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Medical Tourism Facilitators: the Good, the Bad, and the Unknown

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This recent webcast featured industry expert Jonathan Edelheit, CEO of the Medical Tourism Association, who presented "Medical Tourism Facilitators: the Good, the Bad, and the Unknown" an informative and provocative webcast that will provided current and potential medical tourism facilitators with the tools to:

Develop Markets
Build Trust and Credibility
Identify Reliable Providers
Understand Complex Arrangements and Medical Procedures
Make Life or Death Preparations and Decisions
Reduce the Chance of Error and Increase Positive Outcomes
Sustain Operations
Continue Education and Network
Serve as Responsible Industry Ambassadors

View the session Questions & Answers and download the whitepaper here:

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Medical Tourism Facilitators: the Good, the Bad, and the Unknown

  1. 1. Medical Tourism Facilitators Jonathan Edelheit CEO | Medical Tourism Association® |
  2. 2. • Develop markets. • Build trust and credibility. • Identify reliable providers. • Understand complex arrangements and medical procedures. • Make life-or-death preparations and decisions. • Reduce chance of error and increase positive outcomes. • Sustain operations. • Continue education and network. • Serve as responsible industry ambassadors. The Good, the Bad – the Unknown
  3. 3. What Is Medical Tourism? • Patients traveling. • Domestically. • Internationally. • For healthcare services. • Driving Factors -- affordability, accessibility, or availability.
  4. 4. People traveling from one country or city to another country or city for medical and/or wellness services. Medical Tourism/Wellness Tourism Defined
  5. 5. Who are the Customers? • Healthcare consumers. • Cash paying. • Government paid. • Insurance company. • Employer paid.
  6. 6. Cash Paying
  7. 7. Employers, Governments & Insurers
  8. 8. Patient Profile • Patients traveling. • Domestically. • Internationally. • For healthcare services. • Driving factors: affordability, accessibility, or availability.
  9. 9. Even super rich & famous travel overseas regardless of access to quality of care they have in their home country. Not always about Cost
  10. 10. Why Be A Facilitator? • 50,000-60 million medical tourists -- OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). • Medical tourism is a $100 billion industry and growing (Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 2009). • By 2017, at least $228 billion in medical care is predicted to leave the United States for foreign markets.
  11. 11. Medical Tourism as Revenue Source • 1 billion tourists travelled internationally in 2012. Source: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) • Medical tourists spend 5-10 times more than a traditional tourists. Countries around the world have reported these figures, which correspond to longer medical tourism stays at destinations as well as participation in varied recreational activities. • More than 80 percent of medical tourists who traveled overseas brought a companion (MTA Patient Survey, 2013). • 60 percent of medical tourists stay in their destination countries for more than 10 nights (MTA Patient Survey, 2013).
  12. 12. Big Spenders! • Medical tourists spend 5-10 times more than a traditional tourists (. • About 92 percent of total medical tourism spending per patient is less than $30,000 (MTA Patient Survey, 2013). • Medical tourists spend between $7,417-$15,833 per trip (MTA Patient Survey, 2013).
  13. 13. Value & Growth of Wellness Tourism? • $2 Trillion U.S. Dollars, conservative estimate, according to SRI -- independent, nonprofit research organization -- $1 trillion of which came from the United States in 2012. • 5 percent annual growth.
  14. 14. No Wonder! • Top priority of most governments – ministries of tourism, health and economic development. • Positively impacts local economy – creates jobs. • Medical tourism is global – both developed and developing countries have made medical tourism a national priority.
  15. 15. Why Has it Grown So Much?
  16. 16. Medical Tourism Stakeholders
  17. 17. What Services do they Seek?
  18. 18. What Services Do They Seek? Medical Treatments in Demand with Past Medical Tourists Source: 2013 Medical Tourism Survey Report by George Washington University School of Business in collaboration with MTA.
  19. 19. Dental Tourism • Large savings. • Fewer liability and quality issues. • Biggest area for future growth. • Easy to combine vacation + dental treatment. • Consumers in developed countries traveling to less-developed nations. • Example: Western Europe to Eastern Europe, North America to Latin America.
  20. 20. Medical Tourism Facilitators • Guide patients through the process of securing and achieving quality and affordable treatments and procedures at attractive destinations – both internationally and domestically.
  21. 21. Who Wants To Be A Medical Facilitator? • Few children dream about becoming medical tourism facilitators. • As they mature, the numbers grow. • By adulthood, so many are entering the field.
  22. 22. Medical Tourism Partners • Work directly with patients. • Work directly with doctors. • Work directly with tourism consultancies. • Work directly with aftercare providers.
  23. 23. Facilitators - All Shapes and Sizes• Medical facilitators belong to large multi-national corporations. • Medium-sized companies with fancy internet marketing strategies. • Small mom-and-pop businesses.
  24. 24. • Individual patients segmented by: • Medical procedure type. • Geographic location. • Demographics, such as age, race, religion, education, income level. • Psychographics, such as values, interests, attitudes, and lifestyle (holistic medicine, wellness tourism). Markets
