Table of Contents
Below are the chapters of the destination guide. Click on any of the buttons below scroll to the actual chapter.
Las Vegas: By the Numbers
1,485,855 (METRO AREA)
WINTER 45-51°F / 7-10.5°C
SUMMER 84-91°F / 29-33°C
ANNUAL RAINFALL 4.1 INCHES
DAYS OF SUNSHINE 310
85 SQUARE MILES / 220
SQUARE KILOMETERS ELEVATION 2178 FEET / 664 METERS
AREA CODE 702
AVERAGE NUMBER OF CONVENTIONS PER YEAR
AVERAGE NUMBER OF CONVENTIONS PER YEAR 4.000
GMT -8 (GMT -7 DURING DAYLIGHT SAVINGS)
110 VOLTS AC, 50HZ; ROUND TWO-PIN PLUGS
About the Author
Founder and the President of the Medical Tourism Association™
Renée-Marie Stephano is a Founder and the President of the Medical Tourism Association™, an international non-profit trade association dedicated to transparency in the quality and pricing of healthcare services, education and communication. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Tourism Magazine and Health Tourism Magazine. Ms. Stephano and her organization have helped thousands of patients travel to other countries and within countries to receive alternative high quality healthcare and medical treatment.
A graduate of University of Villanova School of Law, Renée-Marie is a strong advocate in the importance of educating patients and providing patients options based upon quality, cost, affordability and accessibility.She has a strong passion for the health and wellness industry and believes in the integration of wellness into traditional medicine.
Ms. Stephano spends most of her time traveling the world meeting with hospitals and governments and helping them create initiatives to support medical tourism and to increase the healthcare infrastructure and quality of healthcare in that location. She works with Ministries and tourism boards to create healthcare clusters bringing countries long term goals and visions to fruition. Renée-Marie’s hobbies are hiking, scuba diving, dancing, reading and anything associated with the outdoors and wildlife.
Having visited hundreds of healthcare facilities around the globe, Renée- Marie strives to deliver one simple message to providers of patient care in the delivery of healthcare services: It’s all about the patient experience.
Through the best practices, protocols and certification programs of the MTA, the seamless transition of a patient from one destination to another and back again is based upon the integration of healthcare, tourism and hospitality to deliver this experience.
Ms. Stephano also is the author of three books: “Developing an International Patient Center: A Guide to Creating the Best Patient Experience”, the book “The Medical Tourism Facilitator: A Best Practices Guide to Healthcare Facilitation for International Patients” and the book:
“Medical Tourism ~ An International Healthcare Guide For Insurers, Employers and Governments.”
You may reach Renée-Marie at:
FROM THE OFFICE OF MAYOR CAROLYN G. GOODMAN
Tourism is the lifeblood of the Southern Nevada economy. We work hard to ensure that we are on the cutting edge of the travel and tourism industry, and our destination is continuously evolving to provide travelers with what they want for their travel experience.
One of the latest developments in the tourism industry is the increased focus on medical tourism. While this may conjure visions of cost-conscious travelers seeking out medical procedures in third-world destinations or wealthy tourists taking a spa and cosmetic procedure trip in a tropical destination, the truth of the matter is that medical tourism is a broad-ranging genre covering specialty care, expert advice, and world-class facilities.
With the recent addition of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas has put itself on the map as a premier medical tourism destination. The state-of-the-art clinic focuses on cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. In addition to providing world-class care and treatment, the Cleveland Clinic is quickly becoming one of the premier research facilities for these disorders.
In addition to the Cleveland Clinic, Las Vegas provides a number of quality facilities in varying medical fields, such as the Nevada Cancer Institute. This guide is one of the first of its kind to provide a single source of information regarding the medical facilities, specialties and opportunities available here. We are excited to provide this information and create a comprehensive guide of the medical facilities here in Las Vegas.
As the Mayor of Las Vegas, I am committed to the continued advancement of medical tourism here in Southern Nevada. This city has shown its ability to provide travelers with what they want and need whether they travel for business, pleasure or medical treatment.
Carolyn G. Goodman
Mayor, City of Las Vegas
ABOUT THE MEDICAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION™ DESTINATION GUIDES
For decades, travelers have trusted destination guides for information such as culture, language, gastronomy, tourism activities, currency and a highlight of things to do in the destination they visit. Currently, as a result of the high cost of healthcare, limited access to high technology and specialized surgical technique among other factors, patients are finding themselves looking for alternative options for treatment, many times, outside of their local community, state and even country.
As nearly 100 countries around the world embrace the medical tourism industry, the Medical Tourism Association™ has launched its Destination Guides program as a commitment to education, with a focus on consumer awareness. The Medical Tourism Association™ Destination Guides provide an exclusive focus on a destination, country or city with detailed information about the quality of healthcare in the destination and the healthcare infrastructure found in that region, including wellness and preventative healthcare options as well. The key function of the Destination Guides is to empower medical travelers with knowledge on the industry and provide a step by step, set of guidelines to take into consideration when traveling for healthcare and/or wellness.
The Destination Guides are structured to educate consumers and take them through their medical tourism decision making process; from the moment they begin to research a destination, they will know what to look for. The key function of the Destination Guides is to empower medical travelers with knowledge on the industry and provide a step by step, set of guidelines to take into consideration when traveling for healthcare and/or wellness.
Additional features of the destination guides include instant free access for patients by downloading it from MedicalTourism.com, one of the highest rated websites for medical tourism on the Internet. The print edition of the guides may be available through Amazon.comTM and other merchants for worldwide distribution. A recent Medical Tourism Association™ Survey found that almost 73% of medical tourists researched their information on medical tourism online. The guide will include information on hospitals, clinics, medical spas, wellness centers, hotels and tour operators for patients. The Medical Tourism Association™ Destination Guides also feature tourism information for patients with full color photos to go along with the tourism information to help establish expectations and includes helpful tips for patients and their companions during their medical stay.
LAS VEGAS GIVES HEALTH AND WELLNESS TOP BILLING
“Las Vegas.” Few words are imbued with as much mystery, glamour and tantalizing fun as the name of this iconic American city. Born under the hot desert sun, for seventy years Las Vegas has pushed the entertainment envelope by continually innovating and reinventing itself.
Each year Las Vegas mesmerizes visitors with spectacular shows, one of- a-kind resorts, mouth-watering dining and luxurious spas. The stars that have graced the city’s billboards are almost as endless as those that sparkle in the desert sky above. Elvis, Sinatra, Manilow… these are tough acts to follow.
But the entertainment capital of the world has never been one to sit idle.
Recently a new star has been born in the form of state-of-the-art hospitals, cutting-edge medical research and affordable health and wellness treatments.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
Health and wellness may not be the first words that come to mind when one thinks of Las Vegas. We are much more likely to picture opulent themed casinos, Venetian canals, or extravagant shows with magicians than hospitals or wellness spas.
“Vegas” isn’t just any town; it is a city where excellence and innovation pulse through its veins; where turning the status quo upside down is expected rather than feared. Is Vegas planning to throw fun out the door in exchange for somber looks, white latex gloves and stethoscopes? Hardly! Extravagance and out-of-this-world entertainment will always be just one step away. The city is simply taking advantage of its healthy climate, topnotch medical facilities, leading medical professionals and a stunning landscape to forge a path into a new frontier called “medical tourism.”
