Dr Maria Todd is a leading global strategic analyst with her finger on the pulse of emerging trends in healthcare business development, management and health and wellness tourism in the USA and abroad. She leads Mercury Healthcare International’s team of analysts and plays an integral role in applying a forward-looking, strategic lens to Mercury’s business activities in the healthcare and health tourism sectors.

Few consultants in the healthcare sector have achieved such international prominence or contributed more to the industry. No other author in the medical tourism industry is as widely respected. With 18 best-selling books on healthcare management topics and practical guidance for health and wellness tourism your audience will be drawn to her presentations and "meet the author" book signing opportunities and an opportunities for her fans and social media blog followers to ask their questions and come away with answers from a respected expert they follow and whose advice they've learned to trust.

She is is well-known for prescient forecasts and explanations of trends, market transitions, best practices, strategy and and insightful analysis on a variety of niche areas within healthcare management and health tourism. Since 1983, clients – ranging from the highest levels of government to armchair strategists and industry specialists – have requested her guidance and gravitated to her websites, books, workshops, seminars, master classes and keynote speeches. The come seeking forward-looking, unbiased analysis that is difficult to locate.  

Dr. Todd's client list includes universities, government agencies, hospitals, medical groups, fellowship programs, pharmaceutical and medical technology manufacturers, investors, health plans and insurers, and self-insured employers and labor unions.  She is always willing to co-market your event as a media partner to her contacts, colleagues and more than 30,000 social media followers and via her medical tourism industry newsletters, posts and Facebook fan pages, Twitter and LinkedIn social media presence.

Maria Todd MHA PhD

Maria Todd is a great source of industry connections for your upcoming event

Speaking, Workshops, Master Classes, Seminars, Webinars, and Training:
Maria may be available to speak at your upcoming event. Please don't delay because her availability is limited and personal appearances are usually confirmed 6-18 months in advance.

Speaker Recommendations

If you are seeking to connect with other speakers, Maria can often recommend other recognized and vetted medical tourism experts she knows and trusts for your event.  All she needs from you are the details of what topics you want covered, the date and time you want them to present, the characteristics and background of your audience, the goals and objectives of your exhibitors and sponsors,  the duration and format of their presentations, and which other speakers have been confirmed or are pending confirmation.  The speakers recommended by Maria are all internationally renowned working professionals and university professors with decades of experience and established credentials in medical and wellness tourism. Like Maria, your event must be of the caliber that they would agree to forego income from their regular employment to attend or present at your event.  Please do not expect that they will be willing to travel to your event or speak without honorarium and all reasonable travel expenses paid. 

Medical tourism facilitator and referral partner vetting, endorsements and recommendations from 6 continents

Many medical tourism event organizers ask Maria to recommend facilitators she endorses for B2B networking with exhibitors and sponsors. This provides tremendous value to the exhibitors and sponsors.  As the author of the Medical Tourism Facilitator's Handbook, she coaches many facilitators privately and knows which ones are ready for B2B meetings and which ones simply have a website and an email address and little else. In the past 9 years, hospitals, clinics, and investors have become painfully aware that there are many imposters in the medical tourism industry who accept invitations as "hosted buyers" to attend fam tours, B2B meetings and congresses and events. Many of these individuals are plain and simply people who take advantage of others' generosity without giving anything of value in return. Maria maintains a list of vetted facilitators and medical tourism referral partners on five continents.  When you call, be prepared to give the details and your targeted patient source markets and she will make your event and hosted buyer offer known to these individuals through private contact. Maria will connect you to these competent, active, medical tourism professionals at no charge to you or to them for the introduction.

Meeting organizers can count on Maria to candidly vet a list of facilitators under consideration and verify and vet their activity, competency and market positioning in confidence.  Often the best and the busiest facilitators and referral agents have scheduling conflicts where they would love to attend but cannot because they have patients for whom they are responsible and counting on them. Another challenge is when your event dates conflict with or overlap other events on the opposite side of the world or would otherwise cause them to spend religious and other holidays away from family and friends. Most facilitators are small business concerns with only one or two people employed. They tend to accept no more than 4-5 event invitations in a year with ample advance notice.  

