Volume 2, Issue 4

Our hearts and prayers go out to the residents of France-our strong allies.

Dear Colleagues,

Editor's Note: While traveling in Africa earlier this month, I was plagued by a severe upper respiratory infection and in desperate need of foreign medical care. Not only did I receive high-quality, cost-effective care, but the entire visit - including wait time - was under an hour and a half. Read more about my very own medical travel experience in this issue!

In July 2015, Health Fidelity, a company that develops innovative technologies for the era of value-based care, entered into a partnership with Evolent Health, an organization that assists health systems and their physician partners transition seamlessly to value-based care.

Today, healthcare organizations manage risk in their Medicare and Affordable Care Act commercial plan initiatives using just 20 to 30 percent of available clinical data. With Health Fidelity's technology, they can leverage the entire medical record - 100 percent of available clinical data - to make decisions about managing and adjusting risk.

Health Fidelity is able to search for evidence of risk factors not only from the patient's primary care physician (PCP) or electronic health record (EHR), but also all information from a specialist to create a clearer, more specific picture of a patient's health history.

As long as Health Fidelity has access to a particular Medicare Advantage or commercial plan member, the company is able to receive information on ALL treating doctors, no matter the location.

Using Health Fidelity's solution, Evolent Health will be able to provide actionable risk adjustment data to provider-sponsored health plans, which will inevitably lead to better healthcare decision-making nationwide.

This week, Steve Whitehurst, CEO, Health Fidelity, discusses the ultimate goal of its recent partnership with Evolent, which is, of course, to improve results, drive efficiency and achieve transformation in today's value-based environment.

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& Publisher, Medical Travel Today & U.S. Domestic Medical Travel.

READERS: I invite you to send quotes relevant to domestic medical travel to to be featured in upcoming issues of U.S. Domestic Medical Travel.

Thank you for your interest in this exciting, growing market space. Please be in touch with your comments and editorial contributions, which can be sent directly to:

Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher


SPOTLIGHT: Steve Whitehurst, CEO, Health Fidelity

210 S. B St.
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 727-3300

About Steve Whitehurst, CEO
Steve has over 20 years of leadership experience in the healthcare technology space, with a strong background in leading companies through new market expansion and growth. He joined Health Fidelity after previously serving as the senior vice president and general manager of Stericycle, where he successfully scaled the company for an emerging market, improving top-line and profitability through organic and acquisition growth. Steve joined Stericycle via the acquisition of BerylHealth, where he built a strong commercial and operational scale to achieve a strategic exit after doubling valuation in just two years. Prior to Beryl, Steve served as executive vice president and executive managing director of H5 Inc., the leading technology-assisted information retrieval and data analytics service provider in the legal sector. At H5, Steve worked with the venture capital-backed board to accelerate the commercialization and position the company for rapid growth.

Steve also served as senior vice president and general manager at McKesson Corporation, a Fortune 20 company and leading healthcare technology innovator, where he led several key developments, new market expansion and revenue growth initiatives in the laboratory, life sciences and automation space. 

About Health Fidelity
San Mateo, California-based Health Fidelity delivers innovative solutions for the value-based healthcare era. Using groundbreaking NLP and analytics technology, Health Fidelity's risk adjustment solution is changing the way risk is identified, quantified and managed for organizations that participate in Medicare Advantage, Health Insurance Exchange and Medicare ACO programs. To learn more, please visit


U.S. Domestic Medical Travel (USDMT): Tell our readers about Health Fidelity's recent partnership with Evolent Health.

Steve Whitehurst (SW): Health Fidelity is a relatively new company, and in the past few months we have implemented an aggressive marketing approach, including direct sales and targeted public relations campaigns.

We couldn't be happier to enter into a strategic partnership with Evolent because this opportunity provides Health Fidelity with phenomenal market reach that would normally take us over a year to capture. In turn, Health Fidelity provides Evolent with additional data to support its growing efforts among provider-sponsored health plans.

We formed this relationship in the first quarter of 2015 and have since worked closely with Evolent to implement our application into their Infinity platform. In addition to pointing out gaps in care, the utilization of our tools and NLP system helps Evolent pull back additional data - not just the 20 percent on the clinical record or EHR - but a large subset of data that can provide a better picture of members and patients.

