Printable Version

© 2012 Medical Travel Today

Medical Travel Today is a publication of CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, a public relations firm based near New York City that specializes in healthcare and life sciences, with an international clientele. CPR, its Partners, and clients are at the nexus of where medical travel is today, and where it will be tomorrow.

Publisher, Laura Carabello

Table of Contents

From the Editor

From the Editor: This week in Medical Travel Today, Amanda Haar

News in Review

Stem Cell Tourism Hardly a Vacation

Middle East Inbound Medical Tourism Grows

Transparency Is the Cure for Medical Tourism in Indonesia

We Can't Stop Medical Tourism for Now in Nigeria



Joseph Barcie, Baptist Health South Florida, Part One


Camille Hoheb, Wellness Tourism Worldwide and Global Spa and Wellness, Part One

Industry News

Partnering is a Growing Trend in the Healthcare Industry: Survey Finds

Partnering Overseas: Opportunities and Cautions

Mercury Advisory Group Posts New Series on Smart Cities and Medical Tourism

National Center for Policy Analysis' John C. Goodman Publishes Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis

Upcoming Events

Medhealth & Wellness Exhibition and Conference

The 5th International Health Tourism Congress
Ankara, Turkey, November 18-21, 2012

The IHC FORUM: Your Guide on the Journey to HealthCare Consumerism

5th Annual Middle East Healthcare Expansion Summit

Privacy Policy
By subscribing to Medical Travel Today and using the website medicaltraveltoday.com, you agree to the collection and use of your personal information as described in this policy. If we make any significant changes to this policy, we will notify you by posting a notice of such changes.

We care deeply about protecting your privacy. Please send any questions you may have to our editor.


• We will never spam you or give your personal contact information to anyone without your express permission.
• You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.

How we treat your information

We will not spam our subscribers. You will receive Medical Travel Today only, and you can choose to unsubscribe at any time. Subscribers may opt in to receive occasional messages from our partners or sponsors

We will never disclose your personal information without your permission. We will never sell, rent or share your personal information with a 3rd party, especially your email addresses, without your express permission, unless:

• You specifically request us to do so (e.g. you are having technical difficulties).
• It is required by law.
• It is necessary to maintain our system.

We will protect your information from other users. We may sell, rent or share information about user habits in aggregate only.

To unsubscribe, click here.

Global Health Voyager

Volume 6, Issue 17

by Amanda Haar, Editor


While partnering is hardly a new trend in medical travel, it is one that's generating a lot of attention lately in the US.

Concerns about the Affordable Care Act are motivating providers, payers, suppliers and other healthcare organizations to actively consider and pursue partnerships to address the potential realities of healthcare reform (see lead story INDUSTRY NEWS). Thankfully, some of the leaders in international healthcare partnering are more than happy to share some of the lessons learned and wisdom gained by virtue of their experience (see story two under INDUSTRY NEWS). While hardly apples-to-apples, there are some basic ideas that any potential partner would be wise to consider. They just might find the perspective and solutions they need.

As always, we welcome your comments, story ideas and press releases.


Amanda Haar, Editor


Medical Travel Today
recently partnered with Well-Being Travel to host the first "Well-Being and Medical Travel Conference 2012." The event - which took place June 20-21 in Scottsdale, Ariz., and drew in 400+ attendees - educated travel sellers on how and why they should sell medical and wellness travel.

As a follow-up to the conference, we're conducting a survey in an effort to gather benchmarking information...and help everyone increase their success in this specialty niche (including medical practitioners and facilities, wellness therapists and retreats, travel suppliers and travel sellers...and ultimately the patient travelers).

Take our brief 10-question survey today and you could win a $250 American Express Gift Card!!!

Just click on this link: https://www.research.net/s/5L687QT

Log onto Facebook and join the Medical Travel Today Group. Look for recent news, trends, and post discussions in the board. If you would like to see something in Medical Travel Today let us know in the discussion board. If you have a question, post it there!

