What is this site about?

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

The Center for Health Tourism Strategy is a website for medical tourism entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, health policy and government agencies to find useful and reliable information, advice, insights, resources, and inspiration for planning, launching, running and growing their medical tourism businesses.  The Center for Health Tourism Strategy is changing how the medical tourism industry looks at itself and how it is perceived by the rest of the world. Here, you'll encounter like-minded thinkersinnovators, early adopters and influencers in medical tourism.

Who visits this site regularly?

Stakeholders

  • Hospitals and Clinics
  • Academic medical centers
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Diagnostic centers
  • Dialysis centers
  • Doctors, dentists, therapists, and medical technology providers
  • Hoteliers, spas and resorts
  • Hydrotherapy (balneary and thalassotherapy) health and wellness centers
  • Addiction recovery rehabilitation centers
  • Anti-aging and longevity clinics, and
  • Integrated health tourism clusters and PPPs

Media

  • Journalists
  • Media Researchers
  • Fact Checkers
  • Trend Watchers
  • Industry Analysts
  • Public Relations Firms

Payers

  • Insurers
  • TPAs
  • Underwriters
  • Actuaries
  • Reinsurers, and
  • Employers
  • Health tourism case management firms and logistics coordinators
  • Medical assistance insurers and case managers

Associations

  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Hotel Associations
  • Medical & Dental Associations
  • Spa Associations
  • Thermalism Associations
  • Private Hospital Associations
  • Tourism Attraction Owner Associations
  • Destination Management Associations
  • Travel Agency Associations
  • Tour Operator Associations

Government

  • Health
  • Tourism
  • Economic development
  • Foreign affairs
  • Legal advisors
  • Education
  • Infrastructure
  • Aviation authorities
  • ICT, and
  • Foreign embassies

Investors

  • Private Equity Firms
  • Private Investors
  • Real-estate and hospital developers
  • Established brands seeking expansion
  • Venture capital firms

Travel

  • Travel agencies
  • Tour operators
  • Charter and scheduled airlines
  • Air ambulance /Medical evacuation
  • Ground ambulance

About the Curators

 

MAG HWT Team LogoMaria Todd founded Mercury Advisory Group's health and wellness tourism practice in 2003 to fill a market need and share her passion for health tourism business development and strategy. She quickly gained a devoted worldwide following. Now, in this research center website, Maria and her team of global expert advisers share hundreds of vibrant, simple tips, tools and techniques that are entirely accessible to visitors, mostly free, and 100% useful.

Packed with articles, sample forms, checklists, and educational courses, this practical but inspiring website is Mercury Advisory Group's response to what has been missing from medical tourism trade associations to support the industry for it to thrive and grow.  The Center for Health Tourism Strategy site houses many of the copyrighted tools, research and reference materials our experts need in order to help clients in our paid consulting engagements day in and day out.  

As such, the Center for Health Tourism Strategy follows its own trajectory and is not dependent on expensive membership dues, conference registrations or publications subscriptions or sponsorship to sustain operations. It is simply a part of our for-profit business, portions of our collection that we generously open make available to the industry, wherever possible.  We ask that you respect our copyright and give credit where appropriate. Linkbacks are always appreciated. 

Mercury Advisory Group's team of healthcare business and creative experts specialize in creating medical businesses that offer value, trust, and extraordinary service. Mercury Advisory Group is the largest and longest established health and wellness tourism strategy consultancy in the world. For 30+ years, we've led clients to success with health and wellness tourism product design and marketing. The strategies and innovative ideas we share flow across 9 Key Medical Tourism Destination Pillars and are unique and exclusive to your destination and the products or services you choose to offer.

9 Pillars Image

MARIA K TODD

standingMKT

Executive Director

Award-winning Health and Wellness Tourism Consultant, Speaker, Author and Strategist

Books Published

medical-tourism-books-maria

The Handbook of Medical Tourism Program Development
Audience: Providers, Governments, Investors, Insurers

The Medical Tourism Facilitator's Handbook
Audience: New Startup Facilitators and Referral Agencies

Handbook of Thermal & Rehabilitation Resort Development
Audience: Investors, Rehabilitation Medicine and Balneology Specialists, Governments

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which professional services can you offer?

Mercury Advisory Group's health and wellness tourism consultants offer consultation and coaching on marketing and advertising for healthcare providers and health and wellness tourism destinations.

