Medical & Dental Tourism for Self-funded Employers & Union Benefit Plans

WHAT WE DO...

We offer a variety of planning and program development services to our corporate clients including:

PROGRAM DESIGN

Designing a health and wellness travel benefit program can be daunting. Much of the published information on medical tourism websites and by medical tourism associations are intended for individual consumers. The information they publish along with reference prices are not only inaccurate but often totally irrelevant for employers, unions, associations and other group health purchasers.

Mercury Advisory Group experts are trusted authorities on the design and implementation of corporate health and wellness travel benefit program design and programming. Mercury Health Travel coordinators provide the case management and logistics coordination to move plan members to treatment and diagnostic destinations and coordinate continuity of care with local hometown providers.

STRATEGIC PLANNING

For a health and wellness travel program, strategic planning involves analysis and interpretation of past claims data, setting overall goals for health benefit cost containment and to use the information to design and develop a pilot program to achieve them. We always recommend starting with a pilot program on one or two conditions or high value expense categories that will make an impact of at least $15,000 per case.

Once the strategy has been implemented tested and measured for cost, quality and benefit satisfaction outcomes, only then should you cautiously and methodically expand your unique program into treatments and diagnostic or pharmacy categories that make sense - for your employees, your corporate culture and benefit program.  If your company is known for its predilection for "buying American" that's no problem whatsoever. Contrary to what you read across the internet on so many websites and in the press, corporate health and wellness travel benefit programs never require procurement outside the USA.

PROVIDER NETWORK DEVELOPMENT

First, we figure out what you want to focus on in terms of needs, preferences, and services. Second, we determine destination options to create a short list for your consideration. We explain why we believe that the short-listed candidates were chosen and detail the contrasts and comparisons among them from direct observation and knowledge. That's one of the ways we differentiate our approach from our competitors. We don't accept "influencer" kickbacks from providers who wish to be short-listed to do business with you.

We've examined and worked with medical, dental, and other healthcare and wellness providers in 107 countries and all throughout the USA. We know their quality, the destination in which they are located, their strengths and their weaknesses. When we couple this information with your preferences as your advocate, you get what you want and need; not what we prefer to "sell".  We create your exclusive provider network with the same credentialing and privileging principles used across managed care panels in the USA. But as your advocate, our fiduciary client duty is to you and no one else. Tell us what you want and we'll make it happen if we can.

 

SITE INSPECTIONS

Once you've narrowed down the short list to a few candidates, we arrange site visits for your procurement specialist, benefits manager and clinical adviser of record. Usually, the providers will invite you to tour and explore their services hosted at their expense. We always accompany you on the site visits to mediate discussions, stay focused and guide fee negotiations as your advocate if you decide you want to work with the providers. If you decide not to work with them, we'll handle the unpleasant news while you move on to the next candidate. You don't have to get involved in any aspect in which you feel uncomfortable or feel pressured.

And keep in mind that you shouldn't use the reference prices advertised on websites. Most are illusory. Almost all prices initially quoted in medical and dental tourism websites and offers are higher than you should pay as a group health buyer. Trust our counsel on this and save money!

CASE MANAGEMENT

Once benefit design, network development and program testing is complete, Mercury Health Travel, our wholly-owned case management team steps in to coordinate care continuity and patient movement for your plan participants and their companion travelers. This exclusive team of clinical and operational experts are apprised of your benefit program, provider network, eligibility, goals and expectations. They rely on data, interviews, and previously established Case Management and Utilization Review (UR) processes for your regular health benefit plan, but also take into consideration travel risks, altitude physiology and other advanced concepts that aren't frequently encountered with locally sourced care.

Our experts will manage every aspect of utilization and payment other than disbursement. This means that if you want to keep your exclusive pricing and program details separate from your ASO or TPA, your entire health and wellness travel program remains confidential and self-contained. We certify the claim as ready for payment or request the necessary documentation to validate charges and invoices. You benefit because you won't pay a penny more than you should.

PROGRAM PORTAL

Your plan participants will have at their access, a custom portal we create just for you to request to use their program benefits and transfer medical records. This way, your internal staff can distance itself from sensitive personal health information of plan participants. This gives plan participants around the clock access through the portal and phone support during regular business hours. The portal is compliant with HIPAA, PIPEDA (Canada) and EU regulations on patient privacy and information security, and hosted on the Amazon S3 system which is secure, durable, and scalable.  There's no additional charge for this.

Through specialized, one-of-a kind software our experts helped to design and test, Mercury Health Travel coordinators manage admissions, discharge, records transfers, continuity with local hometown care, and verify and audit invoices, documentation, and bundled price claims in accordance with your unique program. There is no additional charge or licensing fee when Mercury Health Travel uses the software for your care coordination.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Mercury Health Travel works with a travel agency partner that we trained to procure air travel and tickets with specific health travel considerations. Don't take our word for it...ask your trusted internal clinical adviser or underwriter how critical this is. Issues of altitude physiology, seating, travel medication management, fit-to-fly certification and last minute ticketing changes, choices of hub airports, and mobility-challenged pre-planning details can make or break the most meticulous surgeries and recovery efforts and affect clinical and cost outcomes.  With all due respect to professional travel agencies and their staff travel counselors, not all are adequately trained or prepared to manage these details - and they shouldn't be expected to do so.

Many of our corporate clients have no established corporate travel program because their size may not be sufficient to warrant such arrangements. They benefit from the discounts and services our agency partner extends to our corporate health and wellness travel clients. If, on the other hand, you do have an established travel agency partner, as long as they follow the case manager's explicit instructions for health and wellness travel arrangements, we have no objection to working with them to utilize existing arrangements and discounts for your company.

EXECUTIVE CHECKUPS

Mercury Health Travel organizes and coordinates executive checkup programs for senior level managers and executives at your company. Many corporations that establish their own self-funded health benefit plans are in a great position to benefit from savings, improved productivity, and preserve institutional knowledge and high-value corporate leadership. They do so by adding a mandatory, comprehensive annual exam as a condition of employment for senior managers, VPs and C-suite executives. The cost of the cognitive and diagnostic services are generally covered by the health plan benefit budget, but how the executive checkup is scheduled and carried out is very different from the local checkups arranged with the doctor's office around the corner.

An introductory call to discuss your concerns, identified needs, and the program you have in mind is always available at no charge or obligation. We've been developing and managing executive checkup programs for group health employers and small business owners and freelancers since 2003. We can develop the program for you locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. The choices of locations and providers are up to you.  Let us show you how to save money, curtail time off work, and enhance benefit satisfaction through an Executive Checkup program custom designed to meet your business needs.

GET IN TOUCH...

To arrange a consultation or ask a question, please contact us at (800) 727.4160