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.  http://www.siia.org/

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 editor@usdomesticmedicaltravel.com 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: editor@USDomesticMedicalTravel.com.

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.

U.S. Domestic Medical Travel (USDMT): How does your company serve the self-insured employers?

TJ Morrison (TM): After working as an individual life insurance sales representative, as well as a financial and retirement planner, my father Tim Morrison founded Benefit Design Specialists (BDS) in 1993.

In the early 90’s, BDS found that there were not many competitors actively working to help employers with simple things such as Section 125 documentation, and that is when the company really started to grow, gain employer contacts and pick up lines of administration, including COBRA and Flexible Spending Accounts.

A few years later, carriers began to work with brokers to deliver medical plans to employers and that is when we got involved as a broker consultant on behalf of employers.

In 2002, we started the Medical Reimbursement Medical Plan in Pennsylvania, or much more commonly known as the Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). For the next few years, we ran unopposed with no competition bringing on about 10 - 12 groups per month, until around 2008 - 2009 when the industry caught up.

Then, when healthcare reform hit in 2010, we sat down as an organization and tried to define our goals for the future. This is when the idea of self-funding "outside of the box" struck us, and we decided that if employers really wanted to address cost in the future we had to bring real innovation, which was lacking, to the self-funded market.

We agreed that anyone can make a self-funded plan, and anybody can deliver a self-funded plan with a carrier or independent third party administrator (TPA). So we had to figure out how to build a healthcare program and inject components that focused on eliminating wasted spend, while driving down cost.

It took about four years to settle on vendors who were in the business for the right reasons and build our product, but in 2014 we launched our self-funded health plan: Transparent Health™ which is really our direction for the future.

We had to rip the health plan apart and put it back to together with the best in-class vendors and programs that would place heavy focus on the best outcomes for the employees, with high positive results financially and clinically for the employers.

A lot of what we do is place business with independent TPA’s as opposed to the carrier. Additionally, we run data and in-depth analytics through Navigator MD - a platform that we feel provides the most detailed insight. Employers never truly understand their data, so when we can come to them and drill down in their data and find issues, we can start to shape and mold a plan design to specifically cater to their needs and drive down cost.

Secondly, we place a lot of emphases on drug carve outs. The Pharmacy Benefit Management industry is a smoke and mirrors industry, and it took us a while until we found a vendor for our drug carve out program. Our program is 100% transparent & fiduciary, our vendor cannot make money on spread pricing, rebates, etc. It is strictly a per script cost to process a claim. Right now, our program is saving an average of $8 - $15 per script.

Additionally, we interject additional tools in our Transparent Health™ plan to help employees become educated consumers, whether it be through programs like Blue Book or Compass. We are just scratching the surface with healthcare consumerism, but we feel that it is very important for an employee to be engaged in shopping for their own healthcare. We also financially incentivize employees for making good decisions.

Lastly, there is the fiduciary management of claims auditing/review where you have an actual hospital and physician billing statements scrutinized for accuracy of billing - you typically only see this with an independent administrator.

USDMT: How does your platform fit into the medical travel space?

TM: Tibi Zohar, founder and CEO, DoctorGlobe, once said to me: "When you grow up inside of a box, you don’t realize that there is a box."

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.

Accessing affordable, high-quality healthcare outside of our network - nationwide or worldwide - puts an entirely different spin on how we utilize the system. Even today when I talk to employers about consumerism, they can go to a carrier’s website and find providers within a 25 mile radius. We’ve just now broken down these boundaries and found where employees have free choices -- domestic and worldwide.

Medical travel is very exciting and it is something that the industry has been lacking.

We have an exciting, new opportunity in the medical travel space with DoctorGlobe - an interactive online platform dedicated to self-funded employers and their health-plan participants that inspires employees to select quality providers who offer high-quality, affordable care.

USDMT: How can the BDS employer clients utilize DoctorGlobe?

TM: The process will begin with BDS having a concept conversation with the employer to discuss what we are attempting to do with DoctorGlobe and why the platform should be implemented into the designed program.

At first, I think it’s going to take a lot of education to get the first 15 percent of employers to jump on board, but once they do, others will begin to follow suit.

The employees will need to be involved and educated about the value of the DoctorGlobe platform and need to understand what they stand to gain by utilizing this service.