Our most frequent assignments include:

  • Preliminary site inspections and medical staff interviews to determine medical tourism readiness
  • Establishing professional and facility brand strategy
  • Development of marketing strategy for doctors, dentists and health /wellness facilities
  • Marketing strategies to connect with consumers who self-pay for services
  • Contracting strategies to connect with insurers and employers who offer health travel benefits to plan members and policy holders
  • Social media and website design and development for medical tourism
  • Local, regional and national health tourism cluster development
  • Development of framework regulations for medical tourism
  • Accreditation preparation for hospitals, clinics, facilitators, and health tourism clusters (ISO, JCI, and many others)
  • Clinical research trials for health tourism research subjects (stem cell, medical devices, drug therapies)
  • Fam tour programming and preparation
  • Visit and fam tour coordination and contracts to work with established facilitators, travel agents and tour operators
  • Stakeholder organization and destination development
  • International patient department training and capacity development
  • Benchmarking and statistical analysis
  • Research for health and wellness tourism market potential and key source market identification
  • Pricing strategies and formulas (market comparison + activity-based costing)
  • Patient satisfaction surveys
  • Patient information materials translation
  • Quality and safety best practices, policies and procedures for hospitals, medical and dental providers and facilitators
How much does it cost to hire you?

Short consultations by phone or online are billed on an hourly basis, prepaid, at the rate of USD $350 per hour.

Short projects are billed on an hourly or flat fee basis. Before we can quote a project fee, we must first complete a situation assessment.  Most situation assessments that are conducted at your location are usually 3-working days or less and average about USD $10,000, inclusive of consultant travel expenses.

Website development projects are quoted after a project specification worksheet is completed so that our designers and developers understand the functionality and appearance you desire to achieve.

Private training (executive coaching) is available on an hourly or daily basis billed at our usual and customary rate.  Private training for more than one hour is more effective in person, at our office or yours.

Will you send a speaker to our event?

Yes. We are happy to send a speaker from our team, subject to availability.

With adequate advance notice we may be able to provde a speaker at no charge for a brief webinar where the program on a topic that has already been prepared and where it isn't necessary to leave our office. We make some allowances from time to time to speak to audiences in our respective home towns.

For other events, a fee is charged and payable in advance to cover the lost hours incurred to develop a custom presentation, use licensed artwork or music, conduct research and verify facts, plus spend time traveling to your event, and time preesnting on stage as well as the overall time away from our regular work and income.  If the host organization does not offer us hotel accommodation and ground transfer fees or travel meals, these charges are added to the fee. If you are a little short on budget and would like us to participate, ask a sponsor to cover the costs of the fees and travel expenses. We'll gladly put their logo and information on the slides and handouts in recognition of their generosity.

A few things you should know:

  1. We are always traveling somewhere. Coordinate your event with a date we may already be in the area to save money.
  2. As professional, award-winning speakers, experts from the Center for Health Tourism Strategy never promote consulting services, books or other commercial services from the podium. Therefore we cannot legitimately charge our professional speaker appearances to the general ledger as "marketing".
  3. For health reasons, because we travel so frequently, all our professional team members travel business class on international flights.
  4. Each expert purchases an annual travel accident and illness insurance policy for emergency medical care and medical evacuation. We also purchase insurance for our professional equipment and luggage.
  5. Never wait until the last minute!  We book speaking dates as far as 18 months in advance. Often, conference organizers book us for the following year's events at the end of a speaking date so the likelihood of our availability diminishes over time.

Enquire about availability via email

Call +1.(800) 727.4160

 

Do you offer training?

Yes. From time to time the Center for Health Tourism Strategy offers Master Classes, workshops and seminars on medical tourism best practices and related topics.

Course topics include:

  • Contracting with facilitators and tour operators (audience: facilities, doctors and dentists)
  • Blogging for physicians
  • Contracting with health facilities, doctors and dentists (audience: facilitators and tour operators)
  • Compliance with HIPAA, PIPEDA and EU Privacy Regulations (healthcare information handling for privacy and security)
  • Contracting with publc health authorities (healthcare provider shortage areas) for 3rd party payment and referrals
  • Preparing for accreditation by JCI
  • Evidence-based hospital and clinic design for health and wellness tourism
  • Bundled pricing strategies for health and wellness services

Training is available throughout the world at a number of locations all year. Some courses (90 minutes or less) are made available online.