You can also follow Medical Travel Today on Twitter. For more information log onto www.medicaltraveltoday.com


Joseph Barcie, Baptist Health South Florida, Part One


Joseph Barcie, M.D., MBA,Assistant Vice President of Baptist Health International

Editor's Note: When I received a recent "status change" from Joseph Barcie via a social network, I was intrigued to learn what kind of opportunity could draw him away from the great success he had at International Hospital Corporation (IHC). I quickly learned that although he had moved on to Baptist Health South in Florida, he is still tackling the challenges of international healthcare.

Joseph was kind enough to grant me time to discuss the motivation for his move and expectations for the new opportunity.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): If I'm correct, you were with IHC for seven years. What about the opportunity at Baptist Health enticed you to make a change?

Joseph Barcie (JB): Actually I first began considering making a change for purely personal reasons. IHC is a great company, and it was a difficult decision to leave the company, my friends and Dallas. However, I recently became a new father and had a strong desire to be closer to family in Florida, and to be able to spend more time at home with my wife and new son.

Fortunately for me, about the same time I came to that realization, the opportunity at Baptist Health opened up. Baptist Health is the largest employer in south Florida and for the last 12 years has been named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE magazine. It was appealing to me not only because it put me closer to family, but also because it draws on all of my previous experience and requires that I apply my knowledge in a new direction.

At IHC I was helping hospitals provide excellent care to the local communities in Latin America, and the only medical travel portion of our patient base was mainly outbound patients coming from the US.

Here at Baptist Health we're providing excellent care to local US patients and also providing care to inbound patients. And the reality is those inbound patients have completely different reasons for traveling than those who leave the US.

The US medical travel patients that we treated at IHC were often people who were uninsured, underinsured or they were dealing with a long wait time to get a particular procedure or facing a very high deductible to get the desired care.

Here at Baptist Health it's quite different. Many of the people we deal with have excellent international private health insurance and others have the latitude to go any where in the world to get care. In both cases they choose Baptist Health South Florida. Last year we treated 12,000 patients from over 90 countries, some even as far as Lithuania and the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

MTT: That's a long way to travel. What's the draw?

JB: It's our commitment to service excellence and our centers of excellence - for example, oncology, orthopedics, cardiology, neurology are a huge draw. In the case of the patient from Lithuania it was the highly specialized cardiac care that brought them here.

We really provide great outcomes via the seven hospitals we operate with a total of 1,745 licensed beds, over 2,000 physicians, and about 15,000 very committed employees. Also, Baptist Health South Florida hospitals earned 30 "Best National/Best Regional Hospital" badges in the just-released U.S. News & World Report 2012-2013 Best Hospital Rankings. The honors include No. 1 - Best Regional Hospital in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area.

Getting down to the specifics of international patients, the international department is staffed year round, 24-hours a day with 70 staff members, including many professionals from different clinical areas such as nurses, physicians, chief medical officer, medical director, and many non-clinical professionals just to serve international patients.

Part Two of this interview will be featured in Issue 18.

About Joseph Barcie
Joseph Barcie, M.D., is the assistant vice president of Baptist Health International at Baptist Health South Florida, and is responsible for international insurance business development, marketing, public relations, advertising, as well as developing marketing strategies for international patients, physicians, providers and business alliances of Baptist Health International.

Prior to joining Baptist Health International Dr. Barcie was the corporate president of Centralized Services at International Healthcare Corporation in Dallas, the largest US-based private hospital system in Latin America. Before joining IHC, he held a variety of senior-level US hospital administrative positions at HCA, Tenet, and Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, was adjunct professor at Dartmouth School of Medicine, and began his career in healthcare as a medical researcher.

After graduating from Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Barcie received his medical degree from UACJ School of Medicine in Mexico and continued his training in Internal Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He earned an MBA in Healthcare Administration from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Healthcare Information and Management System Society, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, and the National Association for Healthcare Quality. He lives in Palmetto Bay with his wife Leslie and new son, Ethan.