USDMT: What do you anticipate the adoption rate of DoctorGlobe will be?

TM: In the first year, I will guess that around 10 to 15 percent of our employers will utilize the platform, and from there that percentage will continue to grow.

I think one of the challenges that we will run into during the first year of implementation will be that many employers are not open to new ideas.

USDMT: What procedures do you forecast will be the most popular?

TM: I think anything from knee and hip replacements to spinal-related procedures - the big surgeries - will most likely be the most popular procedures.

I’d like to see more options for common services like MRI’s, PET scans, CAT scans, etc. with DoctorGlobe. For example, as an employee, if I have something happen to me - maybe I tear my rotator cuff or I blow my knee out - and I haven’t heard about DoctorGlobe in a year, my mind isn’t going to go to that platform right away. I believe that the more we can keep this platform front and center, the better the results and the higher the utilization will be.

USDMT: How far do you think patients will be willing to travel?

TM: I think the typical employee will look for something closer to home.

That being said, if the incentive is only $1,500 to be closer to home versus $4-5,000 to travel across the country, I think that will create a better chance for somebody to travel.

USDMT: Will bundled pricing play into this model?

TM: There are multiple things at play here, and so we are actually working on this concept as we speak.

There are the costs of the actual procedure itself, which include the facility, the physician and everything else that is involved. Then, you have the associated travel costs, as well as the cost of the incentive for the employee.

The cost of the incentive program will be sent directly to the employer, who will cut a check just like taxable income to that individual - it has to be taxable, they cannot receive it tax free.

In a lot of situations, travel cost is not allowed to be included as part of a claim. Even though we can save tens of thousands of dollars, and the stop loss carriers understand what we are doing, I need to figure out a way to include the cost of the procedure and the cost of the travel and count it towards the claims or the attachment point for the group.

USDMT: Do you think a medical travel benefit is appealing for pediatric cases?

TM: I am not sure that medical travel will be considered regularly for cases that involve pediatrics.

Based on past conversations that I’ve had with employees about specialized pediatric care, most individuals are so engrained with their local pediatric providers due to an ailment or genetic disorder discovered at birth.

Care often starts with the physicians at the delivering hospital, then the local pediatricians and multiple specialists within the area. I don’t think many people would feel comfortable taking their child somewhere else, unless they feel that the care they are receiving locally is insufficient.

USDMT: What are your thoughts on international medical travel?

TM: I think international medical travel provides a great opportunity for high-quality, affordable care - but, different people will have different drivers.

Someone may be struggling with a disorder that they’ve carried all of their life, or for numerous years, and now they may have the ability to look outside the U.S. healthcare system for specialized care that produces superior results.

USDMT: What do the employers gain by participating in a medical travel offering?

TM: Well, ultimately claims drive cost. When you talk to a self-funded employer, around 70 percent of the cost that they pay in a year is in claims dollars.

When you start talking about the multiple surgeries that employees can have - in an employer with 1,000 or more employee lives - employers have the ability to save tens of thousands of dollars on each of those procedures.

Not only do the employers stand to gain numerous savings by implementing this type of benefit, but they are also providing positive outcomes for their employees.

USDMT: Do you see a medical travel benefit working for small and mid-size employers?

TM: Yes, because of the technology and delivery model, I do see this working for the small to mid-size employers.

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."

With exorbitant co-pays and cost sharing expenses for lifesaving or pain relieving procedures, and no coverage at all for many dental, weight reduction, fertility, or cosmetic treatments, it’s no wonder that the biggest cause of bankruptcy in our country is medical expenses.

But American consumers do have more affordable options available to them, if they’re willing to shop around for medical care - even across borders, said Josef Woodman, author of Patients Beyond Borders, a comprehensive guide to world-class medical tourism. In 2015, more than one million U.S. citizens packed their bags and headed overseas to countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, Turkey, and Hungary to realize a 25 to 90 percent cost savings on a myriad of treatments and procedures, including dentistry, cosmetic surgery, heart and orthopedic operations, weight reduction, and fertility treatments, to name just a few. And this number is only expected to grow, said Woodman.

Medical tourism - also called medical travel - is a trend that is growing at the rate of 25 percent yearly, and is particularly popular among younger people. "Millennials are sick and tired of being jacked around by the American health industry and they’re embracing a cost effective and often better level of care abroad," Woodman claimed.

