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    Traveling 4 Health & Retirement (THR) heralds a new era in medical travel and overseas retirement

  • Shopping Across Borders for Medical Care

    By Ilene Little on Wednesday, April 3, 2013

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    globe and airplane 	Shopping Across Borders for Medical Care

    Travel for Better Care

    You can’t control the changes in the healthcare industry, but you can implement your own healthcare strategy and, therefore, your quality of life.  Attitude, knowledge of your own health risks, and insisting on the best medical care are all within your control.

    Important Personal Considerations When Choosing to Travel for Procedures

    Those who can answer “yes” to the following questions are good candidates for enjoying the medical tourism process:

    • Do you have an idea of what the same procedure, if available, would cost you in your home country?
    • In your home country, is access to the care limited?  For example, extended wait times to schedule operations can cause other body impairments and affect your quality of life.
    • Have you been told you cannot get the operation or procedure you need in your home country?  For example, certain procedures proven to be effective are not yet available in many countries.
    • Is your language spoken in the destination country – and especially at the treatment facility – or if not, will you have the assistance of a translator or international patient coordinator to assist you?
    • Do you have the assistance of your home doctor or a patient advocate to coordinate your continuing care upon your return home?  Some medical tourism facilitators can provide both in-home and out-of-country follow-up care.
    • Is an international patient case manager overseeing your treatment plan?  A good case management firm can oversee your treatment and protect your budget against unexpected costs.
    • Will you be benefiting from treatment by a highly qualified physician?
    • Is the cost-savings a benefit to you?

    Important Considerations When Choosing an Overseas Hospital for a Medical Procedure

    Traveling 4 Health & Retirement (THR) advocates a high standard of patient satisfaction with treatment abroad.  Patient satisfaction consists of the following factors:

    Clinical Experience

    • Was the patient provided a written care plan?
    • Did the treatment accomplish the stated goal/s of the care plan?
    • Were there any complications?
    • If there were complications, why and how were they managed?

    Customer Experience

    • Was the patient provided with a written cost of treatment?
    • Was the estimate accurate within 15-percent of the final bill?
    • If the final bill was greater than 15 percent of the estimate, was the variance explained by the doctor and the hospital?
    • Did the hospital staff speak your language?
    • Was the staff helpful?
    • Would you rate your overall experience as favorable?

    Mitigating the Risk of Surgery Abroad

    Traveling 4 Health & Retirement recommends that patients strongly consider booking their medical procedure through a professional T.P.A (Third-Party Administrator) that offers professional medical case-management service that adheres to American standards of case management and medical planning.

    The reality is that many busy hospitals see foreign patients as value-added business.  They won’t say no to the business, but they won’t go out of their way to get it.  That can result in a less-than-desirable foreign-patient experience.

    It makes sense to research medical travel by reaching out to the medical-travel experts.

    At THR, we offer consumer protection tools that provide peace of mind, including referrals to patient advocates and case managers trusted by their professional peers and recommended by THR members.

    I suggest expanding, not limiting, your choice of lifestyle destinations, including educating yourself on the medical resources available to you if considering living part-time or full-time abroad.  Fresh thinking comes from expanding the information you’re getting beyond your existing sources.  No advice is more reassuring than the firsthand experiences of your friends who live part-time or full time abroad.  Start making those new friends.

    Category: Medical Resources

  • Something to Talk About Over the Holidays

    By Ilene Little on Sunday, November 27, 2011

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    Holiday dinner Something to Talk About Over the Holidays

    Be the bearer of good news over the holidays

    The holiday speak is all about the “seniors” this year – and their limited choices for lifestyle.

    Throw out a life-line to family members

    Check out the new Google interactive map on our home page where you can see at a glance popular places where others, like yourself, are living better lifestyles requiring less income and enjoying better healthcare benefits sometimes as cheaply as $22 a month.

    Use what you see on the map as a conversation starter at gatherings of extended family over the holidays.

    Typically four generations are being affected by the retirement decisions of people in their 60’s.

    You can be the bearer of hope in this daunting economy.  Introducing topics that offer more “choice” will lift the spirits of an entire gathering.

