Category Archives: Nicaragua

How Employers (and Medical Travel Facilitators) Can Deal With Zika

Teresa Bartlett, wrote last Friday in Insurance Thought about the precautions employers can take to avoid the Zika virus, and how to think about it.

She raises the following questions, and gives insightful answers:

  •  Where Is Zika Spreading?
  • What Are the Symptoms?
  • How Is Zika Treated?
  • What Special Precautions Should Be Taken by Pregnant Women?
  • What Should Employers Do?

The entire article can be read here.

Now that summer is almost upon us in the US, employers and those in other industries, like health care and medical travel, as well as the travel industry itself, should be fully aware of these facts.

Only time will tell before we have native cases of Zika here. You must be prepared.

I am willing to work with any broker, carrier, or employer interested in saving money on expensive surgeries, and to provide the best care for their injured workers or their client’s employees.

Ask me any questions you may have on how to save money on expensive surgeries under workers’ comp.

I am also looking for a partner who shares my vision of global health care for injured workers.

I am also willing to work with any health care provider, medical tourism facilitator or facility to help you take advantage of a market segment treating workers injured on the job. Workers’ compensation is going through dramatic changes, and may one day be folded into general health care. Injured workers needing surgery for compensable injuries will need to seek alternatives that provide quality medical care at lower cost to their employers. Caribbean and Latin America region preferred.

Call me for more information, next steps, or connection strategies at (561) 738-0458 or (561) 603-1685, cell. Email me at:

Will accept invitations to speak or attend conferences.

Connect with me on LinkedIn, check out my website, FutureComp Consulting, and follow my blog at:

Transforming Workers’ Comp Blog is now viewed all over the world in over 250 countries and political entities. I have published nearly 300 articles, many of them re-published in newsletters and other blogs.

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Zika More Dangerous than First Thought

According to two reports on, the Zika virus is more dangerous than health officials first thought.

The first report from last week can be found here. The second report says that Zika goes to the brain, and causes nerve damage similar to that caused by multiple sclerosis. Zika destroys developing nerve cells.

What does this mean to you, the medical travel facilitators working in Central and South America?

It means that maybe, money spent to attract patients to your countries, might first be better spent cleaning up your slums and cities that have standing water and debris that can be a breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry the disease.

It also means that you must work closely with your government agencies to assure that medical travel facilities are clean and prepared to deal with the disease, should there be patients who come down with the disease while getting medical care there.

More on Zika and Medical Travel

Ian Youngman posted the following article on last Friday.

This is in addition to the posts I wrote last month, “Will Zika Impact Medical Travel to Latin America?“, “Insurers’ Have Zika on Radar“, “OSHA To Weigh In On Interim Guidelines for Zika this Spring“, and “Zika to Cost Latin America and Caribbean $3.5B“.


‘Turkishmaninacanstan’ Strikes Back

Readers of this blog know that from time to time, I have had to criticize those in the workers’ comp industry for their short-sightedness, narrow-mindedness, excessive American Exceptionalism, “Know-nothingism”,  xenophobia and subtle racism.

But when a well-respected online journal re-posts an article by the chief anti-medical travel opponent in the workers’ comp world, it is high time that the medical travel industry speak up and defend itself.

As a tireless advocate for medical travel in workers’ comp, I am leading the charge that you, my friends around the world must do for yourselves.

You will notice the title of this post. This is what the individual in question calls those countries that provide medical travel services. Also, please note that by using this canard as my title, I am in no way insulting Turkey, or any other nation that markets their medical care to the world.

There is fair criticism of Turkey and many other countries in the medical travel industry, but those criticisms are meant to improve the services and to correct the mistakes of the past, and not to pass judgement on them.

But when someone uses a term such as ‘Turkishmaninacanstan’, it conjures up the worse images of third world poverty and backwardness in all aspects of life of the nations so broadly brushed with that epithet.

The individual who coined that despicable name is a self-styled, right-wing American conservative who lives on the gulf coast of the state of Florida, a region where many individuals like him retire to after their careers have declined to play golf.