If you’re of the mind that no cost savings is worth questionable medical practices and unsanitary conditions in another country, you’re likely to be surprised. Many countries have invested billions of dollars into their healthcare systems, resulting in numerous world-class medical facilities with modern technology and treatment that meets or even exceeds U.S. healthcare standards. In fact, there are at least 50 countries with a combined 600+ hospitals and ambulatory clinics that are accredited by one of several renowned international accreditation agencies, including the U.S. based Joint Commission International (JCI). Many of these medical institutions are affiliated with U.S. hospitals, such as Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, and Harvard. And many of the physicians and dentists working abroad received their training in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, and Germany.

Other advantages of traveling abroad for your medical care? According to Patients Beyond Borders, many countries offer specialty treatments that may not be approved in the United States, shorter waiting periods for some surgeries, lower wound infection and complication rates, and less pressure for early discharge from the hospital. It’s not uncommon to see countries that cater to American medical travelers, offering English speaking staff or at the very least, translators, and package deals with everything from a pick up at the airport pre-surgery to an extended recovery period in a resort or surgical retreat, where postoperative follow-up professionals like physical therapists come to you to give treatment. As for sightseeing, Woodman suggested that except for the most minor of procedures, medical travel should be thought of as more of a business trip than a vacation, due to postoperative or post treatment discomfort and limitations as well as fatigue. Still, it’s likely that you’ll take in some great views and enjoy the cultural differences and hospitality in a new country.

If you’re interested in joining the ranks of medical travelers abroad, you need to do your homework first, said Woodman, from exploring which country is best suited for your medical needs, to selecting a doctor, clinic or hospital, comparing costs, and planning who - and what - to take along. And while you don’t have to be a computer whiz, most of your research and inquiries are best done online. Here are some tips from Woodman:

  • Plan carefully. It takes time to research your options, even if you’re using a medical travel planner (WorldMedAssist.com and MedicalTourism.com are two such agencies). Even if much of the planning is done for you, you still should spend plenty of time checking out the credentials of your doctor, the hospital, and the travel planning agency itself.
  • Consider your savings. Carefully consider the amount of money you’ll save, taking into mind airfare and accommodations while gone. In general, if you’re not saving at least $6,000 on your medical journey, it may not be worth traveling abroad for care.
  • Let your home doc know that you are traveling out of the country for medical care, so you can get proper follow up care once you’ve returned home. You’ll also need records of your diagnosis and the suggested treatment plan.
  • Choose a reliable companion. If at all possible, take a companion - someone you trust and whose company you enjoy - along with you for help and support before, during and after your treatment or surgery.
  • Be prepared. Ask the travel planner, hospital, and physician what medical records or tests you need to bring with you to make things go as smoothly as possible. When you are ready to go home, you’ll need records of your treatment and recommended post treatment care.
  • Be realistic. Allow plenty of time abroad for basic recuperation, and don’t expect to do a lot of sightseeing.
  • Learn about your host country. Do your homework regarding currency, weather, transportation, food, and water, so there are no surprises to deal with when you’re under the weather.


While there are many countries offering top quality medical care at deeply discounted prices, some of the most popular destinations, according to the book, Patients Without Borders, are:

Antigua - Home of Crossroads Centre, a 12-step addiction and recovery program founded by Eric Clapton, at a 40 percent savings.

Barbados - Barbados Fertility Centre offers IVF and a host of fertility treatments at a 40-60 percent savings.

Brazil - Beauty conscious Brazil specializes in cosmetic surgery, with discounts of 20-30 percent.

Hungary - Medical travelers from all over the world flock to Hungary for cost savings of 40-75 percent on dental work. In Gyor, located in the northwest part of the country, there are more than 150 dental clinics.

India - Specializes in orthopedic and heart procedures with savings of 60-90 percent. Harvard-affiliated Wockhardt Hospital has performed more than 20,000 heart procedures, with a 98 percent success rate, far surpassing U.S. standards.

Israel - Is a well-known center for inexpensive fertility treatment, with 30-50 percent savings on in vitro fertilization.

Mexico - Boasts four first-rate American accredited hospitals offering bariatrics and weight management programs at a 40-60 percent savings. It’s also a leading country for dental work.