Camille Hoheb, Wellness Tourism Worldwide and Global Spa and Wellness, Part One

Camille Hoheb, M.S., Healthcare Administration
Founder/CEO, Wellness Tourism Worldwide
Owner/Principal, Global Spa and Wellness


Medical Travel Today (MTT):Let's start with your background. Tell us how you became involved in wellness travel.

Camille Hoheb (CH): I initially earned my master's degree in Healthcare Administration, and focused on hospital management, specifically, marketing, business development and healthcare education, which also included managing a hospital-based wellness center.

After 10 years in the hospital industry, I transitioned to a more entrepreneurial role consulting with medspa organizations, essentially helping owners launch their retail medicine concept. My area of specialty was on investor relations and all of the start-up implementation from real estate leases, equipment procurement and product selection to recruitment and staffing.

In 2008 I started Global Spa and Wellness (GSW) as a consulting business, of which I am the owner and principal. I recognized back then that there was a great deal of synergy between the stress-reducing benefits of spas and the connection to health and well-being. Also, GSW has shined a spotlight on spas and the opportunity to contribute to workplace wellness programs and employee benefits for quite some time. It's interesting to see that many of the big players in the spa industry have just recently rebranded as wellness providers.

As medical travel grew, it became apparent that there was a wide gap between healthcare and wellness. There was, and still is in many ways, a grey area between the two. I founded Wellness Tourism Worldwide (WTW) to bridge the gap with the idea of improving well-being and economic growth through travel. We do a great deal of research, education and development for destinations. WTW's focus is broader than GSW in that we look beyond just spas to the entire scope of wellness and quality of life.

MTT:What kinds of things are you looking at with WTW?

CH: We have a number of initiatives currently launched. The most recent is a survey called "What Motivates YOU to Travel." Here we're gathering feedback from US travelers about what motivates them to travel, what benefits they derive from travel, what they do and don't consider aspects of wellness travel, and so forth.

The survey launched in late June, and we've been getting terrific response through direct contacts as well as a social media campaign. I have a Ph.D. healthcare researcher working with me so we can really dig into the data and feel comfortable with the conclusions we reach. I should also mention that we'll be sharing the key findings with all the participants and, as an additional incentive, there are travel prizes, so I'd like to invite your readers to please take the survey.

MTT: Are you looking at whether spa tourism is bigger than wellness tourism?

CH: Great question. Wellness is definitely greater. I sometimes hear at spa events that wellness and spas are equal or synonymous. While spas are rebranding themselves as wellness providers, the wellness sector is not, however, rebranding themselves as spas.

Part of the survey is to demonstrate to potential destinations and travel sellers that there are already existing product and services that can be leveraged right now to make wellness travel more relevant to their potential customers. What consumers think of in terms of the mind/body/spirit scope of wellness is much broader than many perceive. In many cases, you don't need to build or create anything new. You just need to make sure people know you have it, and consider linking it up or packaging it so that it creates the wellness appeal.

MTT:Can you give me an example?

CH: Sure. Take adventure tourism, which is essentially a fitness outdoor activity. Could be rafting, could be zip-lining, could be any number of things. Most destinations already offer something like that, but it's not packaged as part of wellness offering. But it should be. Adventure tourism involves challenging oneself, getting into peak performance, socializing, and gaining a sense of accomplishment andengagement - all things that fall on the spectrum of a wellness experience.

Agritourism is another great opportunity area. Identifying and knowing where food is coming from, combined with gastronomic appeal - eating well in high quality but not quantity food - certain falls into the wellness category.

Another interesting trend is "Deprivation Holidays." I'll grant you it's not a great term, but the idea is to go to a rustic hardcore landscape. This should be of special interest to property owners who previously couldn't utilize their landscape because it was barren or desert or even frozen. Now they can look at how to harness their natural assets to be of benefit to them economically.