USDMT: What data can Health Fidelity provide about the patient that Evolent cannot receive from an EHR or other source?

SW: Our technology is built around algorithms that search for evidence of risk factors in clinical and administrative data. We can pull evidence of risk factors and our solution can look at, for example, a source of data that lists a medication that a patient is currently taking, but no explanation as to why the patient is prescribed that medication. Health Fidelity can bridge that gap by pulling not only data from the PCP, but also all information from a specialist to create a clearer, more specific picture of a patient's health record to surface risk factors that impact care and reimbursement.

Now, providers and health plans have access to only about 20 percent of a patient's data, resulting in a lower yield of risk factors. Using our solution, providers and health plans have an opportunity provide better, comprehensive health management both from a care and reimbursement perspective.

USDMT: Does Health Fidelity pull data from multiple physicians treating one patient?

SW: Yes, we can extract data from a PCP's EHR for a patient, as well as specialty data such as cardiology or oncology, etc. This component of our technology has made a huge impact on our ability to find additional patient evidence quickly.

USDMT: Can your system access the information of patients who travel domestically for care?

SW: As long as the patient is a Medicare Advantage beneficiary or a member of a health plan under the ACA - we can get access to that data and pull that data down.

USDMT: Is Health Fidelity strictly geared toward the Medicare Advantage population?

SW: Medicare Advantage is where we started in our evolution, and then we quickly expanded into the ACA commercial plan space since both initiatives can leverage our risk adjustment infrastructure.

The technology that we have designed thus far is built around risk factor detection algorithms, which is the same arrangement on the exchange side.

Moving forward, the ACA business will continue to grow, but if you look at the risk corridors, the opportunity for lift and upside is still limited. But, we have found through our market research that this is still a market that we need to be in.

Additionally, a number of our clients that are utilizing us for Medicare Advantage are saying, "Hey, we also have an exchange population, so we need you for that, too!"

In the future, we will also work with Next Generation Accountable Care Organizations (ACO's).

USDMT: Will having the tools that you are bringing to the ACO market enable them to take risk more judiciously?

SW: Absolutely. In fact, one of our platforms is centered on risk analytics, and so we can do the assessment work up front.

We can pull as much data as possible, enabling us to predict how much risk an institution or entity should take within the Medicare Advantage, ACA or ACO markets.

Right now, our technology has been able to show a 30 percent increase in risk factor detection, which positively impacts a health plan's risk-adjusted revenue.

And, it is important to mention that Evolent, which has a huge managed services component, can take the information that we produce and help an organization drive compliance.

USDMT: Is your contract with Evolent exclusive, or are you serving other ACO's and provider-sponsored organizations directly?

SW: At this point, our contract with Evolent is not exclusive.

Currently, our two main channels consist of the integrated delivery financial and clinical systems - which provide access to a tremendous amount of data quickly because it is all under one roof - and the regional health plans.

In the future, we will continue to look for opportunities that will help to grow our base quickly.

Out of Africa:  "Accidental Medical Traveler" on Safari
by Laura Carabello, executive editor & publisher, Medical Travel Today and U.S. Domestic Medical Travel

When a treasured friend invites you to his safari wedding at the Singita Saskwa Resort in Tanzania, Africa, is there any rational RSVP other than "I’m in!?"

The adventure began with an over-the-top experience spanning game and balloon rides on the Serengeti, fabulous meals and an African-style wedding replete with an interesting question to both bride and groom:  Do you wish to commit to a monogamous or polygamous relationship?

On the final day of the festivities, however, I had a scratchy throat and runny nose, but assumed it was just allergies. We headed for the airport to make our way to Cape Town, the final leg of our African trip - a journey involving flights through Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, and Johannesburg.  My condition worsened to a full-blown upper respiratory infection, and by the time we landed in Cape Town, I was barely breathing.

It’s pretty scary being out of the U.S. and without easy access to medical care, but that’s the plight of the "accidental medical traveler."  Thankfully, a call to our physician friend in Johannesburg pointed us to the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital - a private hospital.*

"Go right from the airport to the Casualty Department and they will take good care of you," he suggested.  "It’s not too far from your hotel (The Table Bay Hotel).