Singapore - Ranks 6th in healthcare worldwide (compared to the U.S. 36th ranking) and specializes in many areas, especially cancer diagnostics and treatments at Johns Hopkins International Medical Centre; 30-40 percent savings on medical services here.

Thailand - Boasts world-renowned Bumrungrad International, Asia’s first American accredited facility, and although notorious for many specialties, is known for meticulous cosmetic surgery. You’ll find an average of 40-75 percent savings in this country.

Turkey - A coveted tourist destination, Turkey has more American accredited hospitals than any other country, and is popular for vision services, especially LASIK, at a 40-50 percent savings.


Put off by the possibility of language and cultural barriers related to traveling abroad for medical care? You may still be able to shop around within the United States for the best medical care at the best price. While many insurance companies limit their coverage to "in network" facilities within your state of residence, increasingly, some health plans, such as United Healthcare, are offering domestic medical travel plans, allowing you to explore your options.

And, said Laura Carabello, executive editor and publisher of Medical Travel Today and U.S. Domestic Medical Travel, large self-insured companies like Walmart, Lowe's, and PepsiCo are introducing domestic medical travel options for employees for surgeries such as knee and hip replacements and bariatric procedures. "This is the fastest growing trend in medical travel today," she claimed.

How it works, Carabello explained, is that companies get a discounted rate from a group of hospitals that are considered "centers of excellence," - or American hospitals that score high for both reasonable cost and high quality care in areas such as transplants, surgeries and cancer. "The employer will then waive the employee copays for the treatment," she added, "and in many instances, will even provide travel and lodging costs for the employee and a companion. This gives you access to the best care for a reasonable - or even no - cost."

You can still choose to get your medical care close to home. But it may pay to check out an employer’s medical travel plan and be willing to go the distance - especially if it’s to a high quality medical facility at a huge cost savings.

To view the original article click here.

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. 

The House Republican Task Force today released an issue brief offering recommendations to reform health care. The recommendations include repealing the Affordable Care Act, improving access to lower cost coverage, protecting the most vulnerable individuals, promoting health care innovation, and modifying some aspects of Medicare. 

Brian Marcotte, President and CEO of NBGH, offered the following comments:

"We are grateful that the issue brief acknowledges the importance of employer-sponsored coverage to employees and their families. Employer coverage is a source of innovation in payment and delivery and is coverage that employees value highly and can count on. 

"While the Business Group supports many of the recommendations, including expanding the flexibility of Health Savings Accounts, eliminating the excise tax on employer plans, protecting wellness programs, and adopting comprehensive health care legal reforms, all of which help assure more affordable, quality health care, we are concerned that Congress take no action to adversely impact employers' ability to offer health benefits nor employees' ability to afford them. 

"Rather than taxing benefits, we encourage Congress to focus more on removing payment incentives for health care providers and suppliers that drive unnecessary health care spending. This includes moving faster toward paying for value in Medicare rather than volume, and ridding Medicare of financial incentives that encourage providers to use more expensive care in more expensive settings when lower cost alternatives of equal or better quality exist."

Steve Wojcik, vice president, public policy at NBGH, added: "The Business Group looks forward to working with members of Congress to safeguard this valuable source of coverage for working Americans and their families and to drive effective payment and delivery reforms." 

About the National Business Group on Health®
The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues and helping companies optimize business performance through health improvement, innovation and health care management. The Business Group leads initiatives to address the most relevant health care issues facing employers today and enables human resource and benefit leaders to learn, share and leverage best practices from the most progressive companies. Business Group members, which include 72 Fortune 100 companies, provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org

For more information contact:
Ed Emerman

To view the original release click here.

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.

The Costliest Babies Analysis, released Thursday by Castlight Health and based on claims data, has found wide, unexplainable differences among delivery costs.

Wide variances variances were identified not only from one city to another, but also from one organization to another in the same city.

In Los Angeles, depending on the hospital, the cost for a vaginal delivery can range from $4,223 to $27,326 for the same care.

Nationally, delivery costs range from about $6,000 to more than $40,000, based on negotiated rates for in-network providers. The average price for a routine delivery is $8,775, the research shows.

The price differential is so great that a cesarean delivery in Cleveland ($8,772) is less expensive than a routine vaginal delivery in 17 of the 30 costliest cities.

