Posted: March 24, 2010
Health care really goes global with medical tourism
The surgery should be top-notch, whether in Denver or SingaporeBy Triche Guenin
MedVoy, a global medical tourism company based in Denver, is one of the first three companies in the world to be certified by the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) as a Medical Tourism Facilitator.
Medical Tourism is a growing industry which recognizes that manpower shortages, the need to leverage care, different health care delivery models, an expanding global market and utilization of new information technologies are enabling a shift of power to the consumer without the need of a medical professional playing middleman.
Essentially, this means that people from around the world can request medical procedures be done in foreign locations. Medical Tourism Facilitators are the intermediaries that can make it happen. They are the ones that coordinate the medical care of patients traveling from one country to another. They provide health care consumers with the information/services they need to access affordable, high quality health care procedures internationally.
The MTA is an international non-profit association made up of the top international hospitals, health care providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies and others with the common goal of promoting the highest level of quality health care to patients in a global environment. Their certification process is based on standards for best practices for medical procedures.
The goal is to encourage international "transparency" in the services offered to patients, regardless of where they are from or where the services are offered. For example, a US citizen can expect to receive the same quality of care with the same positive outcomes whether undergoing a procedure in Geneva or in Singapore.
Raj Joseph and Dr. Arlen Meyers co-founded MedVoy when they met at the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado, where Dr Meyers was an advisor to Raj. Raj wrote and presented a business plan for a medical tourism model, which the university recognized as the best international business plan.
His concept was born out of a personal experience involving an emergency evacuation, three countries, a nurse and a doctor, he and his parents, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. All this, and sadly, his father did not survive.
The whole experience caused him to reflect on how he could do something towards helping other patients/families so they would not have to endure the same hardships he'd gone through. After a thorough and careful study of the marketplace, MedVoy was established to help patients shop for affordable, high quality, accredited health care worldwide.
MedVoy connects patients with healthcare providers through a user-friendly online platform and assists patients in making arrangements with hospitals and care facilities. According to Dr. Meyers, "Health care, like everything else, has gone global. Medvoy helps patients find quality, affordable care throughout the US and the world from providers they can trust."
MedVoy is one of the first three organizations to receive MTA certification. This international recognition provided a construct from "which to put processes and procedures in place, but also an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment towards patient safety and positive outcomes" says Raj, CEO of MedVoy. According to him the benefits of the certification include:
• Reducing the potential for logistical errors and medical problems for patients
• Increasing the chances of long-term positive patient outcomes
• Ensuring that procedures are in place to specifically help patients with cultural, religious, or other requirements when traveling for medical care
• Providing patients with a specialized area of expertise.
MedVoy was founded on the principle of providing customers with a premier consumer driven health care experience by connecting them with a choice of domestic/international service providers (e.g. hospitals, doctors, dentists, and wellness practitioners).
Raj stated " All of our customers return from medical treatments abroad with surprise - a pleasant surprise - on the quality of the facilities and the professionalism of all the medical staffs that go beyond anyone's expectations."
As in any new industry, growth opportunities abound. Other medical tourism trends to watch for include:
• global healthcare information exchanges
• redefinition of professionalism and ethics
• healthcare insurance products designed to empower patients
• changes in the global healthcare workforce
• growth of programs offering MBA's in medical tourism
• electronic markets offering unused healthcare capacity
So, what kind of implications does that have for you and your organizations? Think more jobs in global health care, a changing model for physician-patient interaction and new challenges in the legal, socioeconomic, regulatory, reimbursement, and professionalism arenas.
To learn more about Medvoy, a Denver based Medical Tourism Facilitator company, visit https://www.medvoy.com or contact 1-800-661-2126.
Triche Guenin is President of Partners Through Change, Inc., a process improvement firm that helps organizations become more efficient/effective in their day-to-day operations. She can be reached at 303-777-9680 or www.partnersthroughchange.com.