While this individual may not be one of those just yet, the fact that he dismisses new ideas, that he insults the millions of men and women around the world who are trying to offer real low cost medical care at equal or better quality, that he insults the very nations who could use those resources they are spending to bring medical travelers to their countries as a way to improve their balance of trade and economic power in the global economy, when they could be used to raise the living standards of their poorest citizens, is something that can no longer go unanswered.

So, I ask all of you, doctors, nurses, travel agents, medical tourism promoters and facilitators who are legitimately trying to provide better medical care at lower cost to all of the world’s citizens, to speak up and tell this individual and those like him, that your countries are not ‘Turkishmaninacanstans’, and that you are developing world-class medical facilities that outshine those in his own country, and mine.

Basically, he is calling you con artists and frauds, and that is something that only you can stop.





Zika to Cost Latin America and Caribbean $3.5B

Three weeks ago, I wrote a piece about how the Zika virus may affect medical travel to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Today, Business (article unavailable online due to error) reported that the World Bank warned that the spread of the Zika virus across Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to cost those regions about $3.5 billion in forgone economic output.

A full article can be found here.

According to the article, the World Bank is offering $150 million in financing to those countries combating the disease.

This money is nearly three times the the amount of money requested by the United Nations’ health arm on Wednesday.

However, officials at the World Health Organization said that they needed $56 million to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The officials also said that the short-term funding request would be used to speed up research, vaccine development and diagnostics of the relatively unknown virus, and would last until June.

Insurers’ Have Zika on Radar

As a follow-up to my last post on the Zika virus and what the medical travel industry should be doing about it, I want to direct you to what Shelby Livingston wrote last week in Business Insurance.

She said that American health care insurers are closely monitoring the virus, educating their members, but have not yet figured out what it will cost payers.

A spokesperson for Aetna said, “We are in contact with the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. federal agencies, state and local health departments, health care providers and others so that we can provide timely, relevant and accurate information from the CDC to our members and customers. Additionally, we have distributed health information from the CDC to our disease management and case management teams to help support our members.

The statement also said, that it is premature to predict health care costs associated with the Zika virus.

Anthem posted a message on Twitter, Livingston reported, cautioning travelers to the Caribbean to heed the CDC’s warnings; UnitedHealth Group has published updates on its website, but did not respond to her requests for comment on how they are responding to the virus, or whether they are projecting costs associated with the virus.

As I noted in my post last week, this virus may have a chilling effect on your business and the health of your patients. It is advisable to monitor what the US insurers say and do going forward.

Will Zika Impact Medical Travel to Latin America?

By now, we have all heard about the Zika outbreak in Brazil that has led to many children being born with microcephaly, a disease that causes the baby to be born with a small head and brain.

But with the World Health Organization’s announcement that it is a global health emergency, and that several cases have been found throughout other Western hemisphere countries and the US, one through sexual contact in Texas, the medical travel industry needs to be concerned that they prepare their patients to deal with the possibility of infection.

In addition, medical travel facilitators should work closely with the medical personnel in the target destination to guarantee that not only is the area free of the mosquitoes that carry the disease, but that the facilities are capable of handling an outbreak of Zika, especially if foreign patients are involved.

Medical travel facilitators should also take precautions to ascertain if patients are, or will become pregnant before going to any of these countries where Zika has been found.

An ounce or more of prevention will be worth a whole lot of cure.


Carta Abierta a la Comunidad Latinoamericana de Turismo Médico

Hoy celebra el primer aniversario de la creación de FutureComp Consulting, y el pasado 29 de octubre fue el aniversario de tres años de la creación de mi blog, Comp transformando los trabajadores.

En los tres años que he estado escribiendo mi blog, he asistido a turismo médico tres conferencias, dos en Florida y uno en México en noviembre de 2014, donde dio una presentación titulada, “Barreras, obstáculos, oportunidades y dificultades de implementación de turismo médico en compensación a los trabajadores.”

En estas conferencias han conocí a muchas personas de América Latina y han dicho de mi idea para la transformación de compensación a los trabajadores en los Estados Unidos mediante el envío de pacientes a los países de la región.

Hasta la fecha, no una persona que conocí en estas conferencias, ni quien ha leído mi blog y es de la región ha puesto en contacto conmigo para ofrecer su apoyo y servicios para hacer de esta idea una realidad.