Part Two of this interview will appear in Issue 18.

About Camille Hoheb

Camille Hoheb is founder and CEO of Wellness Tourism Worldwide (WTW), a US-based business with the mission to improvewell-being and economic growth through travel. WTW is dedicated to providing research, education, development and promotion of well-being travel products and services. Ms. Hoheb holds a dual role as the owner and principal of Global Spa and Wellness (GSW), a consultancy focusing on emerging shifts and convergences related to spa and wellness. Having performed strategic planning and directed both operations and marketing for the healthcare and wellness industries, her career has spanned and linked physicians, hospitals, medical spas and wellness destinations worldwide for nearly 20 years. Ms. Hoheb launched her career in hospital management and was responsible for business development, marketing, public relations, physician relations, community outreach and health promotion. She later held executive positions with several healthcare companies and succeeded in the rapid growth of hundreds of medical practice start-ups. Ms. Hoheb was charged with developing health tourism and increasing executive health business for a 5-star luxury hotel brand. As an avid industry contributor, Ms. Hoheb has held several advisory board positions with a number of health associations, speaks on wellness tourism all over the world and writes on behalf of a variety of consumer and trade publications.

Ms. Hoheb holds a master's degree in Healthcare Administration from California State University and a bachelor's degree in History from Hobart and William Smith College. She received certifications in Integrative Medicine, Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Health and Spirituality from the National Institute of Health.


Industry News

Partnering is a Growing Trend in the Healthcare Industry: Survey Finds

PRWeb - "Partnering" is a healthcare industry trend that appears to be gaining momentum, according to a recent survey of California-based healthcare executives, taken following the Supreme Court's decision to largely uphold the Affordable Care Act.

The survey, conducted in July by the Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization, an executive networking and peer-advisory group for healthcare leaders, posed questions to 249 respondents, consisting of CEOs, presidents, and division general managers, who represent a range of sectors within the healthcare industry - self-identified as healthcare providers (44 percent), life science (21 percent), service providers (16 percent), health information technology (10 percent), and payers/insurance-related companies (9 percent).

In the ABL survey, when asked if, "Due to Healthcare Reform, do you expect your organization will 'partner' with other organizations?," of the 249 respondents, 37 percent shared they "expect more partnerships," and another 35 percent indicated they were "already heading that way." Only 10 percent agreed with the statement that they percent were "well positioned, with no further need to partner," and 18 percent didn't know or had "other" responses.

"Beyond the industry's recent wave of headline-making, billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions, healthcare organizations of all types are forging relationships with other providers, payers and suppliers," noted Mimi Grant, president of ABL Organization. "We've been hearing dramatic evidence of this in our confidential Healthcare Round Tables for months now," she continued, "but when you see that 72 percent of our survey respondents are definitely of a 'partnering mindset,' that's indicative of an industry-wide trend."

Two groups that stood in contrast with each other on several survey questions were providers (such as, hospitals, medical groups, home health, and ancillary providers) and those from the life sciences industry (medical device and biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies). Comparing the providers with the life scientists: a total of 64 percent of the providers were bullish on partnerships, with 34 percent expecting more partnerships, and with 30 percent reporting that they were already on track to do more. Among the life scientists, a total of 78 percent were of a partnering mindset, with 23 percent expecting to do more partnerships, while 55 percent were already headed in that direction before healthcare reform.

The ABL survey was distributed in response to the Supreme Court's upholding most of the planks in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in an effort to learn the impact the ACA has already had - and is anticipated to have - on the healthcare industry. In addition to partnering, the survey addressed opportunities for growth, healthcare industry consolidation, greater transparency - particularly in pricing and outcomes, value-pricing, cost-cutting, and the ACA's impact on society in general. The entire survey and its results are available by contacting laura@abl.org; the first press release in this series is available here.