LAS VEGAS CONVENTION & VISITORS AUTHORITY
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. With more than 148,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and over 10.5 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA’s mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is the official destination marketing organization of Las Vegas and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. The LVCVA brings visitors to Las Vegas and Clark County by promoting tourism, conventions, meetings and special events.
3150 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
THE MEDICAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION™
The Medical Tourism Association™ also referred to as Medical Travel Association, is the first membership based international non-profit trade association for the medical tourism and global healthcare industry made up of the top international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies, and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting the highest level of quality of healthcare to patients in a global environment. Our Association promotes the interests of its healthcare provider and medical tourism facilitator members. The Medical Tourism Association™ has three tenets: Transparency in Quality and Pricing, Communication and Education.
MEDICAL TOURISM ASSOCIATIONTM
10130 Northlake Blvd Suite 214-315
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA 33412
SOUTHERN NEVADA MEDICAL INDUSTRY COALITION
Founded in 2002, the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition (SNMIC) is a non-profit 600-plus volunteer organization of healthcare professionals, consumers, committed citizens, local government representatives, educators and chamber of commerce representatives committed to improving access and delivery of medical care in Southern Nevada. SNMIC believes the status quo is not good enough, and creates annual action plans and implements hundreds of outstanding projects, bringing higher quality and more efficient healthcare to Southern Nevada– while saving millions of healthcare dollars.
SNMIC’S Mission is focused: To foster strategic alliances in the health care community, collaborating on workforce issues and being a proactive force for legislative initiatives to improve access and the delivery of health care in Southern Nevada.
SNMIC’S Vision is clear: To improve the quality of health care and to assist in the economic diversification of Southern Nevada.
SOUTHERN NEVADA MEDICAL INDUSTRY COALITION
P.O. Box 531101
Henderson, NV 89053
What you Need to Know About Medical Tourism
WHAT IS MEDICAL TOURISM?
Medical tourism (also known as medical travel or global healthcare) is the process in which patients travel to other destinations for medical or health and wellness services. Oftentimes these services can take the form of a dental treatment, knee surgery, health check-up or even a trip to a wellness spa.
The term medical tourism may sound strange and exotic to some people; but in fact it is a rapidly growing phenomenon spurred on by an increasingly empowered patient base searching for quality, affordability, availability, and accessibility in healthcare.`
Some people have the erroneous impression that patients are flying for open heart surgery to a dilapidated jungle clinic in some third world country - followed by bungee jumping. The opposite is true. Most patients are receiving care in high-end hospitals or clinics located in major urban centers, and will plan their trip to allow enough time for a prudent recuperation period before heading home.
The term medical tourism is often used in the context of patients traveling abroad for medical care to countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Thailand and Singapore - and this is certainly true. However, there is also a growing trend towards “domestic” medical tourism, in which patients travel from one area of the country to another for medical care.
Regardless of the reason, the common denominator in all medical tourism related activities is that patients are traveling away from their home region to access these services.
"Whether it is affordability, accessibility, availability or better quality, in the final analysis, patients are searching for better perceived value."
WHEN DID MEDICAL TOURISM BEGIN?
You might be surprised to know that medical tourism is not a new phenomenon. In fact, archaeological evidence from the third millennium B.C. suggests that ancient Mesopotamians traveled to the temple of a healing god or goddess at Tell Brak, Syria, in search of a cure for eye disorders. A few thousand years later the Greeks and Romans would travel by foot or ship to spas and cult centers all around the Mediterranean. The Asclepia Temples, dedicated in honor of the Greek god of medicine, were some of the world’s first health centers. Pilgrims would sometimes spend several nights in the temple, hoping Asclepios would appear in a dream and suggest a diagnosis or treatment.
Later in the 16th and 17th centuries, spa towns such as St. Moritz and Bath became prime destinations for the European upper classes looking to soothe their ills. More recently, the wealthier citizens of underdeveloped nations have begun traveling to renowned medical institutions in the United States or Europe, usually for invasive medical procedures such as open heart surgery or cancer treatments that require a high degree of specialization and experience.
Over the last fifteen years, however, the trend has reversed itself as increasing numbers of patients have begun traveling from developed nations such as the United States and Canada to socalled “underdeveloped” nations in search of affordable medical care or treatment options not available at home. Most media attention has focused – often in a negative light - on patients traveling for what are referred to as “elective” procedures such as plastic surgery or dental. However, a growing number of patients are traveling for more acute care procedures such as open heart surgery, spinal procedures or hip and knee replacements.
In 2009, The Deloitte Center for Health Care Solutions, a U.S. based consulting company, predicted a 35 percent increase in medical travel over the next several years, including an expected 1.6 million Americans traveling for medical care in 2012. A rapidly aging U.S. population coupled with escalating healthcare costs and the uncertainty of healthcare reform are expected to increase medical tourism’s appeal even further.
“Archaeological evidence from the third millennium B.C. suggests that ancient Mesopotamians traveled to the temple of a healing god or goddess at Tell Brak, Syria, in search of a cure for eye disorders.”
WHO TRAVELS FOR MEDICAL CARE?
When you think of a medical tourist you might be tempted to picture a khaki-clad adventurer – a la Indiana Jones or Lara Croft – macheteing a path through the jungle in search of a long lost elixir. Romanticism aside, medical tourists are just like you and me; they have simply made an educated (and usually thoroughly researched decision) to travel to greener healthcare pastures (don’t let the desert around Las Vegas fool you!).
Patients from all walks of life and from many regions in the U.S. and abroad are currently traveling for medical care. In the United States, medical tourism patients can be grouped into three broad categories:
- Self-Pay Patients
- Uninsured or Underinsured
- Corporate Insured Market
Self-Pay Patients are those patients who are paying out-of-pocket for their medical procedure or treatment. Currently much of the outbound medical tourism (from the U.S. abroad) is made up of self-pay patients. The majority of these patients are uninsured or underinsured, or seeking elective procedure options usually not covered by insurance. Underinsured patients are those who have health insurance coverage, however, their policies may high deductibles or high co-insurance.
The Corporate Insured Market on the other hand, is made up of individuals who have access to healthcare options through their employer. In some instances, for example, an employer might send high level employees to a Las Vegas hospital for executive physical exams. In other instances, a company that self-funds its employees’ medical plan will outsource healthcare services to hospitals out of state or even out of country, for the same reasons. The motivation for the employer in both examples is to lower healthcare costs and provide better value.
Patients traveling for medical care may not be searching for a magical elixir; however, they are looking to improve or maintain their quality of life through procedures such as executive health check-ups, fertility treatments, weight loss surgery, cosmetic surgery, cardiac surgery, orthopedic surgery and dental treatments.
IS MEDICAL TOURISM SAFE?
You may have heard stories on the six o’clock news of offshore surgeries gone bad or patients returning to the U.S. with medical complications that their local doctors refused treat. While some of these stories may be true, it is important to point out that thousands of patients are traveling within and outside the U.S. for medical care and the vast majority are having very positive experiences and excellent procedure outcomes.
Can something go wrong? Yes. Medical complications or even botched surgeries are possible in New York as well as in New Delhi. However, medical tourism is generally very safe if you carefully research your options and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Consider the following questions when doing your research:
DOES THE HOSPITAL SPECIALIZE IN THE PROCEDURE OR DOES IT BOAST A CENTER OF EXCELLENCE?