Prices are defined as the employee cost-sharing plus the amount paid by the employer, indicating that employers potentially have a huge opportunity to pressure hospitals and health systems on prices for such care.

"The price variances seen in both routine and cesarean deliveries reflect the larger systemic problems in our nation's healthcare system," said Kristin Torres Mowat, Castlight's senior vice president of plan development and data operations, in a press release.

Medical claims data were the primary source of data used for the analysis, augmented by other publicly available data, including actual provider rate sheets that list the negotiated price between a provider and an insurer.

Castlight used that information and proprietary algorithms to obtain the provider prices used in the analysis.

Regardless of delivery method, prenatal office visits, required ultrasounds, delivery, the hospital stay, and one visit after delivery were included in the cost totals. Not included were tests, elective ultrasounds, imaging, medicine, and anesthesia.

To view the original article click here.

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.

"Whether attending the upcoming 2016 Summer Games in Brazil, performing humanitarian service in a developing country, preparing for a semester abroad, or simply enjoying a tropical beach vacation, international travelers should consider the health risks of the destination they are visiting and the preventive measures available to avoid harmful illness and disease," said Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BCMinuteClinic's Chief Nurse Practitioner. "Our new suite of travel-related health services assists families and individual travelers as they make plans for overseas trips."

Patients can now see a MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant for a pre-travel risk assessment in advance of their trip and receive an individualized plan for prevention and treatment specific to the country they are visiting. Educational information is provided on health risks, disease outbreaks, recommended vaccines and preventive measures, including the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, MinuteClinic nurse practitioners can provide guidance on prescribed travel-specific medications, over-the-counter medications, first aid supplies, food and water guidance and even mosquito bite prevention, if applicable.

Patients can also choose to visit MinuteClinic for individual travel vaccinations and prescriptions for preventive medications. MinuteClinic's robust suite of travel health related services include: 

Typhoid Vaccination: About 22 million cases of typhoid worldwide are reported annually according to the CDC. Vaccinations, both oral and injected, now offered at MinuteClinic, reduce the risk of disease by 50 to 80 percent. Typhoid can cause lasting fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headaches and other symptoms and can lead to internal bleeding and death in rare instances. The vaccine is available to patients older than 24 months in most states. 

Malaria Prevention: Medications to prevent malaria infection, a potentially fatal disease transmitted by mosquito bites, are now available at MinuteClinic. Practitioners will prescribe the most effective medication based on an assessment of the overseas destination, season of travel, duration and the patient's access to medical care. Malaria occurs in many popular regions including Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the South Pacific.

Hepatitis A Vaccination: Travelers can reduce their risk of contracting hepatitis A, a liver disease spread by contaminated food and water, through a series of two vaccinations issued six months apart at all MinuteClinic locations. According to the CDC, Hepatitis A is among the most common vaccine-preventable infections acquired during travel. In the United States the most frequently identified risk factor for hepatitis A is international travel. 

Motion Sickness Prevention: Nurse practitioners can provide customized treatment plans for patients, ages six and up, reporting a prior history of motion sickness. Treatment options include over-the-counter medication recommendations and prescriptions when appropriate. Motion sickness is most common among children, women and seniors.

Travelers' Diarrhea Prevention and Treatment: MinuteClinic practitioners can provide medical advice on over-the-counter options to pack in the event of illness and can also provide treatment upon a patient's return.

MinuteClinic is open seven days a week and with no appointment necessary. A new digital tool accessible viawww.minuteclinic.com allows patients to view wait times at all MinuteClinic locations and hold a place in line from the convenience of their smartphone, computer or tablet.

Many travel-related services at MinuteClinic, including pre-travel risk assessments and typhoid vaccinations, cannot be billed to insurance. Other services such as hepatitis A vaccinations and travelers' diarrhea treatment, may be covered based on the individual patient's insurance plan.

About MinuteClinic
MinuteClinic is the retail medical clinic of CVS Health (NYSE:  CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with more than 1,100 locations in 33 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has provided care through more than 30 million patient visits, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive four consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.minuteclinic.com.

To view the original release click here.

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
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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
Email: mark.kendall@hubinternational.com

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
Email: CHATCH@ameriben.com
Website: https://www.ameriben.com/

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 

Fiercehealthcare.com-Recent 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

Fiercehealthcare.com-The 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

Fiercehealthcare.com-The 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.



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.

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

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