I thought to myself, "If this is anything like an ER in the U.S., I am in for a nightmare."

To my surprise and delight, however, this proved to be one of the best healthcare experiences on record. After a quick check-in at 11 pm where we agreed to a $76.00 doctor fee and a modest hospital charge of $175.00 - the RAND is very devalued these days - I was whisked into a private room where a technician took my vital signs and medical history.  All in English.  All high-tech equipment.

Within minutes, they escorted me to the "ER" where I was one of three (yes, 3) patients.  More history taking and vitals, but within 15 minutes, the doctor appeared. A South African-trained physician, he quickly assessed my condition -- severe acute bronchitis -- and prescribed nebulizer therapy and meds. He even suggested some sightseeing opportunities.  Everyone spoke English.

The next day, I filled the prescriptions at the local pharmacy including the following:
Solphyllex cough syrup
(2) Two, 5-dose packages of Tavaloxx 750 mg (Levofloxin; Levaquin)
(3) Additional 5-dose packages - just in case I needed them for further travel.
Total Cost of Meds:  $96.00

The bottom-line expenses, coupled with rapid access to high quality care, resulted in a good outcome for me personally and high patient satisfaction.  The entire visit, including wait time, was 1.5 hours.

This is clearly a BARGAIN by U.S. standards and put me on the road to recovery.  Knowing where to go for care is the key, and it always helps to have a friend in the healthcare system - wherever you travel.

I also learned a good lesson:  always travel with medications that may be needed and get some good medical contacts in the destination where you are traveling.

*Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital 
181 Longmarket Street
Cape Town 8001
South Africa
+27 21-480-6111
+27 21-480-6111 

The Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and is part of the Netcare Group of private hospitals. The Netcare Group is one of the largest private healthcare foundations in South Africa, and is trying to promote health tourism to the region, building on the already established regular tourism industry. The hospital is a large facility, possessing 247 beds and 14 theatres, and performs a wide and varied range of procedures.1,2 The hospital was the first in South Africa to perform a heart transplant and is a major destination for health tourists from all over the world.8

In 2001, this hospital was the first facility in the world to transplant an artificial Berlin heart into a patient, keeping him alive until a donor could be found.1 Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is also a premier center for cardiac research, employing some of the foremost specialists in the world.1 It is a member of the International Heart and Lung Transplantation Society, which shares knowledge between some of the premier institutions in the world. The hospital also performs other types of transplant, having completed its 250th kidney transplant in 2005.8

The hospital does not appear to have its own website, instead taking up a section on the general Netcare site. Specific information is therefore a little lacking, but it does give a good general overview of the departments and facilities at the Hospital. There is not a lot of information for international patients, but South Africa is a very easy place to reach by regular flights and to find good quality hotels and guesthouses.9 In addition, some of the plastic surgeons based at the clinic have their own websites, which is full of useful links about plastic surgery as well as places to stay in and around Cape Town.2,4

Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital provides most of the procedures that would be expected in such a large facility serving a large city. These departments include; dentistry, dermatology, plastic surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, pediatrics and a whole host of other procedures. As would be expected from the name, the hospital is a Centre of Excellence for cardiology and heart surgery, being amongst the foremost establishments in the world. From checkups to full open heart surgery and transplants, CBMH provides a full and complete range of cardiac procedures.1

The facility possesses some ultra-modern equipment, including a skin laser, Fresenius dialysis machine and state of the art operating theatres and technology, for performing transplants.1,2,5 The hospital also possesses a Ablatherm® HIFU ultrasound machine for the treatment of prostate cancer.5 

There are a number of reviews and news items about Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Chelsy Davy, girlfriend of Prince Harry of the British Royal Family, had an emergency appendectomy there.3  The hospital also saved the life of the world’s most premature baby, gently nursing it back to full health against all the odds.6 One reviewer, suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, was delighted with the care and attention spent by all the staff at this hospital.7


SIIA Wrap-Up:  Standing-Room Only Crowd at Break-Out Session

It was not business as usual for the medical travel industry during the recent annual meeting of the Self Insurance Institute of America. 

