Category Archives: Hospital Development

Hospitals Launching Private Health Plans Have Concerns: What It Could Mean to Work Comp

My fellow FAU alumna, Maria Todd, wrote a very good article about what’s at stake for hospitals considering launching private health plans.

While Maria’s article focuses on hospitals and general health care, it would be prudent for the workers’ comp industry to pay attention to what she has to say, as her expertise in the areas of health care, hospital development, healthcare marketing and branding, concierge medicine and medical tourism has taken Maria around the world several times (lucky her – “I never get to go anywhere”).

There is one item Maria raises in her article that should be of vital interest to workers’ comp.

According to Maria, the process to launch private health plans is fraught with complexity and extreme financial risk. She goes on to add that it involves, at a minimum, obtaining a state license and meeting (and maintaining) capital reserve requirements adequate to cover IBNR (incurred but not reported) claims lags.

Those of us who have been in the claims arena of work comp know a little something about IBNR claims, and what that can do to both a carrier’s loss picture and an insured’s frequency and severity, which affects their experience mod.

If hospitals do choose to launch such plans, they will move closer to being insurance companies that happen to provide medical care, rather than just providing medical care as a hospital.

Maria’s recommendation is that they sink their money into something better that will float.

Steel Drums and Medical Tourism Too: Trinidad as a Rising Star in Medical Tourism

Trinidad-physical-mapBack in January, when I wrote my article, No Back Alleys Here: Medical Tourism Hospitals, Clinics and Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, I left out one of the newest of the new “rising stars” of medical tourism in the region, Trinidad and Tobago. Since then, I have connected with a medical student from Trinidad and Tobago by the name of Kedella T.J. Issac. I asked Kedella if she could write up a little something on what hospitals are on the island of Trinidad and what the medical tourism outlook looks like there, as she has an interest in medical tourism.

Through numerous emails over the course of the past several months, Kedella has graciously provided me with a brief synopsis of the medical tourism picture in her home country. Rather than re-writing what she wrote, I thought I’d let her words speak for herself, so the following text is Kedella Issac’s view of medical tourism in Trinidad.

Trinidad and Tobago is well on its way towards establishing itself as a strong Medical Tourism capital, with high hopes of standing strong against established neighboring countries. With a population of 1.346 million and occupying 5,128 square kilometers, this twin island estate yields a gross national income of 22.48 billion US dollars mainly from its rich source of natural gas and petrochemicals. Bending towards sustainability, the budding phenomenon of medical travel is of great interest. There are three main hospitals that are already involved in Medical Tourism.

The West Shore Medical Private Hospital began operations in 2004. It is located just outside of the capital city, Port-of-Spain. This hospital offers services to both national and international clients. They offer a wide range of services ranging from Accident and Emergency, Orthopedics, Pulmonology, Maternity, Cardiac Surgery, Gynecological surgery, Gastric-Bypass surgery, Neurosurgery, Laparoscopic surgery and Plastic surgery. The hospital’s website aids persons in finding quotations for accommodation and tips for places for shopping and sightseeing.  They offer air ambulance services to clients as well. Their strategic location on the coastline offers scenic and therapeutic recovery.

Medical Associates located North of Trinidad in St. Joseph, was established in 1979. There are four operating rooms. This hospital has bragging rights of being well established in the Caribbean and being the first in the region to perform the following:

  1. Retroperitoneal Aortic Surgery (for aneurysms)
  2. In situ vein bypass for lower limb salvage
  3. Infrapopliteal vein bypass for lower limb salvage
  4. Kidney transplantation
  5. Myocutaneous flaps to cover soft tissue defects
  6. Phaecoemulsification for cataract extraction
  7. Retinol Fluoroscein Angiography (to visualize blood vessels in the eye)
  8. Minilaparotomy Cholecystectomy (gall Bladder Removal)
  9. Minilaparotomy Ureteric lithotomy (kidney Stone Removal)
  10. Extra corporeal shock wave lithotripsy (for shattering kidney stones)

They offer specialties in Cardiology, Endocrinology, General surgery, Neurology and Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Rheumatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urology, Pediatrics, Plastic surgery, Ear, Nose, Throat. They offer packages and offer in and out patient services.

St. Augustine Private hospital was established in 1988. Located in the East of Trinidad, they have a vision of being the first choice of health care in the Caribbean. With a staff of 120 medical and non-medical personnel, this small hospital provides  a few private rooms, private suites, semi-private rooms and shared rooms and the following services:

  • Cardiology
  • General Practice
  • General Surgery
  • Laser Vein Clinic
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Urology
  • Pain Management
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Plastic surgery

And many more

I want to thank Kedella for her hard work and I know she will become an excellent doctor her family and friends, and her island nation can be proud of. I am grateful for her assistance in getting the word out about medical tourism in Trinidad and Tobago

How Medical Tourism Hospitals are Developed


Today’s second post is courtesy of Maria Todd, CEO of Mercury Healthcare International.

While her article is about hospital development in Africa, specifically the work she is doing in Nigeria, it is instructive on how hospital development in other regions of the world are laying the groundwork for the expansion of medical tourism.

In the article, she explains why Africa is targeted for financing and why now, how to size the facility and the market, what is different about hospital development and inpatient utlization in Africa, where the money comes from, the investment risk and capital funding in Africa, and some of the pitfalls that can happen when a company like hers is called in to help develop a hospital, and there is not much cash to be had, or as she puts it:

Apples and little green monkeys fall from trees – not cash

Being an expert in medical tourism and healthcare, Maria has made a name for herself, which is why she takes on such a daunting challenge as hospital development in Africa. Perhaps one day, Africa will be known as a shining example of medical tourism, and she and her company will have made it possible.