Enquire about training schedules

Telephone: +1 (800) 727.4160

Do you offer certifications?

No. Certifications are representations or validations of competency or knowledge in a profession through education, experience, professional development, hands-on practicums, and psychometrically sound examination. These factors are based on widely accepted sociological theories of the professionalization of careers, an extensive literature review, the expertise of highly experienced authorities in the health and wellness sector, and examination development processes of established professional associations. 

Oftentimes, people mistake a “certificate of completion,” like those offered by trade associations for attendance at a 3-day or 5-day course in medical tourism as a “professional certification” or “credential.”  We prefer not to get involved in this confusion in the market place.  When you take a course through the Center for Health Tourism Strategy, you receive a Certificate of Attendance which indicates the name of the organization that offered the course, the name of the instructor, the hours of training completed, the dates of the course and the syllabus on request.  These may or may not be accepted by your professional associations (Boards of Nursing, Accountancy, Medicine, Dentistry, Barristers' Association, etc.) to satisfy continuing education requirements.  In the case of a Certificate of Attendance, demonstrating accomplishment of the intended learning outcomes by participants is NOT a requirement for receiving the certificate.

When you see the terms “certificate” or “certification” bantered about in marketing materials and promotions, take a moment to determine if the noted “certificate” is a certificate of completion, an assessment-based certificate tied to a particular training or a profession certificate designed within the strict guidelines described above. And remember: a certificate of attendance or completion states that an individual has completed a class or course and achieved a certain level of success in understanding the principles taught in the course. A professional certification or credential is an objective measure of a person’s level of experience and expertise in the profession — as defined independently by the profession as a whole.

Are the books available for purchase?

Yes.  Most of the books written by our experts are internationally published and peer-reviewed and are available from the publisher or your favorite retail booksellers.

On occasion, authors make books and e-books they self-publish available for sale.  Our CHTS and Mercury Advisory Group authors are encouraged to make their publications available online through Amazon.com on any Kindle device or free Kindle reading apps.  This digitization process takes time and effort so please be patient while we transition all our printed materials to a more sustainable system and get them listed on Amazon.

When you buy an internationally published book title from the publisher or a retailer such as Amazon, the author receives a small percentage of the sale as a royalty. The remainder of the price paid goes to the publisher and to the cost of publishing the bound, printed matter, professional editing and layout services, and book distributors.  This is also why our experts do not sell books at events when hired to speak or present a workshop. The sales and distribution rights belong to the publisher and not the author, in accordance with their publishing contracts. The information inside the book is the intellectual property of the author unless otherwise cited and used by permission.

When you see an author selling books from the podium and a supply of books in a stack or on display at the back of the room, it is likely that author has not contracted with a commercial publisher and the books are often not peer-reviewed or professionally edited.

Do you sell facilitator contact info?

No. The industry is too volatile to offer such a list of any value.

Many facilitator startups don't remain in business long enough to make the maintenance of such a list worth the time and effort.  Likewise, many hospital marketing director and commercial directors change jobs or are reassigned to other duties such that their email address and telephones change frequentlye.  We have a list of about 4500 medical tourism facilitators around the world but we don't maintain it regularly for this reason.

The Center for Health Tourism's Executive Director, Dr Maria Todd has a list of more than 30,000 industry contacts. If you need to speak with someone in particular the medical tourism industry, contact us and we will ask her executive assistant to peruse Maria's contacts to find the person you are looking for.  Alternatively, her assistant can ask any of the CHTS experts if they contact info for the individual you want to connect with. With more than 100 experts and associates, we are sure we can reach to most anyone at a health facility, government authority or a facilitator or practitioner anywhere in the world.

As a courtesy, please allow us time to contact the other party and obtain their permission to share their information with you.

Can you help us make a video?

Yes, We have several experts who are post graduate fellows with a Master of Fine Arts and IMDb credits. IMDb is the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content. These professionals have worked with Mercury Advisory Group on health tourism film projects all over the world. When you engage them to produce your video, you can feel confident that they are experienced in pre-production, filming, lighting, and post-production editing to make your clinic or hospital or destination video something to proudly display on your website, and for other uses were video content is required.

Without a storyboard and shooting outline

Who are some of your clients?

We have a “Who's Who” list of clients worldwide: small, big, and massive.