At this well-attended event, and with four outstanding panelists, the presentations and discussions were lively and thought-provoking. Here's an overview:

Employer Direct Contracting: Game-Changing Medical Travel Trend

Panel Chairperson:  Laura Carabello, Founder and Principal, CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, and Editor and Publisher, Medical Travel Today and U.S. Domestic Medical Travel™

In this pressure-cooker healthcare environment, solutions that were once considered far-reaching are now meeting receptive audiences. Direct contracting, often characterized as "U.S. domestic travel," the practice of traveling out of one's hometown or home state to a care provider or COE located in another region or part of the country, represents this type of phenomenon.  Employers are opting for bundled, fixed price procedures, leveraging the fierce competition among hospitals, Centers of Excellence, and physician-owned clinics and surgi-centers.  While there are a few pioneers in the large business category that have tested the waters to execute direct contracting arrangements, the vast majority of large employers and virtually all of the mid-size and small employers are now contemplating these arrangements in 2015.

Here are the topics discussed - and welcome your feedback on these subjects:

  1. What is a bundle?  What is included
    Government bundles v. private sector bundles
  2. Is there a warranty or guarantee in the bundled contract? 90-day window
  3. Who negotiates the bundled rates?  Coalition?  Direct?  TPA?
  4. What about follow up care?  Same providers?
  5. Benchmarks for go-forward surgery?  Too early and can be treated otherwise?  A1C? Dental? Smoking cessation?
  6. We hear a lot about the importance of transparency in pricing...if the public markets are promoting this, why can't the private sector follow this path? It appears that separate "deals" preclude transparency,
  7. Can anyone divulge the "going rate" for knee surgery or hip replacement?
  8. Should volume present opportunities for better rates?  How about risk?
  9. How many surgeries do not get scheduled because of issues?
  10. Providers: What regional area? Within driving distance? Other parts of the US?  International?
  11. We hear a lot about orthopedic procedures - but what other surgeries or treatments are appropriate for direct contracting?  Bariatrics?  Oncology?
  12. What size employers can use this strategy?  Small - medium, 500+ employees?
  13. How can employers incent workforce to utilize the benefit?  Deductibles, co-pays, mandates?
  14. Will employers with HSA plans be able to incent since the individual must meet deductible before this kicks in...
  15. Can we redesign payments - not just focus on more bundles?

Please send your thoughts to

SIIA Conference: Is Direct Contracting Ready for Takeoff?
by Jeff Byers, generally speaking, are not a lively experience during educational sessions. It is with that mentality audience applause during a panel discussion on employer direct contracting warrants consideration. At the Self-Insurance Institute of America's 35th Annual National Educational Conference and Expo, Cheryl Demars, CEO of employer-owned and -directed healthcare purchasing cooperative The Alliance, shared her thoughts on health insurance cost transparency and direct contracting.

"In Wisconsin [The Alliance's homestate]...the state began to negotiate contracts with fully-insured plans and the cost shift in our market was seismic and sudden," she said. "So we formed a network to help employers deal with that...But that's part of the problem because it precludes transparency...If we had our way, we would say to physicians and hospitals ‘Charge everyone the same amount'...I recognize our organization would have to figure out a different way to exist but I think that's part of the problem: The inability to see price differences and to not be able to compare apples to apples."

To this, the audience openly began applauding.

Moderated by Laura Carabello, editor and publisher, Medical Travel Today and U.S. Domestic Medical Travel, the panel convened to discuss medical travel and direct contracting. "Healthcare usually follows other industries," noted Carabello. In a recent Healthcare Consumerism Outlook Magazine article, Carabello described the concept of direct contracting is "often characterized as ‘U.S. domestic travel,' the practice of traveling out of one's hometown or home state to a care provider or [center of excellence] located in another part of the country."

The concept allows opportunities for employers and insurers alike to contain costs. One such opportunity are bundled services for procedures such as knee, hip and cardiac bypass surgeries. Demars noted these services for The Alliance are "high costs, high stakes and schedulable and also ‘bundle-able.'"