You should expect that the facilitators and referral agents Maria endorses will not violate covenants to attend at least 95% of all scheduled meetings and will decline "meeting and event pirate" invitations to lure them away from your organized activities planned for them. They have integrity and understand and appreciate all that you've planned to host them.  The best events offer an opportunity to inspect local health facilities, hotels, spas, and restaurants to create their destination packages. If you offer none of these opportunities, your event invitation may not be taken seriously and your invitation will most likely be graciously declined.

Connections to investors

Maria also maintains a list of healthcare, hotel and health and wellness tourism investors. They are interested in learning about new projects and opportunities. Some are software developers, some build hospitals, clinics, and dialysis centers or other treatment outlets. Maria's list has been developed from interviews and due diligence vetting and market insight opinions she is hired to consult to hedge funds, venture cap and private equity groups. For some events, these can be excellent B2B meeting candidates that your exhibitors and sponsors, government authorities and other participants may find valuable.  Contact Maria with the details and your targeted investor types and an idea of the value proposition they should expect and they may agree to attend.

Date Confirmations and Expenses:
Maria Todd works on confirmed bookings and requires a non-refundable 75% deposit to hold dates. She will tentatively hold dates pending receipt of your deposit and contract for five calendar days.

Your advance deposit includes an amount adequate to cover a portion of her speaker fee and to pay for air travel expenses, accommodation and incidentals. The balance is due 30 days prior to her departure to your event.  The best airline ticket prices are available with at least 57 days advance purchase prior to departure.  This policy is necessary after numerous instances of cancelled events and nonpayment by event organizers in Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, China and in the USA. 

Alternatively, in lieu of expense advance, you may decide to purchase flexible, fully changeable, business class airline tickets for her for any flight in excess of 3 hours. Many event organizers choose to do this when they can arrange for tickets via advertising barter credit through airlines and other sponsors for their event. The booking deposit is still due at 75% of the amount quoted for her speaker fee and the balance due 30 days prior to her departure.  

To save money - book Maria for more than one presentation because her speaker fees are calculated by the number of days away from her office and client work, not by the amount of time spent in the actual presentation or preparing slides and teaching materials.

Ideas for Workshop and Keynote Topics by Maria Todd

Contracting with Medical Tourism Referral Agencies

A Workshop for Providers and Facilitators

Maria Todd, author of the best selling book in the industry, the Medical Tourism Facilitator's Handbook offers practical strategies and tactics to collaborate with medical tourism referral partners in the USA and abroad.

Included in the course materials are sample contract templates, checklists, and model forms you can use to vet qualifications, evaluate their value proposition and risk or benefit to your professional or facility brand.

This course is appropriate for both providers and facilitators.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Understand the implications of the supplier-facilitator relationship
  2. Understand the contracting process from beginning-to-end
  3. Understand the terms and conditions that should be included in each contract
  4. Learn how to address specific issues related to liability for professional conduct, quality, safety, and handling of sensitive personal information of the patient.

 Who Should Attend

  • New and Experienced Medical Tourism Facilitators
  • Healthcare and Wellness Resort Marketing Executives
  • Travel Agents
  • Tour Operators
  • Destination Management Companies
  • Investors
  • Insurers and TPAs
  • Employee Benefits Administrators
  • Professional Clinical Case Managers
  • Government Regulators

CEU Credit: 14 hours

Package Pricing for Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism is sold in package arrangements, but many medical tourism suppliers could use a little help to improve their strategy on what to include, how to price their packages, and how to market them to their competitive advantage. In this one-day hands-on workshop for medical tourism suppliers (doctors, dentists, hospitals, health resorts, facilitators, tour operators and travel agents) you'll take home checklists, formulas, sample contracts, and more.  Maria Todd shares lessons learned and know how from more than 30 years in the medical tourism business.

Package Pricing for Medical Tourism goes beyond the medical episode of care bundling to include post-acute care, accommodation, rehabilitation, private duty nurse options, sightseeing, and more.

CEU Credits: 7 contact hours

Destination Development for Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism is about more than simply booking appointments with medical, dental, and rehabilitation or spa providers for surgery, rehab or consultation. Learn how to develop the destination to attract investment, industry and tourism to your location.

After you've attended this one-day, hands-on, interactive workshop, you will take back a blueprint to develop your medical tourism destination for a profitable future through economic growth, jobs creation, and brand awareness.

Maria Todd leads the workshop and provides interesting ideas and practical case studies of what went right, what went wrong, and how to focus on locational features for attracting business and revenues to your city, region, or country. Her class fills an important void in the education and panel discussions missing from the literature and at many international conferences. She shares practical guidance on how to advantageously position your medical tourism or wellness destination in an increasingly and demanding competitive marketplace. Every forward looking Mayor, Economic Development Manager, CVB, or Tourism Board Manager should attend this information-packed workshop.

CEU Credits: 7 hours

Next Event: October 17, 2016 - Denver Colorado

Contracting with International Insurers

Contracting with International Insurers is a two-day, focused, hands-on workshop for healthcare facilities, doctors, dentists and therapists

Many hospitals and clinics seek to attract international medical, dental, rehab and dialysis tourism patients. Unfortunately, they are often confused by claims from various sources advertising that it is easy to get contract with health insurers outside their market. The truth is, very few insurers cover "elective medical tourism" procedures, per se.

In this practical skills-building workshop,  Maria Todd covers the information you must know before you approach insurers and employers, including the types of group health purchasers you may encounter, what they want to buy, how they want to buy it, and what you must be able to provide as a compelling argument to do business with you.

Go deeper!  

Learn the things that all the panel presentations at international conferences don't have the time or presenter know-how to deliver.

  • Debunk the myths about expensive international hospital accreditation requirements
  • Learn how to contract for healthcare services in both fee-for-service and bundled package prices
  • Learn where to find more than 210,000 free leads to contact American businesses that sponsor their own health benefit program apart from the big insurance brands
  • Learn how to conduct introductory fam tours for group health purchasers
  • Learn how to analyze and negotiate insurance reimbursement contracts
  • Learn when and how to best negotiate "cashless" arrangements and guarantee letters, and with which companies
  • Learn the difference between pricing for group health versus pricing for individual consumers paying out-of-pocket
  • Learn how to attract and negotiate with travel accident and casualty insurers
  • Learn how to attract and negotiate with group health buyers for expatriates living within a reasonable travel distance from your clinic or hospital
  • Learn how to present the credentials and professional qualifications of  your physicians, hospitals, nurses, and therapists

CEU Credits: 14 hours

Contracting with American Insurers and Employers

Contracting with American Insurers and Employers is a focused, three-day, hands-on workshop that covers product and pricing strategies, and teaches participants how to analyze and negotiate complex American insurer contracts for healthcare services reimbursement.

This class is designed for international hospital and clinic managers, executives, and marketers outside the USA. Maria Todd takes class participants through an overview of 25 payer organization and insurer types, typical American health insurer reimbursement models, and purchasing objectives. As a former contract negotiator for a large HMO and several self-insured employer plans, she brings you the rare insights and highlights the concerns of payer and employers of American insurers and employers.

About the instructor:

Join Maria Todd as she brings you 21 hours of education teach you the things that panel presentations at medical tourism conferences and events cannot teach in ten-minute presenter slots.  She'll bring you tools, tips, checklists, and techniques to improve your contract negotiations and prepare you for success. Maria Todd is the only expert in the world with 30+ years of hands on payor contracting experience, hospital and clinic management experience, and medical tourism business development experiences. This training is not available anywhere else in the world.  The unique perspective she brings from this rare combination of hands-on professional work experience is sure to benefit your organization and give you a competitive edge and better, more profitable contracts.

  • Get into the minds of your buyers and create proposals that are relevant and compel them to want to do business with you.
  • Learn how to protect yourself from ambiguous contract terms that could end up costing you margin and risk of cost overruns and loss.
  • Learn what you must do to protect yourself from denied claims after you've already pre-authorized treatment.
  • Learn how to poke holes into illusory payment rates and set reasonable payment expectations
  • Learn what it will take to make assurances of compliance responsibility you've agreed to by contract
  • Learn which accreditation schemes are acceptable and how the group health purchasers really view and what value they place on international hospital accreditation
  • Learn about professional liability requirements, hospital-acquired and avoidable complications and "Never Events" for which you may be denied payments

CEU Credits: 21 hours

How to Buy Medical Tourism Services for Group Health

How to Buy Medical Tourism Services for Group Health is a one-day, information packed workshop for ERISA and Taft Hartley plan sponsors and plan administrators. This course is designed to take you through benefit design issues, vetting and provider /destination selection for both domestic and international health travel benefit design, operations, and provider network development.

empgdeMTEmployers can use health travel benefit options to create a narrow network program of 4-6 destination options for specific types of procedures. Maria Todd, author of The Employers' Guide of Medical Tourism Benefit Design applies her knowledge of ERISA and Taft-Hartley regulations, plan administrator concerns, bundled case rate strategies and disintermediated negotiation with healthcare suppliers to help participants understand the issues, risks, and benefit satisfaction concerns associated with the launch of a medical travel program.

She shares insights on actuarial and underwriting hurdles, population health and incidence frequency for cases that are best for medical tourism. She also discusses how medical travel can reduce or mitigate risks for Cadillac tax liability, and how to develop or incorporate a private exchange program that can include a medical travel benefit. She discusses how many of the services can be allowable under IRC-213D, and how to structure a health travel limited expense, reimbursement only HRA program or utilize the benefit with HRA and HSA or flex account programs.

She also explains how your lasered claims and conditions can benefit from a domestic or international medical travel option steered to Centers of Excellence and better outcomes.

CEU Credit: 7 contact hours

International Hospital Accreditation: See Past the Bias

In this one-day, critical analysis workshop, Maria Todd reviews the realities and misconceptions about the perceived and real value of international hospital accreditation as it relates to medical tourism and health travel.

Get the insight you need to put accreditation in context.
Before you invest about $250,000 on preparation, gap analyses, mock surveys, document creation, consultants, fees, and surveyor travel costs and fees, for 3 years, you should attend this informative program that will send you home with insights on which accreditation scheme will benefit you the most, how buyers really perceive the value of accreditation, and how group health insurers view the extra cost layer to have a licensed logo plastered on your marketing materials and break-even pricing formulas.

Who should attend:
Hospital and clinic managers, quality managers, international patient department managers, medical tourism facilitators, tour operators, travel agents and economic development officials at medical tourism destinations.

About the Instructor:
Maria Todd has been guiding hospitals, healthcare facilities, ambulatory surgery centers and long-term care facilities through the process of accreditation preparation, inspection surveys and remediation of deficiencies. She and her team have decades of experience in guiding organizations from 15 countries through accreditation and re-accreditation readiness. But she has also worked on the buyer side at insurance companies and with employers and unions who purchase group health solutions from accredited hospitals and health facilities, academic medical centers and same day surgery centers and office-based surgery providers for the last twenty years. Learn what value and significance they place on accreditation before you try to sell them on the fact that you have it or are planning to seek accreditation. The insights may surprise you!

CEU Credits: 7 hours

Kickstart Your International Patient Department

In Kickstart Your International Patient Department, veteran medical tourism expert, Maria Todd, shares more than 3 decades of practical experience from projects in the USA and abroad. She brings her experience from working as a hospital administrator and ambulatory surgery center CEO, and work as a medical tourism facilitator, surgical nurse and insurance provider contracting manager to teach workshop participants about what's involved in planning and launching an international patient services department at a hospital or ambulatory surgery center.

Whether you are planning to integrated existing assets or those that must be developed into a campus setting similar to the model at the Cleveland Clinic at its headquarters in Ohio, or you have a smaller scale operation in mind stitched together from local value chain suppliers, Maria can explain what's involved and how to prepare.  She provides sample template workflows, checklists, job descriptions and skills requirements, quality documentation templates, and sample forms, policies and procedures developed over 3 decades of work in the industry. There's no other place you can take this course except from Maria Todd, because it is not offered at international conferences and congresses where speakers are only permitted 10 minute panel presentations and 60-90 minute breakout sessions.  No other expert has the combination of healthcare administration, medical tourism business development, surgical nursing and healthcare provider contracting across a 30+ year career. Maria will share lessons learned and practical tools, tips, and techniques to shorten your learning curve, accelerate your go to market timeline, and avoid costly oversights and mistakes.

CEU Credits: 7 hours

Medical Tourism for Travel Agents

Medical tourism is a growing industry and travel agents have as much chance (if not more) to succeed in developing a medical tourism referral agency as any medical tourism facilitator. They just have to want to do so.

About the Instructor

Maria Todd was a travel agent with AAA's WorldWide Travel Agency more than 30 years ago before transitioning to healthcare administration and surgical nursing. She is one of the very few in the industry with strong travel business experience as an agent, tour operator, hotel inspector, and travel planner who then added the skills from nursing and healthcare to become a tour de force in the health tourism and wellness travel industry.

In this two-day workshop designed especially to fill in the gaps for professional travel counselors, Maria Todd explains what travel agents must know or study to become medical tourism powerhouses. The advantage that a travel agent has over a medical tourism facilitator is the access to the GDS, IATA registrations to be able to book commissionable packages for tours, hotels, spas, resorts, and area attractions. Facilitators are unable to do this without IATA credentials, nor are they able to use the GDS to book airline tickets. Maria Todd takes the professional travel counselor with experience and teaches the nuance of medical travel planning, risk mitigation, and bolts on the medical services component to their existing knowledge.

In this three day Medical Tourism for Travel Agents workshop, Maria begins with an overview of the medical travel industry, how it works, where the key destinations are and their strengths.

From there, she begins explaining the language of medicine, dentistry, rehabilitation, using an approach that combines prefixes, roots and suffixes. Combined with an overview of applied anatomy and physiology, the professional travel counselor is then able to decipher the medical needs and converse at a more educated level with healthcare professionals.

Once the terminology has been reviewed, she uses scaffolding teaching strategies to connect the new and old background knowledge to teach participants about the more common medical procedures that are appropriate for a new medical tourism planner with minimal risk. She integrates realia (real life) tangible objects and lessons into the workshop syllabus to explain the procedures, instruments, wound approaches and how they all interrelate to travel planning and accommodation choices for medical tourism clients.

To accelerate application and assimilation of lessons learned, each student receives a USB drive with a variety of templates, checklists, inspection guides for use during hospital, hotel and airport site visits, ground transportation inspections and package supplier collaboration. Students also learn the significance of hospital accreditations, certifications and how to contract for services so that the travel agent avoids taking untoward risk for medical and other service organizations. Finally workshop participants learn how to market and advertise for medical tourism services and charge for their professional coordination services. Template contract models are supplied as a part of the handouts for take home use.

Who should attend:
Travel agents with 3-5 years of full time, professional work experience.

CEU Credits: 21 contact hours

Meeting the Needs of the Health & Wellness Tourism Travelers through Big Data

Health and wellness tourism travelers have special needs in addition to general travel needs. Savvy marketers of health and wellness tourism products and programs realize these and meet these needs with compelling solutions. If you don't understand your target market or have no target, it will be almost impossible to get traction for your health and wellness tourism destination and the services you sell.

Today, travelers seek personalized experiences in hotels, spas hospitals, clinics and destination activities whether it involves streaming their own content, exercising in the hotel gym exactly how they like, fluffy foam or feather pillows, or exploring local neighborhoods with guidance from their destination advisors. The closer you can come to matching how they live at home and and translate that to how they live on the road, the more relevant and compelling your offer will be. Especially if you can make your offer seamless and worry free. The crux of this is relevant amenities. You can't do either if you aren't able to identify your target customer's needs, travel habits, dining preferences and entertainment and leisure time activities preferences - and tolerances post operatively.

About the instructor:
Maria Todd is the editor in chief of Medical Tourism Destinations of Distinction, a new lifestyle and travel magazine that features 3 health and wellness destinations each issue. In this one-day workshop, Meeting the Needs of the Health & Wellness Tourism Travelers through Big Data, Maria Todd shares the importance of big data and its translation into information that is useful to create compelling campaigns, destination package offers, and market them digitally.

In this workshop, participants look at the broader trends that are happening in health and wellness tourism, the trends towards personalized amenities and really knowing the guest. Maria Todd also examines branding and how that translates within brands at destinations. She explains the importance of building a technical infrastructure that can scale across all consumer touch points and the little nuances as well.

CEU Credits: 7 hours

Public Relations Techniques and Tactics for Medical Tourism Facilitators

Good public relations can put your medical tourism business in a favorable light, but it's a commitment of time that many medical tourism facilitators and referral agencies may not want to invest. In Public Relations Techniques and Tactics for Medical Tourism Facilitators, Maria Todd explains the reasons for engaging in public relations. For starters, doing so is affordable and easy on a startup's budget. While public relations demands a lot in terms of personal commitment, it is what you do when you aren't coordinating patient trips. Many medical tourism facilitators realize after they start the business just how precious time is. In the early days of your business, you may find that you have an abundance of time and very little cash to use for marketing, consulting, and business development.

About the instructor:
Maria Todd developed medical tourism booking software with 3 partners in Germany. She developed the first and only Globally Integrated Health Delivery System, a network of more than 6000 hospitals and 850,000 physicians and dentists and therapist across 5 continents. She has received widespread positive publicity, awards and interviews with numerous columnists and been hired to deliver the keynote addresses, plenary sessions and pre- and post-conference workshops at many industry events around the world. Unlike many speakers who talk about marketing and operating medical tourism referral agencies, Maria Todd shares more than 30 years of hands on experience and lessons learned to the workshop to the benefit of workshop participants.

Medical Tourism facilitators and referral agents who launch a public relations plan must first have a well-developed marketing program with a consistent and professional image. Maria addresses how to know if you are ready and how to pitch your value proposition to gain media trust and attention. She explains how to market yourself and your expertise to your local media as the local medical tourism destination and services expert, She explains how and when to seek out speaking opportunities, how to pitch articles for local media outlets, how and when to provide press releases, give interviews to the media and participate in local chamber of commerce and other networking events. She explains how to tie your campaigns and activities together so that everything appears professional and supports the other actions and tactics. Maria explains how success begins with attention to details such as your email account and carries through to your social media, advertising, email marketing, website and blog. These should all have an internal consistency and goes a long way to crafting your brand image.

In Public Relations Techniques and Tactics for Medical Tourism Facilitators, you'll learn the one thing many novices are unclear about: the objective of the reporters. You'll come to understand how uninterested they are in promoting your business. You'll come away with tactics you can use to pique their interest and come back to you time and time again when you meet their objectives for their story. Maria shares more insights about how to present comments so that they are not seen as shallow, unprepared, or biased. She challenges workshop participants to prepare good story ideas and quotes to supply to the media in exercises performed in class.

CEU Credit: 7 hours


Corporate Websites

Mercury Advisory Group

Center for Health Tourism Strategy

Managed Care Institute

Leading Social Media Networks

I speak all over the world at over 25 conferences per year on healthcare entrepreneurship and other topics of interest to the industry.  Before you decide to hire me, there are a few things you need to know. Please call me or email me to discuss them and check my availability to appear at your event. +1.800.727.4160

Maria K Todd, MHA PhD

Chief Executive Officer
The Mercury Healthcare Companies
600 17th Street
Suite 2800- South Tower
Denver, Colorado USA 80202