  • Fortress Investment Group, LLC, a leading publicly-traded global investment management firm based in New York City
  • Abercrombie & Kent - the world's foremost luxury travel company, offering adventure and luxury vacations in the world's greatest destinations since 1962.
  • A&K Global Health - a Kenya-based medical tourism facilitator firm
  • Cleveland Clinic - a non-profit academic medical center, provides clinical and hospital care and is a leader in research, education and health information
  • Campus Bio-Medico University - a faith-based academic medical center, provides clinical and hospital care and is a leader in research, education and health information in Rome
  • Clinica Universidad de Navarra - a faith-based academic medical center, provides clinical and hospital care and is a leader in research, education and health information in Spain
  • Allergan - Developers and manufacturers of commercialized branded pharmaceuticals, devices and biologic products for patients around the world.
  • Hill-Rom - A leading provider of medical technologies for the health care industry including hospital beds, patient lifts, and non-invasive therapeutic products.
  • KCI Advanced Medical Technology - A worldwide provider of advanced healing technologies that makes a difference for patients, caregivers and provider.
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America - A national, for-profit network of five hospitals that serves cancer patients throughout the United States.
  • StemGenex - A premiere leader in the United States for regenerative medicine, dedicated to providing stem cell therapy options to help individuals suffering with inflammatory and degenerative illnesses.
  • Biostar Group - The largest stem cell cultivation facilities and cell banking operation in the world, based in Seoul Korea and Kyoto Japan.
  • The Troika - A tripartite committee formed by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (EC, ECB and IMF) and engaged us to develop the national health tourism strategy for Greece in 2014-2015.
  • Madonna Specialty Hospital - A private local and regional health facility in Awka, Nigeria.
  • Kiev Heart Center - One of Ukraine's leading cardiac treatment centers and training institutes for heart surgeries
  • Mahidol University Hospitals - Thailand's leading public research university hospitals, ranked as one of the World's Top 100 universities to study medicine
  • Baptist Health South Florida (Miami) - The largest Baptist Health facility and one of America's most preferred medical centers
  • Mercy Hospital (Miami) - Miami-Dade County’s only Catholic hospital and a recipient of the MAGNET award for nursing excellence.
  • Parrish Medical Center - A  public, not-for-profit, acute care hospital in Florida, within sight of the launch towers of Kennedy Space Center. and a recipient of four disease -specific Gold Seal certifications for patient care from the Joint Commission.
  • Turismo Navarra - The Navarre Department of Culture and Tourism in Pamplona, Spain
  • Balaton Regional Tourism Association - The largest lake in Central Europe and one of the region's foremost tourist destinations for thermal baths
  • Hunguest Helios Hotel Anna - Thermal balneotherapy wellness resort and spa in Heviz, Hungary
  • Thermae Platystomou Resort & Spa - Thermal balneotherapy wellness resort and spa in Makrakomi, Greece
  • Myrgorod Health Park polyclinic diagnostic center and sanatoria with extensive thermal waters treatment facilities on 45 hectares in Ukraine

We are business consultants

We do not refer patients to medical tourism providers for health services

Our sister subsidiary, Mercury Health Travel, helps employers and labor unions develop health and wellness tourism benefit programs. Corporate clients and insurers indicate their preference of locations and provider types and we coordinate introductions and fam tours for site inspection and contract negotiations or do this for them as their appointed representatives. Facilitator intermediary relationships are rarely welcomed.  Therefore, if you send us an email about "tie ups" to send you patient referrals, regretfully, we advise you in advance that your email will go unanswered. 

If you need further assistance

If you require more than what you find available to you here, you may benefit from a little private consultation or advice.

Watch this brief video to learn more.
 
Mercury Advisory Group
We're here to help you grow your medical, dental or wellness tourism business.

DISCLAIMER of OWNERSHIP

Mercury Healthcare International, Inc. is the owner and curator of this website.
The Center for Health Tourism Strategy is the research division of Mercury Healthcare International, Inc.
The Center's Executive Director is world renowned and award-winning medical tourism author and strategist, Dr Maria Todd.
© 2016. Mercury Healthcare International, Inc.  All international rights reserved.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Center for Health Tourism Strategy
at Mercury Healthcare international, Inc.
600 17th Street, Suite 2800 South Tower
Denver, Colorado 80202 (USA)
Telephone: +1(800)727.4160
 
Schedule an online or telephone consultation
Fees apply - charged in 15 minute increments.