Looking towards high tech imaging, oncology and colorectal cancer screening procedures, Demars noted, "We want to focus on things where there are quality gaps, where there are also questions about appropriateness of care and where there's cost variations...and schedulable. It has to be something where consumers have a choice." David LaMarche, MBA, administrative director of finance and contracting at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, added bariatric surgery procedures as well as diabetic service bundles may be areas that gain traction down the line.

Carabello stated large employers are seen as driving this market but panelists noted that small to mid-sized employers should not be discounted. Demars stated that out of the 240 employers that own and direct The Alliance, the average size of the employers is 200 employees. LaMarche said, "The doors are open [for us]. The challenge is how do you help a small employer find the infrastructure and plug in to be able to utilize the program. I think that's the next big step for us."

Ruth Coleman, CEO of Health Design Plus, noted for third party administrators for small employers that this is an unusual time in the industry and there will be opportunities if companies are willing to step outside their traditional roles to work locally with providers. Even though individuals are flying all over the world for care, "I think there's much better opportunity on the local and regional level. But it's going to take some folks that are creative" and figure out how to manage contracts and communication with employers, Coleman said.

Carabello noted one of the problems with the travel for treatment industry is coordination and consistency of care. Going off the prompt LaMarche noted communication is key and advocated a team to discuss a patient's care plan. The team would be able to ensure the medical records are disseminating properly and the provider is ready when the patient arrives.

Discussing bundles, LaMarche stated his company views a bundle as a three phase approach:

  • Preoperative evaluation component;
  • Surgical component with a postoperative follow-up period; and
  • Warranty.

"I don't think I have any contracts that are the same," LaMarche said. Trisha M. Frick-Hall, MS, RN, assistant director of managed care at the Contracting Office of Managed Care at Johns Hopkins Healthcare, echoed she doesn't have any duplicative contracts as well. LaMarche said while it can be burdensome, it's done to keep the doors wide open. "We're excited about the Medicare bundle. We'll see how that plays out."

"The bundles are baby steps," Frick-Hall responded when Carabello posed the final question "Can we redesign payment and not just focus on more bundles?" LaMarche said, "We are, with trepidation, racing towards global cap as fast as we can." Frick-Hall added, "We're starting slowly...and the bundles are one way we're learning how to get there."

To view the original article click here.

U.S. Outspends Other Nations on Healthcare, Has Worse Outcomes

Source: California Healthline / iHealthBeat, October 9, 2015 - Compared with 12 other developed nations, the U.S. spends the most on healthcare but has worse health outcomes, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report, HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report reports (Mozes, HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report, 10/8).

Report Details

For the report, the Commonwealth Fund used 2013 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to compare 13 high-income countries. The data compared healthcare spending, prices, supply and utilization, as well as health outcomes, among:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • U.S.

The report used data that predates the Affordable Care Act (Commonwealth Fund report, 10/9).

Report Findings

According to the report, the U.S. spent the most on healthcare, at $9,086 per person, while Switzerland spent the second-most, at $6,325 per person. The U.S. also spent the greatest share of its gross domestic product on healthcare, at 17.1 percent, while France spent the second-most, at 11.6 percent.

The U.S. had the lowest life expectancy, at 78.8 years, and the highest percentage of people 65 or older with two or more chronic conditions, at 68 percent (Sullivan, The Hill, 10/8).

Further, the U.S. fared poorly on infant mortality and obesity. U.S. adults used diagnostic services far more frequently than residents of any other country and were the second-largest consumers of prescription drugs.


Commonwealth Fund president David Blumenthal said in a statement, "Time and again, we see evidence that the amount of money we spend on healthcare in this country is not gaining us comparable health benefits. We have to look at the root causes of this disconnect and invest our healthcare dollars in ways that will allow us to live longer while enjoying better health and greater productivity" (HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report, 10/8).

To view the original article click here.

IMTJ Academic Conference: ‘Medical tourism: Time for a check-up?'

25-26 May 2016
Madrid, Spain

Call for papers

Much research on ‘medical tourism,' ‘international medical travel,' ‘cross-border healthcare' and ‘transnational patient mobility' to date has focused on the hopes, motivations and experiences of mobile patients as well as on the desires, plans and expectations of the national destinations that attract and host them. By contrast, scant scholarly work has examined the concrete effects of this growing phenomenon on the diverse range of places, peoples, health and social systems, and industries in the areas where these patients habitually reside and, for medical travel destinations, in the particular local areas where these patients' (physical, symbolic and economic) presence can most be felt.

