Volume 2, Issue 17

Dear Colleagues,

This month, we report on hospitals and surgery center's "tug-of-war," patient safety, the addition of CMS payment plans for hearts and hips and Kaiser Health's November 2016 Tracking Poll.

Also included in this month's issue is our spotlight interview with executive director of Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Marc Chappell, who offers insight on the growing interest of domestic medical travel. 

Many hospitals, independent surgi-centers and provider groups that want to be better positioned to serve self-funded employers offering medical/surgical travel options are contacting us. 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.

The Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA) will hold a six-part winter webinar series, which will cover a variety of topics relating to self-insured group health plans, captive insurance companies and group self-insured workers' compensation funds.  "Webinar Wednesdays" will begin January 18, 2017 and run each week through the end of February. Register here.

"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: Marc Chappell, Executive Director, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

About Marc Chappell
Marc Chappell joined Worldwide Employee Benefits Network as executive director in March of 2013. He helps lead the organization at the national level and assists each of the organization's 12 chapters with program planning and membership development.

About Worldwide Employee Benefits Network
WEB's mission is to further the development and education of benefits professionals. We are committed to helping define the role of the benefits professional in the 21st century. As changing legislation, technology and market forces reshape the profession, products and delivery systems, WEB will continue developing programs, educational opportunities and services to help its members meet the challenges ahead.

Click here to read the full story

Hospitals And Surgery Centers Play Tug-Of-War Over America's Ailing Knees
By Christina Jewett
Kaiser Health News is the original publisher of this content. Five years ago, Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum, an orthopedic surgeon in the Bronx who replaces more than 200 knees each year, would have considered it crazy to send a patient home the same day as a knee replacement operation.

And yet there he was this year, as the patient, home after a few hours. A physician friend pierced his skin at 8 a.m. at a Seattle-area surgery center. By lunch, Kirschenbaum was resting at his friend's home, with no pain and a new knee.

Click here to read the full story

Patient Safety Efforts Saved $28 Billion over Five Years
by Elizabeth Whitman to make hospitals safer for patients are paying off, preventing 3.1 million harmful hospital-acquired conditions and the deaths of some 125,000 people, according to an HHS report released Monday. Those improvements saved close to $28 billion in healthcare costs from 2010 through 2015.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

CMS gets busy: Adds payment plans for hearts and hips; plans new ACO track
by Ilene MacDonald Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched three new policies Tuesday that continue the push toward value-based care, rewarding hospitals that work with physicians and other providers to avoid complications, prevent readmissions and speed recovery.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Data suggest New York hospital prices depend on leverage, not quality
by Dave Barkholz with bargaining muscle in New York are getting paid 1.5 to 2.7 times as much for care by insurers as the lowest-priced hospitals in the same market, a new study shows.

The prices did not equate to better or lesser quality, according to an analysis by Gorman Actuarial of nonpublic data for 107 hospitals and nine insurers in three regions: Buffalo, Albany and downstate, including New York City.

The report, titled Why Are Hospital Prices Different? An Examination of New York Hospital Reimbursement, was funded in part by the New York State Health Foundation.

"This landmark report helps explain what is happening at the negotiating table between hospitals and insurance plans, and how it results in such wide price variation," said David Sandman, CEO of NYSHealth.

The report identifies contract provisions between hospitals and insurers that can inhibit price transparency to the detriment of consumers who are paying more out-of-pocket for healthcare as high-deductible plans grow in popularity in the individual and employer markets.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2016
Kaiser Health News is the original publisher of this content. - This Kaiser Health Tracking Poll was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The survey was conducted November 15-21, 2016, among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,202 adults ages 18 and older, living in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii (note: persons without a telephone could not be included in the random selection process). Computer-assisted telephone interviews conducted by landline (422) and cell phone (780, including 467 who had no landline telephone) were carried out in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Both the random digit dial landline and cell phone samples were provided by Survey Sampling International, LLC. For the landline sample, respondents were selected by asking for the youngest adult male or female currently at home based on a random rotation. If no one of that gender was available, interviewers asked to speak with the youngest adult of the opposite gender.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.


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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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Printable Version

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.

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Spotlight Interview

SPOTLIGHT: Marc Chappell, Executive Director, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

News in Review

Hospitals And Surgery Centers Play Tug-Of-War Over America's Ailing Knees

Patient Safety Efforts Saved $28 Billion over Five Years

CMS gets busy: Adds payment plans for hearts and hips; plans new ACO track

Data suggest New York hospital prices depend on leverage, not quality

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2016


Help Save a Life and Support Matching Donors