Updated: Oct 21, 2021
PATIENT ADVOCACY GOES GLOBAL: The Importance of InBound, OutBound and Domestic Medical Tourism to Growing Your Patient Advocacy Business
For many in healthcare today, outbound medical tourism is shaping up to be the answer to high medical costs, ObamaCare opt outs, baby boomer vanities and increasingly desirable access to alternative treatments and therapies not available in the USA.
Inbound medical tourism to the USA continues to be sought after by wealthy foreigners looking to spend their healthcare dollars with first world specialists and facilities, many of which are already long-recognized hubs such as Cleveland Clinic and St Jude’s.
Domestic medical tourism is also on the rise as more patients choose to travel a few hours from home to find “Centers of Excellence” where out of pocket costs are lower or their insurance company or employer has contracted with for lower pricing.
All of these options represent VAST untapped markets for Patient Advocates. Each category of patient needs specialized services and support from trustworthy professionals that have their best interests at heart.
The IMTCC is committed to instilling Patient Advocacy in medical tourism and providing advocacy to traveling patients (medical tourists) that otherwise are on their own.
The objectives of this presentation will be to:
Describe these 3 markets and their current and future trends
Define the opportunities for patient advocates in each market
Describe the vision of Global Patient Advocacy and specialized services as the future of healthcare
Christina M. deMoraes, BA, GPA – CEO and Founder IMTCC
Christina deMoraes, BA, GPA has been a passionate Patient Advocate and pioneered the idea of a “Medical Concierge” when she first began in medical tourism in 2002. She formed her first company, MedNetBrazil Concierge Services, after her own plastic reconstructive surgeries in Brazil following bariatric surgery in 2001 and a loss of 175 pounds. In just the first few years while living in Brazil, she hand-held hundreds of patients through the entire process and created medically responsible protocols and standards of practice that ensured patients’ safety and support, optimal outcomes and spared them thousands of dollars from complicated recoveries, longer stays and readmissions.
Up to now, Medical Tourism has a poor image because it has been marketed as a commodity, focused on price differentiation (low cost) rather than an innovative service and thus has tamped the development of the inherent value potential in Medical Tourism - ensuring that CARE is part of healthcare! Stepping back to see the ‘medical event’ as just one part of a complex, fragmented Experience for the patient, empowers patient and professional, creating a radical shift in the ability to create value, address individual patient needs, optimize recovery and healing and limit customer sacrifice (risk – recovery complications, hidden costs, etc.).
As medical tourism became more popular, she became frustrated with the lack of industry standards, transparent income models and detailed training/certification courses that would guarantee better patient outcomes and safety. To address these issues, she founded the IMTCC in 2012.
As a Professional Association , the mission of the IMTCC is to instill integrity, build trust and inspire confidence in this nascent and fast-growing industry. The goal of the IMTCC is to define Best Standards of Practice, provide Patient Education and Advocacy as well as training programs for members, based on the Three Tenets that provided her patients with success: Advocacy, Aftercare and Accountability, with the vision to provide a Model of Patient Care & Support to which all medicine could one day aspire