As a result, while more and more governmental and private-sector bodies in destinations are investing in the development of medical tourism, scant evidence is available to support, refute or complicate:

  • Popularized notions about who is actually traveling for what kinds of medical attention and treatment
  • Claims that medical tourism can serve as an engine for economic development in destinations or hinder/harm mobile patients' home and host health systems
  • Arguments about who benefits and who does not from medical tourism and transnational patient mobility strategies that are shifting and evolving in line with emerging and changing market, social and political situations both within and beyond national borders.

This two-day conference therefore aims to bring together scholars from academic and research institutions from around the globe in order to critically examine and discuss existing and emerging national, sub-national, transnational and cross-sectoral strategies for the following:

  • Promoting and dissuading ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' in and between source and destination sites, in order to draw attention to the diversity of stakeholders, interests and scales involved;
  • Evaluating and managing the range of real and expected impacts of (diverse stakeholders' investments in) ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' in and between source and destination sites, in order to move beyond an unproductive circulation of often poorly grounded claims and counter-claims; and
  • Identifying and assessing the real-life needs, desires, expectations and practices of a broader range of foreign healthcare-users and -consumers, in order to recognize not only the great diversity of mobile patients (e.g., geographical origins, socio-economic and political status, etc.) but also other resident ‘foreigners' (e.g., expatriates, lifestyle migrants, foreign students, etc.) who make use of ‘medical tourism' resources.

We invite scholars to submit papers that critically engage with the above-mentioned issues. Papers focused on multi-scalar and cross-sectoral governance of ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' initiatives, partnerships and networks, as well as those examining how ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' fit within broader development objectives (e.g., transition towards the creative economy, biotech development, regional and city place-branding, etc.) are especially welcome.

The Academic Conference (25-26 May 2016) will overlap with the International Medical Travel Journal's (IMTJ) Medical Travel Summit (24-25 May 2016), which brings together governmental and industry representatives from around the world who are involved in the development of medical tourism. This will provide a unique opportunity for conference participants to attend parts of the IMTJ Summit and actively foster and engage in much-needed cross-sectoral knowledge exchange and dialogue.

To submit a paper proposal, please send an email with a 250-word abstract and a 100-word bio via before Dec. 11 2015. Scholars and researchers in any stage of their career (e.g., PhD students, etc.) are encouraged to share their studies. Successful applicants will be contacted by Jan. 8, 2016, and will be expected to register for the conference by Feb. 12, 2016, to secure their place in the May 2016 conference program. For further information about the call for papers, please contact a member of the Academic Advisory Board:

Conference Logistics

Conference registration and fees

Information about conference registration can be found at Academic rates are only available to attendees who are affiliated with an academic or research institution.

1-day access to the Academic Conference

EUR 200

2-day access to the Academic Conference

EUR 275

2-day access to the Academic Conference + 2-day access to the IMTJ Summit

EUR 400

Conference location

The Academic Conference and the IMTJ Summit will be held at Hotel Meliá Avenida América in Madrid, Spain. Information about the venue can be found at

Additional information

For further queries about conference logistics, please refer to or contact the Event Director, Sarah Ward,

Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA) Announces Keynote for 2016 Executive Forum

Sen. Tom Daschle headlines event with keynote session on "An Insider's View on President Obama's Public Policy and Its Implications for the Election of 2016"

The Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA), a leader in advocacy, education and networking for the self-funding industry, announces that its 2015 Executive Forum, February 9-11, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, will feature Sen. Tom Daschle as the opening keynote speaker of the event. Sen. Daschle will present "An Insider's View on President Obama's Public Policy and Its Implications for the Election of 2016" on Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 8:30-10:00 a.m.