There is no substitute for experience. This translates into lower mortality rates and complications, which means a greater chance for your procedure to be a success! It’s also no secret that top hospitals attract top physicians – another compelling reason to choose a great hospital.
IS THE HOSPITAL ACCREDITED BY THE JOINT COMMISSION OR ANOTHER RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING BODY?
Although accreditation does not guarantee a perfect medical experience, it does signal that a particular hospital or clinic has invested significant time and resources in perfecting quality of care processes and patient safety protocols that over time will promote successful surgical outcomes.
THE JOINT COMMISSION
The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization, which accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
IS THE SURGEON PROPERLY LICENSED?
Although the likelihood of your doctor being a quack is slim if you are dealing with a well-known medical institution, it is still prudent to verify your doctor’s credentials before traveling anywhere for surgery – especially if you are considering a smaller clinic or overseas hospital. Not only do you want to be certain that a particular doctor is really a doctor, but you also want to make sure he or she has the necessary background, skills and experience to successfully treat your condition.
Checking the credentials of offshore physicians will be a little more difficult; however, you do have some options:
- Check and see if the offshore physician is affiliated to U.S. or international professional societies. Organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offer international membership status for non-resident physicians with the appropriate qualifications.
- Request physician credentials from internationally accredited facilities as they have a very high stake in making sure that their medical staff’s qualifications are in order.
- Contact a country’s health ministry or physician licensing board to ensure a particular doctor is properly licensed.
While none of these measures are full-proof, they will significantly reduce the likelihood of you choosing an unqualified physician for your treatment.
IS THE DESTINATION SAFE?
Regardless of the quality of care available there are certain destinations that are inherently less safe than others due to political turmoil, crime, terrorism or disease. Fortunately, most of these factors are non issues in Las Vegas, however, patients traveling overseas need to check with the U.S. State Department and Center for Disease Control for current conditions before traveling abroad.
Just because your procedure is over does not mean that you are ready to pack your bags and head back home. Your doctor will recommend several days of monitored rest in order to ensure an optimal recovery and the best possible outcome to your surgery or treatment. This process is often referred to as aftercare. In more technical terms it can be defined as “the process of maintaining the integrity and quality of a patient’s care as he or she transitions from one setting (or set of circumstances) to another.”
The actual aftercare process occurs in several different phases. It will also differ significantly from patient to patient depending on the nature of the treatment and the patient´s condition and needs. A patient who has undergone a hip replacement, for example, will require much more follow-up and assistance than a patient who is in Las Vegas for a dental treatment or an executive physical.
Where surgery is involved, phase one of the aftercare process begins the moment you leave the treatment center. If you are staying at an area hotel then you may need to return to the medical facility for rehabilitation therapy, removal of stitches, nutritional counseling or simply for general monitoring of your post-procedure progress. Phase two begins once you return home. Here it is important to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to ensure that your recovery is headed in the right direction.
ARE YOU ALLOWING ENOUGH TIME FOR YOUR RECUPERATION BEFORE TRAVELING HOME?
The best advice is to talk to your doctor before traveling for any medical treatment in order to understand the potential risks involved, not only in traveling for healthcare, but also to assess any risks particular to your own personal health condition. Patients should consider a health evaluation before any planned healthcare trip.
Surgery is stressful enough regardless of your location. For an optimal recovery allow sufficient rest time before your departure home. This is particularly important if you are flying long distances where there is a risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.
DVT may be defined as a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. If the blood clot breaks off and travels through the blood stream to the lungs, a pulmonary embolism may occur which is potentially fatal. Although rare, there are effective measures that traveling patients can use to reduce the risk of DVT.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:
- Getting up and walking around every 2 to 3 hours;
- Exercise your legs while you’re sitting; and
- Drink plenty of water, and avoid drinking anything with alcohol or caffeine in it.
Additionally, there are medical protocols that doctors will use to reduce a patient’s risk of DVT. These include prescribing medical compression stockings and anti-clotting medications such as Warfarin and Heparin for surgical patients.
The key factor to take into consideration is communication with your physician and understanding the protocol you are given.
Tips for an Optimal Aftercare Process
- Make scheduled appointments before and after treatment with your local doctor. Also make sure your doctor knows that you are traveling and that he or she is aware of the details of your procedure or treatment.
- Before traveling, find out if a companion is recommended for the aftercare process.
- Find out about the type and extent of the aftercare provided by the hospital.
- Contact the hotel you will be staying at to inform them about your procedure and your needs after surgery.
- Don’t leave the hospital without your complete medical records and a doctor’s report that details the procedures performed and specifies recommendations for an optimal recovery process.
It is important for both patients and providers to be proactive with the aftercare process as it is an integral part of a successful procedure outcome and promotes a positive medical tourism experience.
MEDICAL TOURISM FACILITATORS
If you have spent any time researching medical tourism then you have probably stumbled upon fancy websites that claim to arrange all the details of your medical trip. Typically, they will have a list of hospitals and doctors in several destinations along with information about the various medical procedures they promote. These companies are usually referred to as “medical tourism facilitators” or “healthcare facilitators,” and they function as intermediaries or liaisons between patients and medical care providers.
Medical tourism facilitators can be found all over the Internet; however, it is advisable that patients work with companies that are certified by organizations such as the Medical Tourism Association™ or rated by the Better Business Bureau.
THE ROLE OF A MEDICAL TOURISM FACILITATOR IS TWO-FOLD:
- To educate potential patients about the various medical facilities and physicians they are promoting; and
- To manage the flow of information and coordination of services between patients and providers.
WHAT SERVICES DO MEDICAL TOURISM FACILITATORS PROVIDE?
The services they provide are designed to facilitate a smooth medical tourism process for both patients and medical providers and usually include:
- Providing price quotes
- Arranging the transfer of medical records
- Coordinating video conference calls between patient and surgeon
- Collecting payment (not all facilitators do this)
- Arranging travel logistic services such as passports, flights, lodging and transportation
- Providing a main point of contact while the patient is at the hospital
- Following up with patients after they return home
ADVANTAGES OF USING A FACILITATOR
• One Stop Shopping
The convenience of being able to choose and access information about a variety of destinations, hospitals, procedures, and services at one location, instead of having to contact each hospital piecemeal. Patients can visit a medical tourism facilitator’s website and request a price estimate for a particular procedure from several different hospitals or clinics, and then choose which provider better serves their needs and budget. In addition, once they have made a decision on where to travel, the medical tourism facilitator can usually take care of all their travel logistics such as flights, lodging, and transportation.
• Established Relationships with International Hospitals
Medical tourism facilitators (at least in theory) have already done the groundwork to make sure a patient’s chosen hospital and doctor are duly accredited and licensed. Although not always the case, many have visited the hospitals and physicians they are promoting and already have a system in place to make the medical tourism process safe and smooth.
• Language and Cultural Barriers are Minimized
If you are traveling from overseas, contacting some hospitals can be challenging due to time zone differences, language barriers, and cultural differences. As shown above, medical tourism facilitators already have the right contacts and a tried and true process in place with their network of hospitals. Additionally, patients can often choose facilitators located in their own country, assuring them that they will be dealing with people who speak their own language and have a better understanding of the obstacles they face in order to get from point A
to point B.
• Convenient Transfer of Medical Information
As relationships and systems are already in place, most medical tourism facilitators have the ability to quickly transfer a patient’s medical information including large image files such as CT’s and MRI’s.