  25. 25. Corporate market Individuals Relationship driven Service driven Small target market Larger target market Longer sales process Shorter sales process Buying decision based on reducing costs and increasing profitability Buying decision often “price” or “desire” driven Multiple decision makers One or two decision makers Meeting face to face with decision makers Communication by email and phone is enough Differences – Self Funded, Fully Insured, Cash Paying
  26. 26. • Percentage, fixed-fee, or for corporate PEPM • Referral fee -- most facilitators generate income by charging medical providers a referral fee for each client they send. This is usually a commission percentage based on the package price of the procedure, though it can also be a set-fee per patient, regardless of the cost of the procedure. • Commissions on lodging and tours. Revenue Models
  27. 27. Domestic Medical Tourism • Growing trend within medical tourism. • Healthcare consumers traveling regionally. • For example, 40 percent of U.S. employers will implement in future.
  28. 28. Europe – Huge Regional Medical Tourism Hub
  29. 29. Getting Started • Obtaining patient passports and visas. • Booking patient flight and lodging accommodations. • Securing patient transportation, recreational therapy and sightseeing tours.
  30. 30. Price of Success • Identify reliable healthcare providers. • Understand complex travel arrangements and medical procedures. • Breakdown language and cultural barriers. • Serve as liaison and mediator between patient and healthcare provider. • Make critical preparations related to life or death.
  31. 31. Marketing and Brochures? • Build beautiful websites and brochures and they will come? • Send emails to corporate buyers and they will wend patients? • Don’t travel to meet potential clients? • Long-term relationship – inviting person from across globe to take scary trip for healthcare? - “Healthcare Trust.” • My favorite - random messages to people that are canned. • “Relationship-driven business.”
  32. 32. Internet Marketing • SEO? Google “Panda” new algorithm. • Buying leads? • Advertising on Google?
  33. 33. Do You Know Your Stuff? • Privacy Laws - HIPAA, SOPA, etc. misspelled, not knowing what your doing. • Misrepresenting your compliance. • Do you really have a liability policy or patient waiver? Is it good? • Does your contract with your hospital protect you? • Are you “vetting” doctors or letting the hospital?
  34. 34. Industry Ambassadors • Medical tourism facilitators can make the difference in a patient’s decision to travel. • Medical tourism facilitators are the face of the industry – its promoters and ambassadors.
  35. 35. Sounds Easy? • Some patients have limited or are entirely without health insurance. • Some patients need immediate care. • Most patients are afraid.
  36. 36. Medical Tourism Safety? • Facilitator concerns. Quality. Liability.
  37. 37. Quality Accreditation • There are many organizations which grade hospitals based on a standard. These organizations then grant accreditation if these standards are met. Organizations include: • Joint Commission International (JCI) – some 170 outside the United States. • Other International Accreditations.
  38. 38. Healthcare Reform in the US – “Obamacare” • Healthcare reform doesn’t reduce costs. • Costs are rising significantly. • More treatment delays. • Evolving insurance coverage. • Confusing.
  39. 39. Employers & Insurance Companies
  40. 40. • Future of health insurance policies  global policies • Many of the policies being developed globally in developing countries offer “travel benefit.” • Different levels of policies and travel • Local. • Regional. • Global. • Local expatriate opportunity • Whether they are traveling patients or expatriates, they are all international patients and need special services. Global Health Insurance Policies Opportunities for International Patients
  41. 41. Centers of Excellence & Specialization •Hospitals marketing themselves as centers of excellence. •Without this - patients are making their own decisions – insurers have no power to steer hospitals not building brand for specialization. Global Health Insurance Challenges Building a Global Medical Network Contracting with Hospitals Easy? No!!!!
  42. 42. Legal Concerns for Medical Tourists – BEST PRACTICES • Medical complications. • Proper waivers. • Proper insurance. • Choosing quality hospital. • Choosing quality doctor. • Choosing right facilitator.
  43. 43. Weakest Links in Chain • Some medical tourism facilitators make promises they can’t keep. • Some medical tourism facilitators are biased toward certain healthcare providers. • Some medical tourism facilitators inflate prices. • No one benefits – not the industry, nor patients or well-intentioned medical facilitators. • Fraud - fake clinics, commission-focused vs. quality, stealing money from patients • Fake buyers • Don’t misrepresent your staff or # of patients
  44. 44. Why Do the Right Thing? • Markets are emerging at destinations all across the globe. • Competition for healthcare dollar is peaking. • Healthcare consumers can no longer be fooled.
  45. 45.  By 2030, almost half of all Americans will be age 50 or older (approximately 183 million).  More than six of every 10 “Baby Boomers” will suffer from multiple chronic conditions.  By 2030, 10 times more knee replacements will be performed.  Same rise in elderly population around the world. Silver Tsunami in Future
  46. 46. Ethnic Wellness/Medical Tourist • 54.1 percent of Hispanics and 56.8 percent of Asian-Americans living in the United States said they would consider traveling overseas for medical care. • This statistic may remain consistent with other ethnic groups, such as those from the Middle East and European-Americans. • No cultural or language barriers.
