVITED: Attend the 2nd Annual IHC Private Exchange FORUM in Baltimore, MD, September 8-9th as a VIP guest!

Private Exchange FORUM is part of the only industry conference series where you can learn how to benefit from the massive private exchange transition.

According to the latest estimates, over six million Americans already receive their employee benefits via a private exchange - and this number is expected to balloon to over 40 million within the next several years.

Meanwhile, a dizzying amount of information - articles, product announcements, acquisitions and predictions - on private exchanges has flooded employee benefits circles in recent years. As press releases and articles detailing strong enrollment growth have consistently hit industry publications, blogs and social media pages, so too has quite a bit of misinformation on what a private exchange is and what it can (or can't) do.

Private Exchange FORUM is a collaborative environment that brings together all industry stakeholders to explore and truly investigate what's working and what's not in the emerging private exchange market. The goal is to help all stakeholders cut through the clutter by crafting a balanced conference program that eschews misinformation and gets to the heart of the issues around private exchanges and defined contribution. Click here for an offer to gain free registration!

State Lawmakers Ramp Up Efforts to Remove Telemedicine Hurdles
by Dan Bowman efforts by lawmakers in Louisiana and New York highlight a continued nationwide push to remove hurdles to provider use of telemedicine to treat patients.
To view the original article click here.

Healthcare Spending Trend $2.6 Trillion Below Original Projections
by Ron Shinkman passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has partly led to a huge slowdown in U.S. healthcare spending, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.
To view the original article click here.

Study: Use of Ambulatory Surgery Centers Saves $38B a Year
by Caroline Wall use of ambulatory surgery centers rather than outpatient hospital departments saves $38 billion per year in costs for the commercially insured, according to a study by the data company Healthcare Bluebook.

To view the original article click here.


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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.

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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Copyright © 2016
U.S. Domestic Medical Travel™

About U.S. Domestic Medical Travel
U.S. Domestic Medical Travel, a sister publication to Medical Travel Today, 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

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Spotlight Interview

TJ Morrison, Vice President, Benefit Design Specialists, Inc.

News in Review

Medical Tourism: What You Need to Know

National Business Group on Health Comments on House Republican Task Force Outline for Health Care Reform

Baby Delivery Costs Vary Wildly and Not Only by Region

MinuteClinic Announces New Travel Health Services Just in Time for Summer Vacation Season

36th Annual National Educational Conference & Expo

VIP Pass for U.S. Domestic Medical Travel Subscribers to Attend IHC Private Exchange FORUM

State Lawmakers Ramp Up Efforts to Remove Telemedicine Hurdles

Healthcare Spending Trend $2.6 Trillion Below Original Projections

Study: Use of Ambulatory Surgery Centers Saves $38B a Year


Help Save a Life and Support Matching Donors