DISADVANTAGES OF USING A FACILITATOR
• Quality of Service May Vary Significantly from one Medical Tourism Facilitator to Another
Medical tourism facilitators are popping up all over the Internet these days with flashy websites promising they offer the best of everything. And even though people may know that a beautiful website does not guarantee quality service, the Internet has promoted a level playing field for a wide range of facilitator options that may not always be in the patient’s best interest. Some facilitators simply do not have the skill, experience, resources or relationships to provide a quality medical tourism experience. Unfortunately, this is not always easily discernable to a patient looking at a website or speaking to someone on the phone.
• There may be a Bias towards Certain Hospitals or Destinations
Obviously medical tourism facilitators do not have the time or resources to visit every destination or work with thirty different international hospitals. They must choose wisely from a limited number – always described as “the best”. Naturally, patients will be directed to these hospitals and not others – even if they aren’t necessarily the best hospitals for their particular needs.
• Using an Intermediary Increases the Possibility of Miscommunication or Errors
Though perhaps not a big concern in most people’s minds, using an intermediary will always increase the risk of an error or misinformation occurring between the patient and the hospital. Something as seemingly innocuous as mistaking kilos for pounds in a medical tourism patient’s weight information, could lead to the surgery being postponed or even cancelled.
• The Potential for Paying a Higher Price
Medical tourism facilitators offer a lot of convenience but do need to make their money somewhere. This will usually come from a hospital commission, service charge (concierge fee), or both. One way or another, these fees do have a way of trickling down to the patient no matter what the medical tourism facilitator or hospital may say.
In the final analysis each patient will have to weigh the pros and cons of working with a facilitator. If you have an independent streak and are an experienced traveler then you may do well coordinating your care on your own. If, on the contrary, you need some hand-holding or are rushed for time, then you will probably want the help of a facilitator.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTION
Most of us avoid doctor visits like the plague. If we do schedule a visit it’s at death’s door or when we wake up feeling like we were just hit by an 18-wheeler. Anything less (pick-up truck or SUV) usually merits little more than an aspirin before we drag ourselves off to work. It probably has something to do with our genetic make-up, but very few of us are willing to go to the hospital and submit our bodies to a battery of exams if we are feeling fine and dandy. We prefer to remain blissfully ignorant of what could be going on inside our bodies even if this lack of knowledge has the potential to lead us to an early grave.
Fortunately, in the last decade preventive medicine initiatives such as corporate wellness programs have gained ground as businesses have learned that it is much less costly to keep people healthy, than it is to treat the debilitating consequences of diseases later on.
High-tech equipment such as MRI’s and CT scanners have become commonplace, allowing doctors to literally look inside our bodies and detect potentially harmful threats before they become untreatable. Gastroenterologists use probes with cameras to travel deep inside our rectum in search of unwelcome visitors such as polyps or tumors. In the lab, blood and urine tests are used to diagnose disorders such as anemia, high blood sugar and high cholesterol, as well as diseases such as cancer, diabetes and early Parkinson’s disease.
It is hardly surprising then that a growing number of companies are now using corporate wellness programs to lower their healthcare costs while at the same time nipping incipient enemies such as stress, heart disease, and cancer right in the bud.
“A yearly visit to the doctor is a great way to keep our health on track and to prevent future complications”
Corporate wellness can be defined as an employer led initiative to promote the health and wellbeing of its employees. The goal is to lower employee healthcare costs through programs that help prevent accidents and the development and/or progression of diseases.
If you arrived at the office this morning to find your boss on the carpet in a lotus position and the vending machine dispensing Kashi bars instead of Cheetos then you may be the latest “victim” of a corporate wellness takeover. No need to fear, however, as it can actually be good for you (or your employees if you are the boss).
Altruistic motives aside, the cold truth is that your employer is betting that a healthier you will be a more productive you and save them money; specifically by reducing your days of sick leave and the money they pay out for medical and disability costs. Corporate wellness stems from a philosophy of prevention – it is cheaper to keep employees healthy than to make them healthy again. The importance of this for any business (regardless of whether you are an employer or employee) cannot be understated. But is there really any hard data to prove that wellness programs help a businesses’ bottom line?
First, it is important to understand that not all corporate wellness programs are created equal. A good corporate wellness program must promote change at the individual level as well as at the operational and corporate level. Participants must be engaged through education, effective communication and follow-up on topics such as nutrition, stress management, and fitness and exercise.
This requires an organizational culture of wellness with programs tailor made to each employee’s particular needs and circumstances. If not, don’t be surprised to see some of your co-workers head out the service entrance, scramble over the 12 foot razor-tipped containment fence, and sprint across the four-lane highway to the nearest convenience store for their Cheetos.
Multiple studies have shown a relationship between employee health and business productivity. One six year study by Goetzel RZ, Anderson DR, Whitmer W, Ozminkowski RJ, Dunn RL found that risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and stress were responsible for 25 percent of a organization’s employee healthcare costs.1 Through the implementation of effective wellness programs, Dow Chemical Company reported savings of more than $3 million in 2008, in the United States alone. 2
Is it any wonder then that businesses are wising up to the fact that they must take their employee’s wellbeing seriously if they expect to remain competitive well into the 21st century? Testament to this awakening is the increasing acceptance of wellness programs by CEO’s and business leaders looking to maximize employee efficiency and lower business costs. A 2010 global survey by Towers Watson concludes that “Wellness will be a major focus for employers and insurers in the future as a vital tool to mitigate medical trend increases.” 3
So if your next business meeting starts with pretzel-like yoga stretches, oriental wind chimes and a steaming cup of green tea, don’t fret it; you are contributing to your company’s bottom line and becoming healthier to boot (at least until your chiropractor unravels you)!
“A good corporate wellness program must promote change at the individual level as well as at the operational and corporate level. Participants must be engaged through education, effective communication and followup on topics such as nutrition, stress management, and fitness and exercise”
1. Goetzel RZ, Anderson DR, Whitmer W, Ozminkowski RJ, Dunn RL, et al. 1998. The relationship between modifi able health risks and health care expend itures: an analysis of the multi-employer HERO health risk and cost database. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 4:843–571
2. The Health and Productivity Advantage 2009/2010 Staying@Work Report originally published by Watson Wyatt Worldwide
3. Towers and Watson 2011 Global Medical Trends Survey Report 3
SHOWS AND EVENTS
There’s a good reason why Las Vegas is called the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” For decades, as Vegas has been inextricably associated with legendary entertainers and shows. Say “Las Vegas”, and it’s likely that showgirls in elaborate headdresses and Elvis impersonators will come to mind. Today, the Las Vegas entertainment scene still has plenty of its classic glamour, but it has evolved to include so much more. From arenas to cabarets, the venues are as varied as the lineups. Stand-up comics, impressionists, ventriloquists and magicians share the spotlight with movie stars, aerial crobats of Cirque du Soleil and divas like Celine Dion who can belt it out, like no other. For feathers, sequins, showgirls and tuxedo-clad dancers, “Jubilee!” is the multi-million dollar production show at Bally’s Las Vegas. The overthe- top show recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and features no less than the nightly sinking of the Titanic on stage.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
Cirque du Soleil and its ethereal combination of acrobats and special effects dazzle audiences all along the Strip. The group produces shows for a variety of properties including “Viva Elvis” at ARIA ased on the legacy of Elvis Presley; “Mystere” at Treasure Island, which recently celebrated 15 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Bellagio’s “O” is the troupe’s first foray into aquatic theater, featuring a cast of 81 artists performing in and above a pool containing 1.5 million gallons of water. Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity” opened September 2003 at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, for these who have an appreciation for the more risqué. In 2005, the fourth Cirque du Soleil show, “KA,” debuted at MGM Grand. In June 2006 “LOVE” opened at The Mirage. Based on the music of The Beatles, the project was begun by the late George Harrison and Guy Laliberté, Cirque’s founder. “LOVE” is presented in a custom-built theater featuring 360-degree seating, high-definition projections with 100-foot high digital, moving images in addition to a panoramic sound system.