Industry News

Mercury Advisory Group Posts New Series on Smart Cities and Medical Tourism

Editor's Note: Mercury Advisory Group Team Leader Chad Reischl, MURP, LEED-AP, just published a new series on medical tourism and smart city development.

The five-part series examines how smart cities use modern technology and human capital to go beyond traditional development practices. This development approach is essential for places in search of new ways to solve economic, social and infrastructure problems. Smart Cities hold the promise of economically and environmentally sustainable development that improves the lives of the city's residents and, as such, are excellent places to develop and promote medical tourism.

To read this compelling series click here.

Industry News

National Center for Policy Analysis' John C. Goodman Publishes Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis

A book launch party will be held on Wednesday, August 22, 2012,6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., to honor the publication of Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis by acclaimed healthcare scholar John C. Goodman, Ph.D.

RSVP here

In Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, Goodman explains in clear and compelling language why the Affordable Care Act is bad policy and why it will accelerate the unsustainable trajectory of the American healthcare system. Goodman rejects the Obama Administration's vision and offers a no-nonsense approach to healthcare reform.

Priceless is more than a critique of current policy; it offers a real and achievable prescription for reform. Relying on a common-sense understanding of how markets work, Goodman offers an unconventional diagnosis and proposes dozens of bold reforms that would liberate patients and caregivers from the trap of a third-party payment system that stands in the way of affordable, high-quality healthcare. The book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of American healthcare.
To read a complete synopsis click here.

Copies of Priceless will be available for purchase at the event. It can also be purchased by clicking here.

Seeking International Patient Coordinators for Academic Study

Simon Fraser University in Canada is in the process of conducting research focused on medical tourism. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the study aims to understand more about the friends and family members who accompany medical tourists abroad, including the roles and responsibilities they take on.

We are currently looking to identify 'international patient coordinators' (sometimes also known as 'personal assistants' and 'medical concierges') to participate in interviews. By "international patient coordinator"we are referring to people who work at hospitals and book and coordinate care for medical tourists, often liaising with these patients prior to their arrival and assisting with their on-site requests. We would like to interview coordinators to learn more about their experiences with medical tourists' friends and family members.

Interviews will take approximately one hour and can be done over telephone or Skype. Interviews can only be conducted in English. Upon completion of the interview participants will receive CND $40. If you choose to be interviewed, you will be able to request a copy of the study findings at the end of the interview. Please note that this study has received the approval of the Simon Fraser University Office of Research Ethics.

If you are interested in participating in an interview, please email Victoria Casey (vcasey@sfu.ca) and she will send you an email with further details.

Upcoming Events


September 25 - 27, 2012
Oman International Exhibition Centre
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

An international event highlighting the ongoing development of the healthcare sector in Oman, this event targets all aspects of the health and wellness industry, opening doors for health products, services and facilities, and opportunities for new developments and trends, and trade and investment.

The 5th International Health Tourism Congress
Ankara, Turkey, November 18-21, 2012

Organized by the Turkey Health Tourism board, The Fifth Annual International Health Tourism Congress will be held November 18-21, 2012, in Ankara.

Participants are expected to include representatives of health organizations from Turkey and the world, government representatives, and bureaucrats from Turkey Health, Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The Congress is expected to serve as an effective background for showcasing Turkey's potential to create new business and investment opportunities with partners from neighboring nations, the Middle East, Central Asia, Balkans, Europe, North Africa and the United States.

To learn more or to register click here.

The IHC FORUM: Your Guide on the Journey to HealthCare Consumerism

Health and benefits spending is arguably the number one challenge employers face. Today's shifting landscape brings skyrocketing costs, strict coverage requirements and even stricter compliance standards. Healthcare consumerism is the clear answer, but the road to implementing these strategies can seem daunting. Get all the tools you need to skillfully navigate your healthcare consumerism journey at The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism's FORUM West 2012 conference on September 6-7 at Las Vegas' breath-taking Red Rock Resort Casino Spa.