    “Light at the end of the tunnel” conversations

    That old cliché is true, “you have nothing to lose and everything to gain” by starting a dialogue that will at least reveal a base-line of what family members think about their own or their elder’s retirement.

    At best, you will plant some positive seeds of thought that will bear fruit for great grandparents, grandparents, parents, and for the grandkids.

    Don’t know where to start?  Click Here to read some topics for discussion recommended by retirement consultants.

    The Fresh Face of Change

    I get to write and search for other people who have answers to the questions we all have regarding living a full life in our 50′s and beyond.  And that excites me and gives my life meaning.

    Let me know, by clicking on this virtual “show of hands” if you get excited by the idea of being part of our team exploring retirement hot spots for your individual needs and to help others.

    I find it interesting that I’m seeing a lot of “hands up” from medical and health care professionals.

    For example, in an email I received yesterday, a U.S. surgeon asked:

    “I wonder if you’ve come across resources for USA trained, USA citizens to become licensed, practicing physicians in other countries?  I believe this will be a topic of great interest in coming months and years (for obvious reasons) and I am considering writing a guide myself if I can’t find one.  I personally envision living aboard a boat and practicing in Chile or Malta.”

    Category: Medical Resources

  • Dental and Medical Vacations in Costa Rica . . .

    By Ilene Little on Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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    Executive Tom Duhr Dental and Medical Vacations in Costa Rica . . .

    Fun on Medical Vacation to Costa Rica

    Medical Tourism in Costa Rica – Dental Tourism in Costa Rica -Medical Vacation in Costa Rica

    Why not take a vacation, meet some great people and tour some of what Costa Rica has to offer?

    Costa Rican Medical Care (CRMC) is again working with PROMED the Council for the International Promotion of the Costa Rica Medicine to promote the Medical Travel Conference April 23-25, 2012 in Escazu, Costa Rica.

    Costa Rican Medical Care is one of the select few medical tourism facilitators recommended by Traveling 4 Health and Retirement.  We know the company’s principals and have talked with a number of their satisfied patients who have shared reports on their experiences and the services provided.

    My husband and I have fond memories of our trip to Cost Rica for the 2009 conference when we were hosted by Tim and Viki Morales, President and Patient Coordinator of Costa Rican Medical Care.  It wasn’t just what we learned at the conference, it was what we learned at the beach and over lunch and dinner listening to Tim and his wife Viki, who have years of experience to share.

    Conferences are a great place to gather information, browse the booths and talk with professionals about what you want.  But how often do you get the opportunity to spend enough time with providers to get to know the people behind the company?

    This year’s host hotel will be the beautiful five star Inter-Continental Hotel located in beautiful Escazu just outside San Jose.  The hotel is conveniently located across from the recently-expanded Mutiplaza Shopping Center, a true international shopping mecca.

    Your Early Bird Price is only $500 for Single or $600 for two attendees double occupancy sharing a room.  Room cost for the 4 nights alone from the hotel’s website is $976!

    I encourage people to take advantage of the hospitality and knowledge Tim and Viki have to share.  It’s refreshing to get to know a company’s philosophy and practices and investigate an industry while building a relationship with industry leaders rather than being held at arms-length, which is certainly more often the case at conferences.

    Add that to having a chance to tour medical facilities of interest, and you are now much better prepared to make a decision based on not only on cost and but also on quality considerations.

    What you’ll like about the Medical Travel Conference in Cost Rica is that there are no “added costs” for tours of facilities or access to seminars and workshops.  As attendees at other conferences can attest, that’s not always the case.

    Perks of being hosted by Costa Rican Medical Care

    I can assure you from first-hand experience, that this is a company that does a first-rate job of hosting.  You will hear honest opinions, get to know personalities and philosophies and come away with trusted resources to call for your or your company needs.