On the Keynote Session...
It's safe to say that politics hasn't been "business as usual" lately. From unlikely Republican frontrunner candidates, to fluctuating poll numbers in the Democratic race, to instability in the market, global immigration issues, our decaying infrastructure, and the continued and evolving discussion around Obama Care (including the proposed Cadillac tax)-the factors impacting the year ahead are more varied and more significant as each week passes. As the architect of the Obama healthcare reform initiatives, Daschle will offer expert perspective on the implications of a range of possible future scenarios, revealing insight into what individuals, businesses and the healthcare industry can expect in 2016 and beyond. In the keynote session, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle will draw upon his more than 30-year career in political service to deliver his predictions of the who, the what and the why that will shape the political landscape over the next year.

"We are incredibly pleased to have Sen. Daschle with us this year," said HCAA CEO Carol Berry, CSFS. "He's a truly compelling speaker with a great amount of experience and knowledge to share. I'm certain that his political perspective and healthcare policy insights will keep our members and attendees on the edge of their seats."

In addition to the opening keynote from Sen. Daschle, the two-and-a-half-day event will feature educational sessions on a variety of pressing self-funding topics. All HCAA members, as well as non-member TPAs, are invited to attend this conference. Registration and more information is now available on the HCAA website.

About HCAA
The Health Care Administrators Association is the nation's most prominent nonprofit trade association that supports the education, networking, resource and advocacy needs of third-party administrators (TPAs), insurance carriers, managing general underwriters, audit firms, medical managers, technology organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, brokers/agents, human resource managers and healthcare consultants. For nearly 35 years, HCAA has taken a leadership role in legislative advocacy, working to increase its influence with policymakers and other stakeholders in order to transform the self-funding industry and expand its role within healthcare.

For more information, visit, or connect with us at @HCAAinfo, HCAA LinkedIn or HCAA YouTube.

Press contact
Dave Anderson
Anderson Interactive on behalf of HCAA

To view the original release click here.

Why Shopping for Healthcare Services May Not Be Worth It
Vox reporter says she would pass on using lower cost imaging center in future
by Ron Shinkman If consumers shop around for healthcare services to get the cheapest price, they may get a procedure at a lower cost but also lower quality.

To view the original article click here.

New Study Shows Wide Range of Prices for Healthcare Procedures
by Paula Wolfson is new proof that healthcare prices are all over the map. Castlight Health, a healthcare technology company, analyzed medical claims data and found widespread price gaps for eight common procedures, ranging from CT scans to simple blood work.

To view the original article click here.

Hospital Payments for Outpatient Services Rise Faster Compared to ASCs
by Ron Shinkman prices for procedures at hospital outpatient departments have increased in recent years at a much higher rate than ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), according to a study published in Health Affairs.

To view the original article click here.

Hospital Purchase of Medical Groups Cause Outpatient Prices to Rise
by Ron Shinkman have been aggressively purchasing medical groups in recent years, and when they do so, prices for patients have a tendency to rise, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital that was published in the most recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine

To view the original article click here.

Employers, Insurers Reward Consumers Who Shop for Lower Healthcare Prices
by Katherine Moody healthcare costs continue to rise, both insurers and employers are turning to initiatives that reward consumers for shopping for the best prices on healthcare procedures and services.

To view the original article click here.

10 Ways the U.S. Can Prevent Biological Threats, Infectious Diseases
Biodefense plan calls for vice president to head a coordination council to defend against attacks
by Ilene MacDonald new bipartisan report outlines the nation's vulnerabilities to growing biological threats and provides recommendations on how the United States can defend itself against biological weapons and infectious diseases.

To view the original article click here.

Leapfrog Group: Across-the-Board Safety Improvements Remain 'Elusive'
Nearly 1,500 hospitals earn A or B score, but more than 1,000 receive a C, D or F
by Julie Bird Hospitals are improving in eight key measurements of safety but declining in six others, according to hospital safety scores released today by The Leapfrog Group.

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About U.S. Domestic Medical Travel
U.S. Domestic Medical Travel, a sister publication to Medical Travel Today, is a newsletter published by CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, an international marketing and public relations agency based near New York City that specializes in healthcare and life sciences. In the new era of health reforms, U.S. Domestic Medical Travel discusses the growth of domestic medical travel and its importance to hospitals, employers, insurers, health plans, government, TPAs, brokers and other intermediaries.

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