As the only event 100 percent dedicated to innovative health and benefit management, the FORUM's 24 cutting-edge workshopsfive general sessions and world-class speakers bring real, actionable solutions to HR professionals, C-level executives, brokers and regional health plan providers.

Register today for your roadmap to success.

In just a day and a half, you'll get expert insights from the industry's foremost thought leaders and policy makers, and real-life examples from peers on how to:

  • Cut costs now
  • Prepare for the impact of the Affordable Care Act and the 2012 presidential election
  • Build the best possible plan for your company
  • Avoid common pitfalls of transitioning to healthcare consumerism
  • Turn disengaged employees into involved, well-educated healthcare consumers

5th Annual Middle East Healthcare Expansion Summit

October 10 & 11, 2012, Abu Dhabi

The Healthcare - IT industry has always been growing, and with the advent of mobile health, telecom leaders have also joined the league. In the Middle East, the healthcare segment is a primary focus area for the IT as well as telecom industry with opportunities in areas such as diagnostics applications, interactive mobile applications, self-care, hospital information systems and integration of IT platforms with mobile health apps.

The 5th Annual Middle East Healthcare Expansion Summit aims at addressing the challenges and opportunities of the healthcare information and communications technology (ICT) industry through a forum of healthcare providers, ICT industry leaders and government representatives who will brainstorm on how to meet challenges and adopt new and upcoming technologies to the healthcare sector in the Middle East.

To register or learn more click here.

Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making

Medical Travel Today - the authoritative newsletter for the worldwide medical travel industry - is pleased to announce publication of a new book, "Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making.

Featuring 40 of the newsletter's most compelling interviews from the first five years of publication, the volume chronicles the explosive growth of international medical tourism as witnessed and experienced by some of the key stakeholders and players. A must-read for anyone interested or involved in the industry.

News in Review

Stem Cell Tourism Hardly a Vacation
genengnews.com -Until the scientific evidence for both safety and efficacy is determined, these alternative treatments will be heavily scrutinized.

Tired of pain from a rotator cuff tear that knocked him out of baseball a year earlier, pitcher Bartolo Colón jumped at the chance in 2010 when the medical director of a Florida clinic invited him to undergo a procedure the clinic said involved adult stem cells in his native Dominican Republic. Doctors extracted bone marrow and fatty tissue from his hip, put it through a process the clinic said increased the concentration of his stem cells, then injected the mix into his aching right shoulder.

Middle East Inbound Medical Tourism Grows
turkishweekly.net - Medical tourism in the Middle East continues to grow over rising healthcare costs and increased waiting times, particularly in the US and Europe.

The Global Cooperation Council healthcare market is on track to grow 11.4 percent annually to $44bn until 2015, with specialized healthcare cities and other major hospital projects springing up in the region and paving the way for medical tourists.

Transparency Is the Cure for Medical Tourism in Indonesia
thejakartaglobe.com - Last week, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed his unhappiness that so many Indonesians decided to go abroad for medical treatments. Immediately, critics had a field day, pointing out that his wife had just recently returned from the United States after undergoing treatment for a nerve problem in her neck.

We Can't Stop Medical Tourism for Now in Nigeria
tribune.com.ng - The Federal Government through the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, and some other well-meaning Nigerians have decried the rate at which Nigerians seek medical treatment abroad. While some measures are being taken to stem the tide, Dr Ufuoma Okotete, managingdirector of Diamond Helix, a Lagos-based firm that helps Nigerians seeking overseas treatment to connect with good hospitals and doctors abroad, has said that, with the current state of the nation's health sector, it is practically impossible to stop Nigerians from traveling abroad for medical treatment.

Editor's Note: The information in Medical Travel Today is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. The newsletter's providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any of the information and shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused - directly or indirectly - by or from the information. All information should be considered a supplement to - and not a substitute for - the care provided by a licensed healthcare provider or other appropriate expert. The appearance of advertising in this newsletter should in no way be interpreted as a product or service endorsement by the newsletter's providers.