Y al discutir la cuestión con los americanos, especialmente ésos en la industria de la compensación a los trabajadores, su respuesta ha sido llamarlo una idea estúpida y ridícula y no.

También han sugerido que médicos de su región no es hasta los estándares americanos, a pesar de que he señalado a ellos que no están garantizados los resultados aquí, y que errores pueden ocurrir en los hospitales locales.

Este es un ejemplo de una típica respuesta de alguien en la industria de comp de los trabajadores:

“Honestamente, turismo médico para empleados lesionados no funcionará. Ya estamos desafiados diariamente cuando empleados lesionados dejan el país y tenemos que brindarles atención fuera de los Estados Unidos. Te escucho pero es un tramo. No podemos obtener buenos resultados aquí odio pensar qué sucedería cuando enviamos algún otro lugar. Las leyes son mucho demasiado complicadas para obtener el resultado deseado”.

En mi blog, escribí el siguiente artículo basado en algunas observaciones sobre los medios sociales que incluí en un diálogo virtual, “Punto/contrapunto: A Virtual diálogo en el fondo de aplicación médica Turismo en compensación”.

En la presentación que dio en Reynosa, dijo que hay una falta de conocimiento acerca de la calidad de la atención médica en el extranjero (llamada “medicina de tercer mundo”) y que americano abrigó las actitudes negativas hacia la atención médica en el extranjero, así como la presunción conocida como “Excepcionalismo norteamericano” por el que médicos americanos sólo saben practicar medicina y sólo hospitales estadounidenses están calificados para ofrecer cuidado.

Sin embargo, no todos los americanos son así; de hecho, un abogado que representa a los trabajadores lesionados tenía cirugía de rodilla en Costa Rica y tenía una gran experiencia, quiere que sus clientes tengan también.

En mi presentación, presentado seis principales barreras y obstáculos para la implementación, pero escrito esta carta ahora, quiero decir a la comunidad de turismo de América Latina, que hay una séptimo barrera y obstáculo y es su incapacidad del mercado y defender su médico servicios a la industria del seguro americano y más concretamente, a comunidad de comp de los trabajadores.

Ha sido una de las razones por qué he estado escribiendo acerca de esto por tanto tiempo. En muchos de mis artículos, te imploro que hagas algo al respecto. Incluso dije esto en México cuando le dije que tenía que ir después del mercado; el mercado no vendrá a usted.

Por lo que no crees que yo soy un gringo loco, Norte Americano, aquí están algunos de los artículos que he escrito que hace exactamente eso:

“La estrellas alineado: México como un destino de turismo médico para los trabajadores de Estados Unidos nacidos en México, en compensación a los trabajadores”

“Un menor costo, atención médica de alta calidad está cercano”

“Limpiar el aire: mi defensa de la aplicación de turismo médico en compensación a los trabajadores”

“Far in front of the crowd”

“Muy por delante de la multitud”

“E PLURIBUS UNUM: América Latina y Caribe inmigración, compensación y turismo médico”

Por qué el turismo médico para Comp trabajadores es una idea cuyo tiempo ha llegado»

“Questions, Questions, How Medical Tourism Can Become a Real Alternative in Health Care and What It Means for Workers’ Compensation

“More questions, Questions: A Call for Answers from the Medical Tourism Industry”

«Más preguntas, preguntas: Una llamada para obtener respuestas de la industria del turismo médico»

Finalmente, la semana que viene iba a ser cuando yo me iba a dar una segunda presentación en México, esta vez en Puerto Vallarta, pero por motivos personales, tuve que sacar.

Esta es la presentación que iba a dar que describe los desafíos que enfrenta la compensación a los trabajadores, y lo que debe hacer la industria del turismo médico.

Así que mi reto es Latina y América Central. ¿Vas a comercializar sus servicios a esta industria, y defenderá su atención médica, como igual o mejor que la atención que recibe en los Estados Unidos?

¿Precio y transparencia? ¿Compartirán datos con líderes escépticos de su mejor atención médica, o vas a permitir que le llamen “barkers del carnaval”?

Estoy dispuesto a trabajar con usted. Sabes como contactarme.