CELINE DION AT THE COLOSSEUM IN CAESARS PALACE
Like a Gaelic princess from across the sea, Celine Dion is back again at the Colosseum with a mesmerizing show that is winning rave reviews from critics and fans alike. With her hauntingly angelic voice Celine sings timeless classics and pays tribute to some of the most celebrated songs and artists of all times. Celine dazzles the audience with stateof- the-art special effects, multiple wardrobe changes and a full troupe of musicians and singers. Set to a visually stunning backdrop designed exclusively for the 4,300 seat state-of-the-art venue, the show is directed by long time Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich, and features 31 musicians and a full orchestra and band.
With more than 200 million albums sold around the world, Celine Dion commands standing ovations wherever she goes. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Celine possesses one of the most recognizable voices in pop music history and has been honored with over 1000 awards.
DONNY AND MARIE AT THE FLAMINGO
Donny and Marie Osmond sing their timeless hits in a 90-minute extravaganza that will have young and old twisting in their seats. Donny and Marie have lost none of the moves and charisma that have characterized their shows since their Las Vegas debut together in 1976. Set in the intimate 750-seat showroom at the Flamingo, this high energy show features dancing, humor and all of the duo’s hit songs including “Dancing in the Streets.” “Paper Roses,” “Go Away Little Girl,” and “Puppy Love.”
TERRY FATOR: VENTRILOQUISM IN CONCERT AT THE MIRAGE
A successful headliner on the Las Vegas Strip, Terry Fator captures the hearts and funny bones of America with Terry Fator: Ventriloquism in Concert live at The Mirage. Fator leaves audiences stunned with comedy, celebrity singing impressions and unparalleled ventriloquism, all backed by a live band. The “America’s Got Talent” Season 2 winner brings to life the idiosyncrasies of characters including Winston, the Impersonating Turtle, the loveable Emma Taylor and the newest addition Berry Fabulous, a flamboyantly happy character. With comedic banter and hilarious takes on musical superstars such as Cher, Guns N’ Roses, Garth Brooks, Gnarls Barkley and more.
BARRY MANILOW AT THE PARIS LAS VEGAS (HARRAH’S 2012)
Legendary singer-songwriter Barry Manilow goes all out at one of the most romantic places on the Las Vegas Strip – Paris Las Vegas! At this intimate yet exciting show, Barry brings all the magic, energy and showmanship that have made him one of America’s most beloved entertainers. Singing hits such as “Copacabana,” “Mandy” and “Can’t Smile Without You,” Barry brings the audience to their feet again and again. Directed by renowned stage and film choreographer and director Jeffrey Hornaday (Flashdance, A Chorus Line, High School Musical), the show features a first-rate group of musicians and singer-dancers performing in the intimate and elegant 1,500 seat Paris Théâtre.
THE JERSEY BOYS AT THE PALAZZO HOTEL AND CASINO (PARIS 2012)
How did four blue-collar kids become one of the greatest successes in pop music history? This blockbuster hit takes you up the charts, across the country and behind the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Discover the secret of a 40-year friendship: four blue-collar kids working their way from the streets of Newark to the heights of stardom. Featuring hit songs such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “Oh, What a Night,” and much more, this show is one you will not want to miss!
BLUE MAN GROUP AT THE VENETIAN, LAS VEGAS
What’s blue, visually stunning, wildly inventive and hysterically funny? If you guessed the “Blue Man Group” then you are right on the mark. Treat yourself to an unforgettable night with the wildly trageous Blue Man Group and world-class dining at the restaurants of The Venetian and The Palazzo. The Blue Man Group will take you on a multi-sensory journey to explore music, art, and your connections to the world around you, virtually or otherwise. Interactive to the extreme, audiences leave the Venetian literally exhausted by the sheer energy and emotion pulsating through the theater.
PENN & TELLER AT THE RÍO
Penn and Teller bring comedy and magic together for an outrageous evening of fun and amazement! Known as the “Bad Boys of Magic,” for revealing the secrets to their tricks, this quirky duo will have you scratching your head, holding your stomach and wiping your eyes with their edgy, provocative and hilarious antics. Penn & Teller’s live show on any given night can involve knives, guns, a fire-eating showgirl and a duck. Be sure to stick around after the show, as both Penn and Teller hang out in the theater lobby, meeting and greeting guests, posing for photos and signing autographs.
For more information on shows, events and any other entertainment, please visit www.VisitLasVegas.com
DINING – RESTAURANTS – CHEFS
From walls that move every 20 minutes to flying wine angels and foie gras lollipops, you should expect the unexpected from restaurants in Las Vegas. This is a city raising the culinary bar on a daily basis – where the biggest names in food - chefs like Mario Batali, Joël Robuchon, Gordon Ramsay and Tom Colicchio – debut their latest concepts.
Once known for its all-you-can-eat buffets and bargain shrimp cocktails, Las Vegas has transformed itself into a top culinary destination. Within a decade, Las Vegas has redefined the culinary and wine experience by offering the most comprehensive collection of celebrity chefs and worldclass restaurants, hosting more Master Sommeliers than any other city in the world and more wine sold per capita than in any other destination. If you’re hungry for an unbeatable dining experience, Las Vegas has something for every taste bud. Start with award-winning cuisine from Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand or Picasso at Bellagio.
For sushi, try Ra Sushi Bar Restaurant at Fashion Show Mall or Red Sushi at Golden Nugget. If they are steak lovers, Las Vegas offers some of the finest steakhouses around, including Wolfgang Puck’s CUT at the Palazzo and Binion’s Ranch Steak House downtown.
For some fabulous French fare with a spectacular view, your clients will love Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. You can also set them up with some great Mexican food at Pink Taco at Hard Rock.
More delicious cuisine awaits you at Border Grill Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay, or, enjoy some Cajun flavor at Big Al’s Oyster Bar at Orleans. Comme Ça at the Cosmopolitan™ is a lively and modern Las Vegas French brasserie with an emphasis on quality ingredients. Comme Ça serves traditional fare with a David Myers spin: accessible yet provocative, delicious yet chic. In addition to an impressive wine selection, Comme Ça offers a menu of seasonal handcrafted classic cocktails shaken with Chef David Myers’ modern sensibility.
As Vegas is home to some of the most spectacular shopping in the world. Crystals at CityCenter. The Forum Shops at Caesars. The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. The Las Vegas Premium Outlets – North, Downtown. The list could go on forever, and trust us, it does. In fact, it’s fair to say that shopping in Las Vegas beats shopping anywhere else in the world.
If you want to buy it, Vegas has it. From designer splurges to bargain deals, Las Vegas has become a one-stop shopping Mecca. Everything from premium outlets to haute couture boutiques can be found in retail centers along the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding areas. Only in Las Vegas will you find daily live fashion shows on an 80-foot runway; gondolas that whisk you to fine boutiques, and an assortment of free shows to entertain you while you rest your feet. For a complete listing of shopping venues, go to www.VisitLasVegas.com.
ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Just because you are traveling to Las Vegas for medical reasons does not mean you can’t have a little fun. There are a dozens of “soft” activities and attractions that are perfect for medical travelers to njoy. The mild Las Vegas desert climate offers a varied menu of year-round outdoor fun in the sun. Enjoy an array of championship golf courses, plus a variety of sports, recreational activities and spectator vents throughout the year. From water sports to snow skiing to plunging thrill rides and museums; Las Vegas offers all the recreation you could want, on the Strip and far beyond.
Everybody knows Las Vegas for its world-class entertainment. But now, more and more people are coming to know this desert oasis as a world-class golfing paradise. Play where the pros play on more than 60 championship-caliber layouts designed by some of the greatest names in golf. Duffers and experienced golfers alike will also enjoy varied terrain from mountain scenery, verdant tree-lined fairways and elaborate waterscapes to the rugged natural desert environment.
TITANIC EXHIBIT AT LUXOR
Descend into the murky depth of the north Atlantic to relive the tragic yet inspiring story of the Titanic. The 25,000-square-foot exhibit features numerous items from the Titanic, including luggage, the ship’s whistles, floor tiles from the first-class smoking room, a window frame from the Verandah Cafe and an unopened bottle of champagne with a 1900 vintage. In addition to the artifacts, the exhibit also eatures amazing replicas from the Titanic. One of these includes the staircase replica. Viewed by more than 20 million people worldwide, the Exhibition is among the highest attended in history.
SHARK REEF AT MANDALAY BAY
Sharks are about the last thing you’d expect to find in the middle of a desert…but here at Mandalay Bay truth is stranger than fiction. Here you will come face-to-face with some of the earth’s most fascinating creatures in North America’s only predator-based aquarium and exhibit.
Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is not your average aquarium. Completed at a cost of nearly $60 million, the fully themed facility was designed with the idea of immersing the visitor into this underwater world in the desert. Fourteen state-of-the-art exhibits have been designed to educate and awe visitors. The largest exhibit is the 1.3 million gallon shipwreck where visitors experience an almost 360-degree view, teeming with sharks and fish, through an acrylic tunnel. Visitors will be awed by the sheer number and variety of marine species including sharks of all kinds, sawfish, giant rays, endangered green sea turtles, piranha, jellies and the rare golden crocodile. In all, there are over 2,000 animals in 1.6 million gallons of water.
MADAM TUSSAUDS – THE VENETIAN
Get up close and personal with your favorite stars at the world Madam Tussauds in Las Vegas. Hang out with wax figures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, dance along with Elvis or simply marvel at dozens of incredibly life-like showbiz, sports, pop and cultural icons. Millions and millions of people have flocked through the doors of Madame Tussauds since they first opened over 200 years ago and it remains just as popular as it ever was.
THE EIFFEL TOWER EXPERIENCE
Located at the Paris Las Vegas, just south of the intersection of the Vegas Strip and Flamingo Road, the Eiffel Tower Experience offers visitors a panoramic, bird’s-eye view of the Las Vegas Strip from 460 feet above ground.
The tower was constructed by master craftsmen according to Gustav Eiffel’s original plans, and is a half scale exact reproduction of the original world-famous European landmark.
After boarding the glass elevator at the Alexander III bridge, you’ll soar to the sky while an experienced elevator guide points out some of Las Vegas’ most famous landmarks.
STRATOSPHERE TOWER OBSERVATION DECK
Towering 1,149 ft over the desert, the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. The tower offers spectacular vistas of Las Vegas and far beyond.
The way to the top is on a doubledecker elevator that whisks you up to the viewing deck in less than 30 seconds and at a speed of 1,800 feet per minute. A slowly rotating restaurant offers you gourmet cuisine while you enjoy 360-degree view of the city and the surrounding desert. If you are traveling with a thrill-seeking companion, then he or she may want to enjoy some of the thrill rides available at the top of the tower including Big Shot, Insanity, and XScream.
OTHER POPULAR ATTRACTIONS FOUNTAINS OF BELLAGIO
GRACELAND WEDDING CHAPEL
BELLAGIO CONSERVATORY & BOTANICAL GARDENS
TITANIC: THE ARTIFACT EXHIBITION
MADAME TUSSAUD’S WAX MUSEUM
FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE
DAY TRIPS OUTSIDE OF THE CITY
In addition to Las Vegas, Southern Nevada is home to several smaller destinations that also offer celebrity entertainment, hotel-casinos and access to amenities and activities such as spas, golf, hiking extreme sports and water recreation.
Boulder City, Laughlin, Mesquite and Primm/Jean are well-known towns within easy driving distance of Las Vegas. All are located near Las Vegas, which makes them popular drive-in destinations for those traveling to Nevada from neighboring states.
Those looking for a getaway in an easygoing setting appreciate the relaxed atmosphere offered by these destinations. While enjoying a less frenetic pace, visitors know that plenty of gaming, ntertainment and recreational opportunities are within easy reach.
SCENIC DAY TRIPS - NATURAL ATTRACTIONS
Many travelers are drawn to the lights and excitement of Las Vegas, but too few are aware of the spectacular Southwest landscape that surrounds them. Rugged mountains, red rock canyons and deep desert valleys offer stunning scenery and myriad outdoor recreational opportunities. The region’s favorable climate makes outdoor activity around Las Vegas an attractive option year-round.
Mount Charleston is 35 miles (56 kilometers) from Las Vegas, with its highest elevation at 11,918 feet (3,615 meters). An average of 20 to 30 degrees cooler than Las Vegas, Mt. Charleston is perfect for skiing, picnicking, hiking and horseback riding. In addition to year-round hotel accommodations and tours, full-service camping is also available from May through September.
THE GRAND CANYON
The Grand Canyon in western Arizona lies approximately 300 miles (480 kilometers) or a one-hour flight from Las Vegas. Over millions of years, the Colorado River carved this natural wonder that is one mile deep and 277 miles long. Sightseeing air tours and ground tours of the Grand Canyon depart Las Vegas daily for half-day, full-day and overnight excursions.
Grand Canyon West, a destination owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe at the Grand Canyon’s western rim, opened The Skywalk. This modern-day marvel is the first-ever cantilever-shaped glass walkway to suspend more than 4,000 feet above the canyon’s floor and extend 70 feet from the canyon’s rim. Envisioned by Las Vegas-based entrepreneur David Jin, The Skywalk was designed by MRJ Architects and is located 120 miles east of Las Vegas at Grand Canyon West’s Eagle Point.
RED ROCK CANYON
Red Rock Canyon is just 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Las Vegas. It is a scenic area of rock formations and desert with a 3,000-foot (910-meter) escarpment produced by a thrust fault. Open to the public year-round and a popular destination for hikers, bikers, joggers and rock climbers, Red Rock Canyon offers a Bureau of Land Management visitors center and is home to feral horses, wild burros, bighorn sheep, coyotes and a variety of desert plant life.
Hoover Dam is an engineering wonder of the world just 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Las egas. Formerly named Boulder Dam, this historic man-made creation tamed the mighty Colorado River and created North America’s largest man-made lake, Lake Mead. The 726-foot-high, arch-gravity dam is 660 feet thick and forever changed the face of the western United States. On-site tours of the dam are available to the public throughout the year.
Lake Mead National Recreational Area is just 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Las Vegas at its closest point. With more than 550 miles (880 kilometers) of shoreline, Lake Mead Recreational Area offers outdoor enthusiasts year-round opportunities for swimming, water skiing, camping, boating, fishing, tours and cruises.
Visitors often forget that Las Vegas is located in the Mojave Desert where dry, hot and windy conditions are the norm. In general, Las Vegas tends to be comfortably warm during the spring and fall, extremely hot during July and August, and surprisingly chilly from December through February. There can also – as is typical in the desert – be some extreme temperature fluctuations between mornings and evenings. For example, it is not uncommon in November for the temperature to start out in the low 40’s F° in the morning, climb to the mid 70’s by the afternoon, and then plunge back into the 40’s in the evening.
- On average, the warmest month is July.
- The highest recorded temperature was 118°F in 1931.
- On average, the coolest month is December.
- The lowest recorded temperature was 8°F in 1963.
- The maximum average precipitation occurs in February.
Medical tourists should take the following precautions, particularly during the summer months:
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Unless contraindicated by your doctor, drink more water than you are used to at home – even if you don´t feel thirsty. Although the low humidity tempers the heat, you will still get dehydrated rapidly if you don´t drink liquids frequently. Dehydration is a serious concern for anyone, but it is especially dangerous for someone who has had a recent surgery as it will hinder the healing process.
USE SALINE NASAL SPRAY
Summers are not only hot, but they are extremely dry. If you are traveling between June and eptember make sure to pack some saline nasal spray to keep your airways moist. Not only will you feel more comfortable, but you will protect your nasal passages from potential nose bleeds.
Protect yourself from the desert sun by using sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Las Vegas boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year, making it a golfer’s paradise and an attractive destination for sun worshippers. However, too much sun can also be dangerous. Patients who have undergone plastic surgery must be especially careful to keep out of the sun as it can hinder healing and promote unattractive scarring.
To keep yourself protected:
- Avoid exposure between 10 am and 4 pm
- Use a sunscreen with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or greater (higher if you are fair skinned)
- Use a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation
- Use sunglasses that offer UVA protection
- Wear a hat
Whether hot or cold, Las Vegas’ dry windy conditions can dehydrate your skin. Put on a good moisturizing cream in the morning and before you go to bed to keep your skin nicely hydrated.
WHERE SHOULD I STAY AFTER MY PROCEDURE?
Las Vegas is a thriving, always-exciting destination where you can have a customized lodging experience based on your unique needs and interests. The hotel casinos are the beating hearts of all that happens in Las Vegas, and selecting the perfect place for you or your clients to stay is the key to planning the perfect Vegas getaway.
Before booking a hotel or resort, make sure that the facilities, services and amenities meet your needs as a medical tourist.
The type of medical procedure or treatment you are undergoing will play a large part in your decision of where to stay. A patient undergoing open heart surgery or a knee replacement, for example, will require extra care and very comfortable conditions after leaving the hospital. Not so for someone coming for a dental bridge or a physical. Below are some recommendations when booking a hotel:
- If possible, choose a hotel near the hospital
- Choose a handicap access room
- Make sure the front desk is aware you recently underwent a medical procedure
- Ask if there is a nurse or doctor on call
- Make sure the hotel can satisfy your post-surgery dietary needs
MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS
Las Vegas continues its reign as the number one trade show destination in North America, hosting the most “Tradeshow Week 200” largest shows for the eighteenth consecutive year. Las Vegas hosted 45 of the 200 shows, more than twice the number of any other destination. The Las Vegas shows encompassed more than 19 million net square feet.
Las Vegas hosted six of the top 10 shows on the list, led by the International Consumer Electronics Show, the largest show on this year’s list. Other top ten shows in Las Vegas include, World of oncrete, The International Builders Show, ReCon, the National Association of Broadcasters and the World Shoes+Accessories Show (WSA). The shows are ranked by the amount of floor space consumed.
Currently, Las Vegas has more than 10.5 million square feet of convention and meeting space, including the Las Vegas Convention Center’s 2.3 million square feet, Mandalay Bay’s 1.7 million-square-foot conference center and the 2.25 million-square-foot Sands Expo and Convention Center.
To access the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s (LVCVA) meetings and facilities guide, visit www.VegasMeansBusiness.com
Healthcare in the Destination
Name any FDA approved medical procedure or treatment and chances are good that you will find it being performed at one of Las Vegas’ hospitals or clinics. From neurocognitive treatments to executive physicals, the city is rapidly attracting an increasing number of corporate executives and medical tourists seeking quality and affordably priced medical care and wellness packages. The following pages will provide you with an overview of the various procedures and treatment options available in Las Vegas.
With the opening of the new Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (CCLRCBH), patients now have access to state-of-the-art care for cognitive disorders and for the family members of those who suffer from them.
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: FINDING A CURE IN THE DESERT
Las Vegas is very proud to be standing at the forefront of the fight against Alzheimer’s with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. While many of the current pharmaceutical treatments for Alzheimer’s have failed, there is exciting new hope being sparked in Las Vegas at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. According to Dr. Jeffery Cummings, Director of the Center, “the science behind the drugs being tested today is much stronger, our targets are better defined, and our methods more advanced. We now have a much better idea of the precise processes that generate the abnormal brain proteins, how they lead to cell death, and how they might be modified or arrested with treatment.”
New brain imaging techniques and spinal fluid tests are impacting drug development in a major way and are revolutionizing the way we think about Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). At the Center, these tests allow scientists to see the accumulation of the protein in the brain even before symptoms develop. Moreover, the new tests allow researchers to determine who among those with memory complaints ave the earliest form of AD. These biomarkers are transforming drug testing since they can identify patients early in the course of AD when treatment has the greatest impact and is most likely to succeed.
Early diagnosis is a major goal of the Center. With the assistance of brain scans and spinal fluid tests they now can confidently diagnose AD in persons with mild cognitive impairment. This allows patients to participate in critical life decisions before their intellect has declined or their judgment becomes ompromised. Early diagnosis also allows families to understand the changes they observe in a pouse or parent, to participate in counseling provided by the Center, and allows patients to make their own life-cycle decisions. In short, the advances have been so great that they have redefined AD, no longer requiring that the patient must meet criteria for “dementia” before a proper diagnose can be made. This change contributes greatly to quality-of-life issues.
The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is making genuine progress in developing new remedies. The brain is extraordinarily complex and there are many barriers to the development of new treatments. Only a few drugs will pass these hurdles, but if they are able to delay the onset of AD by five years, it would reduce the prevalence by 50 percent; a 10-year delay would make AD as unusual as polio is today. Presently, there are 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and this number is estimated to reach 16 million by the year 2050.
Like an oasis in the desert, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is bringing new hope and life to patients and families struggling with the onset of Alzheimer’s and other Neurocognitive disorders.
An executive physical is a series of health exams tailored towards businessmen and businesswomen in order to determine their overall health. They tend to be focused on conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer, often caused by stress, unhealthy habits or long work hours. To give you a better idea of the entire process, think of the last time you visited a museum.