  47. 47. Tourism Has No Role? Skiing After Knee Replacement
  48. 48. 1. Set realistic goals. 2. Develop action plans and timelines to reach goals. 3. Measure results. Implementation guidelines
  49. 49. • For example: • Have a well-positioned website up by end of year. • Visit five hospitals in next three months. • Contract with 10 hospitals by 2014. • Service 100 customers by end of 2014. • Achieve sales of $200,000 by 2016. • Employ xxx number of people by 20016. A good idea is to list your goals by year. Also make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable. Set Realistic Goals
  50. 50. • Becoming a successful medical tourism facilitator does not happen over night. • The process may take months, and success is often dependent on external factors, such as the economy, competition, and the quality of your providers. Set Expectations
  51. 51. Consumer Experience • All about positive consumer experience. • Word-of-mouth industry. • Over-deliver/exceed expectations.
  52. 52. Action Plan • Develop business plan. • Identify target market. • Identify healthcare consumer market “needs.” • Choose destinations and partners. • Begin marketing.
  53. 53. Solutions Unanswered • 36 percent of all medical travelers are satisfied with their facilitators. • Medical knowledge, availability and attention to detail leave much to be desired (2013, MTA Medical Tourism Survey Report).
  54. 54. Industry Beacons • Enroll in continuing education. • Achieve certification status. • Attend conferences. • Network. • Set an example. • Learn from other facilitators and network.
  55. 55. International Healthcare Research Center • The International Healthcare Research Center (IHRC) promotes and provides transparency and improves global healthcare quality, population health management, expanded access to care, and the consumer healthcare experience. IHRC is a 501c (3) nonprofit research center, headquartered in the United States.
  56. 56. Platform to Gain Connections to Succeed in Medical & Wellness Tourism Industry 6th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress Las Vegas, Nov. 3-6, 2013
  57. 57. • Up to 2,000 attendees • 100 countries. • More than 100 expert speakers • Thousands of one-on-one networking meetings. • Executive Summits • Ministerial Summit. • Medical Director Summit Event Highlights
  58. 58. Benefits of Certification •Learn medical tourism best-practices. •Transparency. •Enjoy two (2) years Medical Tourism Association® membership. •Be featured in the most relevant directories, and •Continuous Education. How to Get Certified? 1.Attend 6th World Medical Tourism Congress™ and get certified! 2.Get comfortably certified online at your pace. Get certified today at: Certified Medical Tourism Specialist
  59. 59. Real Benefits of CMTS • Learn: Certification provides education about best-practices and allows you to achieve professional certification in the medical tourism industry. • Transparency: Through our examination, you are telling prospective customers that you have been reviewed by an outside third-party about your knowledge of best-practices. • Education: Through online continuing education, you will stay up to date on industry updates, concepts and trends which will help you continuously build your business and improve your business- practices. • Network and share: By being connected to the MTA network and certified as CMTS, you enjoy two years of membership which provides access to our member network, educational resources online, direct patient inquiries if you are a facilitator or travel agent, and visibility to assist in developing and delivering your brand in target markets.
  60. 60. Diploma
  61. 61. Business Card
  62. 62. LinkedIn Profile
  63. 63. • Increase networking opportunities. • Access patient leads. • List your contact information, corporate profile & logo on main B2B and B2C industry sites. • Enjoy 2-for-1 registration to World Medical Tourism Congress. • Recieve 20 percent discount on advertising in Medical Tourism Magazine™. • Access market research, trends & analyses. • Use Medical Tourism Association® logo on your website. • Get discounts at medical tourism conferences. • Enjoy educational webinars. Learn more at: Benefits of Medical Tourism Membership
  64. 64. $200.00 off Registration & Certification for the Conference. Us Discount Code: MTFDISCOUNT Expires 07/31/2013
  65. 65. Medical Tourism Facilitator •Learn how to develop your business and market. •Understanding best-practices. •Looking for the return-on-your investment. •Identifying current and emerging market trends in insurance, corporate benefits and cash-paying patient bases.
  66. 66. Membership Categories • Hospitals. • Specialty clinics • Facilitators. • Corporate members. • Travel/Hospitality companies. • Government/Healthcare clusters. • Industry Associations/Chambers. • Spa/Wellness. • MTA-certified members * Two years of membership for CMTS only.
  67. 67. Membership Benefits • Increase your networking opportunities. • Gain exclusive access to patient leads and listings on • List your contact information, corporate profile & logo on • Enjoy 2-for-1 registration to the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress, an annual MTA event. • Receive 20 percent discount on advertising in the Medical Tourism Magazine ™, the official publication of the Medical Tourism Association®. • Access market research, trends & analyses through our members-only platform. • Introduction to all members through a customized networking email. • Use the Medical Tourism Association® logo on your website. • Get discounts at medical tourism conferences throughout the world. • Enjoy educational webinars.
  68. 68. Thank you for your attention Direct questions: