Health Tourism Business Development

Since 1983, I've helped clients in the USA and 116 countries with these challenges:

  • health tourism and medical travel program design for health facilities and practitioners and wellness/ therapy spa resorts
  • medical travel admissions and discharge coordination
  • medical travel agent specialized training for agencies wishing to enter the medical tourism industry
  • pilot program testing for startups
  • branding and relevance messaging for advertising and website and social media content creation
  • program quality and safety infrastructure, documentation, and accreditation preparation for any recognized accreditation program, worldwide
  • hospital admissions, discharge and revenue management staff training and professional development
  • bundled service pricing formulas for medical travel services
  • medical tourism facilitator and case management training
  • local, regional and national health policy for health tourism
  • second opinion and telehealth programs
  • contracting with insurers, third party administrators and self-funded employer sponsored health benefit plans
  • predictive modeling for utilization and health travel supplier procurement
  • unbiased health facility, destination and accommodation site visits, interviews, inspections and contract negotiations on behalf of group health purchasers

Over the past 35 years, my team members and I have led international development projects in economic development through health and wellness tourism projects funded by the World Bank, EU, USAID, GIZ, GDSI and others as a technical expert and strategist and helped leading software developers design specialized health and wellness tourism software features and functionality.

My bullet points may be copied by many new entrants in the marketplace, but my time-tested strategies, tactics and results speak for themselves.

How I work:

My services are fee-based and I work under a prepaid retainer deposit. I do not accept projects or consulting assignments on a contingency fee basis or equity share.

Reviews and advice on your marketing materials, business plans, websites, strategies and other matters are available only to established clients. The use of the Internet or a contact form for communication with my firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish a consultant-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should never be sent without a fully-executed client engagement agreement.  Your email to us is an indication that you have read and understand this disclaimer above.

Call us today and lets discuss how we can help you get started on your domestic or international health and wellness travel or health tourism program.  800.727.4160  |  hwt@mercuryadvisorygroup.com

The Center for Health Tourism Strategy

The Center for Health Tourism Strategy was the first website dedicated to re-imagining health and wellness tourism and travel.

The Center for Health Tourism Strategy attracted medical tourism entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, health policy and government agencies and provides useful and reliable information, advice, insights, resources, and inspiration for planning, launching, running and growing their medical tourism businesses.  We believe were are making progress to change how the medical tourism industry looks at itself and how it is perceived by the rest of the world.  Here, you'll encounter inspiration from forward-thinking innovatorsearly adopters and influencers in medical tourism.

While we have consolidated the center as a part of our corporate rebranding, we still offer the services that clients could access through the Center for Health Tourism Strategy. The website will be retired soon and all assets consolidated to this website. Please give us a call at +1.303.823.4662 for any assistance you require.

FREE MEDICAL TOURISM TRAINING!

ANNUAL MEDICAL TOURISM PROFESSIONALS FLY-IN

St George, Utah | December 9-15

Registration is free - Pay only for your personal expenses for travel, lodging and meals

Get more information.

Health Tourism Defined

Health tourism (medical tourism, medical travel) is a complex, hybrid health services "product" made up of destination health and hospitality services and care coordination designed to delight medical travelers and their companions. "Tourism" is not generally the primary objective of the journey.

Health tourism is an experiential product that offers an unforgettable visitor experience. It is produced  by combining carefully coordinated travel to a destination, an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of its people, its culture and its history, the rest and rejuvenation of its accommodations, the unique flavors and recipes of local and regional gastronomy, and the precision and compassion its health services providers working collaboratively. Together, they produce the elements to create a unique visitor experience and story-telling value that will be shared for generations.” — Dr. Maria Todd, founder and CEO of Mercury Healthcare International, and author of the Handbook of Medical Tourism Program Development.

Medical Tourism Startup

An Expert's Eyes

Learn how Maria Todd brings the eyes and perspective of a seasoned expert with 35+ years of experience to medical tourism startups. [read more="Continue"] Nobody likes to fail at a new endeavor.  Designed to accelerate hospital, clinic, or destination entry and product development for health and wellness tourism,  Maria will travel to your location, examine the health, tourism and other potential partners, interview stakeholders and authorities, perform a gap analysis and prepare a detailed list of recommended next steps.  This multi-day package includes arrival and exit debriefing and written report that includes all meeting discussion notes, observations and interpretation of findings and detailed recommendations. Afterward, Maria remains available for remote assistance for up to 6 months at no additional charge.[/read]

Insurance Contracts

Contracts with Insurers

Learn how Maria Todd helps health travel and medical tourism suppliers win contracts with insurance companies and employers. [read more="Continue"] Third-party payment for health travel is gaining in popularity. Insurers, employers and labor unions are curious about health travel but they have so much fiduciary duty and regulatory compliance that they cannot simply select a low-cost provider and start sending patients.  If third-party contracting is the strategy you've decided to pursue, you'll need to prepare for rigorous scrutiny and have every need anticipated. Maria will leverage decades of experience working with third-party payers and their contracting teams to prepare your organization or health facility for third-party payer contracting success.  To learn more, call her today. [/read]

Facilitator Training

Startup Program

Learn what training Maria Todd offers for new and established health tourism facilitators and for experienced travel agents seeking to expand their business. [read more="Continue"] She'll share insights and lessons learned from more than 35 years in the business to accelerate your learning curve. With her help, you'll reduce costly mistakes, receive model site inspection checklists and training on what to look for,  and bring back several contract templates you'll need to work with trading partners and clients. Package includes free access to specialized software for health travel coordination and one hour per month of scheduled remote telephone and email startup support for 12 months from the start of your training.  Learn more about medical tourism facilitator training with Maria Todd. [/read]

Destination Development

Medical Tourism Hubs

Nearly every state and province is home to a healthcare facility, acute, academic, inpatient or outpatient ambulatory surgery. According to all the online and published reports about medical tourism market size and potential, [read more="Continue"] it would seem from the propaganda of conference organizations and trade associations that any such facility has the desire and potential to become a desirable health or wellness tourism destination to invest in, live in and visit.  Maria Todd helps destination authorities and stakeholders collaboratively develop local, regional and national hubs when the potential is real. Often it simply isn't, but many so-called consultants will take your money anyway even if there isn't any chance they can turn your destination into a medical tourism powerhouse.

Destination developers want a single-source, unbiased resource that will provide them with the tools to make their community a vibrant, thriving health and/or wellness tourism destination. But where is such a resource? Where can you find the best practices, trends and technologies from the best resources and provide them to your community so you are all on the same page, working in unison?

Maria describes health tourism as "an experiential product that offers an unforgettable visitor experience. It is produced  by combining carefully coordinated travel to a destination, an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of its people, its culture and its history, the rest and rejuvenation of its accommodations, the unique flavors and recipes of local and regional gastronomy, and the precision and compassion its health services providers working collaboratively. Together, they produce the elements to create a unique visitor experience and story-telling value that will be shared for generations."

As medical tourism gains in popularity, local, regional and national government authorities are taking notice of the tax receipts, FDI opportunities, and other economic and capacity development that could be realized if they decide to support medical tourism hub and cluster development.  Contact Maria to learn more about how she can help with strategy, execution and operations for your health tourism hub.[/read]

Hospital Readiness

Attract Patients

Learn how Maria Todd helps hospitals and other health facilities attract new patients from outside their local market area [read more="Continue"]

Hospital administrators, clinic managers, and business office managers interested in launching a medical tourism service line call on Maria Todd because they respect that she's one of them.  Learn what's involved to build, package, launch, market and operate a branded medical tourism service line.

This medical tourism readiness assessment and training package includes a site visit, arrival and pre-departure debriefing, destination familiarization tour, site inspection, surgeon interviews, training for admission and discharge managers, training for quality and accreditation team leads, package development and pricing advice, one full year of free use of specially-designed medical tourism case coordination and health travel management software and one hour of scheduled remote support each month for 12 months by phone, email or VOIP. [/read]

Stem Cell Medical Tourism

Regenerative Medicine

Learn how Maria Todd helps stem cell and regenerative medicine providers connect with health travel and anti-aging patients seeking stem cell treatments.[read more="Continue"]

Stem cell treatments are advertised online for every type of health concern and anti-aging intervention. Very specific rules exist in most countries about the promises one can make about results for any medical or dental treatment. Break the rules and face regulatory sanctions, international brand and professional reputation jeopardy, fines, and your website shut down by Google, Yahoo or another search engine.  Maria Todd has authored the only book in the industry designed for healthcare providers seeking to attract international patients to their stem cell program. In the book, she leverages over a decade of stem cell medical tourism business development experience and lessons learned and helps you design, launch, advertise, and operate a stem cell medical tourism program. Learn what it takes to rise above the thousands of stem cell advertisers to attract patients to your program.[/read]

Dental Tourism Strategy

Dental Tourism Startup

Learn how Maria Todd helps dental clinics worldwide to attract new patients from outside their local market through dental tourism. [read more="Continue"]

Her dental tourism startup strategy package includes clinic readiness assessment, dental services package design and pricing advice, and marketing, advertising and partnering strategies to attract patients and work with referral agents. Maria's dental tourism startup strategy and operations package also includes free access to specialized software for health travel coordination and one hour per month of scheduled remote telephone and email startup support for 12 months from the start of your training.  Get in touch to learn more.[/read]

Marketing Strategies

Ready. Set. Go!

Learn how Maria Todd has helped health and wellness clinics and clinicians new to medical tourism plan, launch and execute marketing strategies that drive results without lots of capital. [read more="Continue"]

Many medical tourism novices view medical and dental tourism as a way to sell off excess capacity - hospital beds, hotel rooms, surgery blocks.   They approach medical tourism development as a product of appointments, travel and hotel reservations, and a sightseeing option.  They approach competition as a matter of cheaper pricing.  That may be what the novice sees at the surface level, but developing a medical or dental tourism service line is so much more involved.

The single most common feedback Maria hears is "I never knew there were so many details to consider."  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Travel planning and unexpected or unforeseen events
  • Altitude physiology travel considerations
  • Health tourism policy development and enforcement
  • Professional practices and reputation risk and liability mitigation
  • Vocational education and training
  • Package development and pricing strategies
  • Marketing communications
  • Referral agency relationship management
  • International healthcare advertising and promotion
  • "Ideal customer" definition and targeting
  • Internet privacy and security compliance
  • Interstate and international medical records transfer
  • Quality certification and accreditation programs
  • International patient department operations
  • Provider network development and contracting
  • Credentials verification
  • Insurance and employer contracting
  • Software applications needed
  • Professional liability insurance
  • International currency conversion
  • Large sum international payment rules and regulations
  • Global tax calculations and compliance [/read]

Hotel & Spa Readiness

Hospitality Readiness

Learn how Maria Todd uses 35+ years of experience to prepare accommodation partners to enter health and wellness tourism. [read more="Continue"]

Hotels, spas and resorts need more than a handicap access room available for medical tourism partnership opportunities.  The average medical tourism hotel guest has complex needs, and remains longer with a higher REVPAR than most transient and business travel guests.

This medical tourism accommodation readiness package includes an arrival and pre-departure debriefing, deep site inspection, city tour, operations, menu, housekeeping and security reviews, and an interpretation of findings and next step recommendations in a written report.  Avoid unnecessary guest dissatisfaction or endangerment and be sure your hotel, resort or spa is confident and prepared to accommodate and delight medical tourism guests.

We help hospitality providers prepare to enter medical tourism through the following services:

  • Market penetration assessment
  • F&B Readiness (special diets, special needs readiness)
  • Long-stay packages
  • Special needs amenities
  • Spa services for health and wellness travel visitors
  • Private duty nurse services
  • Revenue management and pricing
  • Thalasso resorts
  • Call center operations
  • Fam tour organization and invitations to vetted facilitators and medical travel agencies
  • Strategic planning and space / furnishings planning
  • Staff training and development for medical travel accommodations
  • Implementation of a specialized medical travel case management software platform
  • Thermal springs and pools (relaxation and therapeutic services)
  • Serviced Apartments
  • Medical translation

[/read]

Clinical Trials

Last Chance Therapies

Learn how Maria Todd helps principal investigators recruit study participants for clinical efficacy investigations on new drugs, devices and last chance therapies.[read more="Continue"]

Clinical trials are research studies that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Participation in clinical trials and access to last-chance therapies has long been a primary reason to consider medical tourism but not all patients qualify as study participants. Often these patients are critically ill, weak, and physically and financially exhausted. Boarding a commercial flight to travel 10, 20 or 30 hours in one direction just isn't a possibility for many.  Learn what's involved to build, package, launch, market and operate a medical tourism program to attract international patients to a clinical investigation or a last-chance therapy unavailable where they live.  Maria applies her understanding of clinical medicine to this specialized, niche-focused medical tourism readiness assessment and training package. Call her to learn more.[/read]

Addiction Rehab

Treatment Programs

Learn how Maria Todd has helped alcohol, drug, gambling, sex addiction, and eating disorder providers attract new patients to their partial and full-inpatient treatment programs [read more="Continue"]

Substance abuse happens everywhere, at every class level, education level and in every culture. How it is treated must be addressed physically, mentally, and emotionally/spiritually and culturally.  Alcohol and drug addictions, are the most common, but eating disorders, sexual addition, and gambling addictions are not far behind.

Maria Todd has helped full and part-time inpatient centers on five continents to plan, launch, market and operate a medical tourism program for addiction rehabilitation, obtain accreditation, and set up care continuity programs through telehealth for aftercare that keep the patient connected and mitigates the risk of relapse for better outcomes.  Contact her to learn how she can help you design a medical tourism program that aligns with existing operations for quick launch of medical tourism addiction recovery programs.[/read]

Infertility

Infertility Treatments

Learn how Maria Todd has helped infertility specialists around the world attract new patients to their clinics for diagnosis, treatment and successful outcomes. [read more="Continue"]

Infertility services are expensive and many insurers offer limited, if any coverage for treatments. They will often pay for diagnosis but that's where the coverage ends. Help couples having difficulty conceiving and starting a family to access affordable care. Prepare for the cultural nuances to be able to accommodate couples from every class level, education level and in every culture.

Maria Todd has helped infertility specialists centers on five continents to plan, launch, market and operate a medical tourism program for couples seeking options to obtain accreditation, and set up care continuity programs through telehealth for aftercare that keep the patient connected and mitigates the risks of complications to the extent possible.  Contact her to learn how she can help you design a medical tourism program that aligns with existing operations for quick launch of medical tourism infertility treatment and surrogacy programs.[/read]

Facts and Validations for Journalists and Media Outlets

Maria Offers a Complimentary 15-minute Introductory Call

Kickstart Your Health and Wellness Tourism Program Development

Call or email Maria to schedule a brief discussion so you can explain your concern or situation and see if she can help. 

Learn more about working with Maria or inviting her to speak at your upcoming event.

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