    The following story was told to me by Tim Morales:

    “In August, an employee benefit advisor along with his wife contacted CRMC about offering their services. They flew down to Costa Rica to visit the medical and dental providers and decided to each get complete physicals while they were there. During the booking process, his wife mentioned that she had just had a Mammogram in the last 60 days and did not need that included in the physical. Because the physical included a breast ultrasound, Viki urged her to take advantage of having the test as a second check.  This test showed two spots that were not seen with the Mammogram. Within 90 minutes, she was seeing a specialist for biopsy and removal of the two affected areas. They could not believe the prompt and caring service they received from the hospital and doctors and said that if this had happened in the States, it would have been weeks to get an appointment to see the specialist. They were very happy that they had taken Viki’s advice, as the problem would have gone undetected.

    If, like many people, you think of Costa Rica as a third-world country with antiquated health care, I urge you to take advantage of this conference and the special early bird pricing available to find out the real truth about the care and facilities in Costa Rica.  You’ll come away with a new perspective and appreciation for what’s available to the medical tourist.  And you’ll have the added benefit of a five-star stay added bonuses at a big discount.”

    Whether you’re an individual curious about treatment abroad or a company representative interested in benefits for your employees, this is a unique opportunity.  For more information, please visit www.costaricanmedicaltourism.com.

    Category: Medical Resources

  • Sleep on Medical or Wellness Holidays

    By Ilene Little on Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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    Sleep on medical or wellness holidays Traveling 4 health or retirement Sleep on Medical or Wellness Holidays

    A New Understanding of Jet Lag, photo credit to Virginia.edu

    Sleep on Medical or Wellness Holidays

    - by Becky Mackay, special to Traveling 4 Health & Retirement .

    Whether you are travelling by coach for just a few hours or embarking on a longer international journey, travelling on medical or wellness holidays can disturb your natural sleeping pattern and cause a number of problems. Without adequate sleep you may find yourself irritable, frustrated, or simply unable to enjoy the new sights and attractions found at your holiday destination. Here are a few ways that your sleep may be disturbed while on a holiday and how you can fix the situation.
    Uncomfortable Seats: Whether you have a red-eye flight or an overnight train journey, you may be unable to sleep thanks to seats that won’t recline, don’t have adequate legroom or are simply too small. When you do fall asleep, neck or back pain can wake you up. To avoid this problem, considering travelling with a small neck pillow, which provides a way to relieve pressure when sleeping in a sitting position. A small cushion from home can easily do the trick, or for light sleepers, a specialised half donut shaped pillow, which wraps around the neck, providing both support and comfort. To ease the whole body bring another pillow to prop behind the back and drift off into uninterrupted sleep.

    Snoring: Falling asleep on a plane while feeling uncomfortable is one thing, falling asleep on a plane if you or a partner are prone to snoring is another. Embarrassment can ensue regardless of whether you or your other half suffers from snoring, but there are ways of avoiding these noisy, embarrassing moments. Sleeping on your side and avoiding coffee, alcohol and cigarettes before and during the flight are all easy methods to decrease your chances of snoring. If these haven’t worked then try one of the over-the-counter remedies, including nasal sprays and strips. If you have found no luck with these treatments then a visit to your doctor may be in order and they will be able to provide you with simple medical procedures for the treatment of snoring.

    However, if it is a stranger’s snoring affecting your travel sleep, it is always a good idea to take earplugs with you, just in case.
    Jet Lag: Once you have arrived at your holiday destination, you may face one of the most frustrating travel inconveniences-jet lag. By travelling long distances over various time zones, your body clock becomes confused. The best way to avoid this is to prepare in advance. If you are travelling to the East go to bed later and wake up later to adjust to the time. If you are heading West, do the opposite, sleeping and waking up early. Once you arrive begin eating the meal of the day according to the current time zone and spend some time in the sun to align your body with the natural circadian rhythms.

    Whether your sleep is disrupted on a plane, train, or even in your own hotel room, losing sleep can really put a damper on your holiday. By following these tips you can make the most of your trip and resolve any sleep disturbance issues you may face.


    Becky Mackay is an online writer, with a keen interest in health and lifestyle. For more top tips visit her twitter page @FreshHealth11.


    Related article:  A new understanding of jet lag
    Study explains why biological clock is slow to reset after transmeridian travel.

    Category: Medical Resources

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