When you go to a museum you probably spend most of your time walking from room to room viewing art exhibits or ancient artifacts. Well it’s not much different during an executive physical except that here you are the exhibit and you might be prodded and poked a few times. Executive physicals can vary from basic to comprehensive and often include some combination of the following diagnostic tests:
- General blood work including
- Advanced lab screening
- Diagnostic imaging
- (X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s)
- Cardiovascular tests (EKG, stress test, echocardiogram)
- Nutritional counseling
Granted, guzzling the ingestible version of Drano while you contemplate the specter of a tube inserted in your backside may not be your idea of a good time in Las Vegas, but the truth of the matter is that ost tests – including the colonoscopy – are virtually painless and have been designed to cause atients little if any discomfort.
Hosting 18,000 meetings, conventions and incentive programs annually, ranging in size from 10 to over 10,000 attendees, Las Vegas caters to executives coming into town who may be inclined to stay for an executive physical, or their corporations can pre-arrange these appointments for their executive employees.
Most executive physicals can be custom-made to your company’s specifications, oftentimes with results provided on the same day. In fact, in most instances, you or your employees will only need to spend one or two nights in Las Vegas before returning home.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, infertility can be defined as “the diminished ability or the inability to conceive and have offspring.” Infertility is also defined in specific terms as “the failure to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without contraception.” Over the last ten years, the number of U.S. couples seeking fertility treatments has risen dramatically. This phenomenon can be attributed not only to increased fertility issues, due in part to later childbearing, but also to improving techniques, technology and results.
TREATMENT OPTIONS INCLUDE:
- Fertility Drugs
- Artificial Insemination
- In Vitro Fertilization
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI
Featuring treatment protocols on the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs in the field of infertility, several Las Vegas area clinics offer the latest fertility treatments customized to each patient’s unique condition. Couples are in search of top quality of medical care in a sensitive, compassionate and caring environment.
Also referred to as plastic or aesthetic surgery, cosmetic surgery encompasses a long list of rocedures or treatments that are performed to enhance a person’s appearance or, in some cases, to reconstruct areas of the body that are deformed at birth or marred due to injury.
Cosmetic procedures can last anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours and, in many cases, may be treated as outpatient procedures.
If you are coming to Las Vegas for cosmetic surgery, you will likely need to spend between five days and two weeks in the area. Itineraries will vary from clinic to clinic. In general, you will start with your preoperative exams on the day after your arrival, have surgery on the following day, then get ischarged from the facility a few hours later. Depending on your procedure, you may also spend a ight or two in the hospital or clinic. You will then require several days to recuperate in your hotel before traveling home.
If you are having a non-surgical procedure, then your time in-clinic will be minimal. In most instances you should be able to travel home 24 hours after your treatment. Las Vegas boasts some of the country’s top cosmetic surgeons and superb specialty clinics designed with safety and comfort in mind.
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift
- Tummy Tuck
- Eyelid Lift
- Restylane Injections
- Botox Injections
- Collagen Injections
- Chemical Peel
- Laser Hair Removals
- Laser Vein Removal
Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is a series of procedures designed to encourage rapid weight oss in patients that are obese. Depending on the procedure, weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch. The amount of excess weight lost ranges from 25%-80% of body weight (one year after surgery), and will depend upon the patient following the doctor’s indications.
Popular Bariatric Procedures Include:
- Biliopancreatic Diversion
- Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
- Sleeve Gastrectomy
- Adjustable Gastric Banding
Bariatric procedures usually last anywhere from one to three hours and in most cases will require at least a one night stay in the hospital or clinic (the adjustable gastric banding may be, an outpatient procedure). If you are coming to Las Vegas for a weight loss procedure, you will likely need to spend between five to seven days in the area. Itineraries will vary from clinic to clinic, but in general, you will start with your preoperative exams on the day after your arrival, have surgery on the following day, then get discharged from the clinic a day or two later depending on your procedure. You will then require a few days to recuperate in your hotel before traveling home.
If your teeth are getting you down, then Las Vegas can certainly help you smile! Area dentists offer a wide range of specialties including Endodontics, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (Oral Surgeon), rthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics. Some of the more sought after procedures include:
- Porcelain Veneers
- Dental Bonding
- White Fillings
- Dental Implants
- Dental Crowns
- Porcelain Onlays
If you are considering Las Vegas for your dental needs, keep in mind that many dental treatments can be completed in a matter of days and with very little discomfort. For more complex work you may have to stay a little longer or return to finish the procedure on a second trip. Before you travel, your Las egas dental professional will make sure to explain the details of your treatment in advance so you can lan the appropriate amount of time for your trip.
RETIREMENT AND LIVING IN LAS VEGAS
Is anything ever “normal,” “standard” or “average” in Las Vegas? Well, the retirement communities are o exception. Most area facilities feature a resort style ambiance, catering to the active adult lifestyle its activities that range from bocce ball and golfing to tennis, dancing and hiking. Many of our communities are set in scenic locations or in proximity to national parks or other area attractions, affording retirees a perfect combination of luxury and natural beauty.
US News and World Report in 2011 rated Las Vegas as one of the 10 fastest growing retirement spots in the country and the number of senior citizens between 2000 and 2010 has increased by 50 percent. Las Vegas is a popular retirement destination because it offers an “active adult” retirement experience full of amenities, entertainment, dining, shopping and outdoor activities.
Many retirement communities have assisted living or nursing care onsite, organized through the retirement community and also offer onsite health and wellness services keeping senior citizens active and balanced in mind, body and spirit. With excellent year round weather, no state income tax and low property taxes, retirees have the freedom of choice to engage in any activity and entertainment option they wish.
Planing Your Trip
Travel these days is stressful enough without throwing a medical procedure into the mix. Which is the best hospital for my needs? How do I go about coordinating my procedure? Will I feel comfortable with my doctor? Where should I stay after my procedure?
While there will always be an element of anxiety where travel and surgery are involved, there is no reason not to strive for a pleasant - if not outstanding - medical trip. The following chapter will assist you in this quest.
TIPS FOR MEDICAL TRAVELERS
DO YOUR RESEARCH WHEN CHOOSING A MEDICAL PROVIDER
Las Vegas has been blessed with excellent medical professionals and a large number of quality hospitals and clinics. Even so, as a potential patient and traveler it is important that you take the necessary time to research your options in order to choose a doctor and medical facility that fits your needs and budget. Failure to do so could lead to an unpleasant medical tourism experience if not a sub-par procedure outcome. In the previous chapter you will find a list of recommended facilities with their contact information.
DON’T BE SHY
When researching your options, don’t be afraid to ask for information such as doctor’s CV’s, medical outcomes or hospital performance indicators that will help in your decision making process. Most hospitals will be happy to provide this information. As a traveling patient, it is important that you have as much information as possible in order to make a decision that will be in your best interest.
BRING A COMPANION
Bringing along a companion is always recommended, particularly if you will be undergoing a procedure that will leave you debilitated for any length of time. Companions can provide much needed physical and emotional support that can make your medical tourism experience much less stressful.
TRAVEL COMFORTABLY AFTER SURGERY
Depending on the type of surgery you have undergone, it may be wise to purchase tickets in first or business class. This is especially true for orthopedic procedures such as hip and knee replacements, cardiac surgery, and neurosurgery – where space and the possibility to stretch your legs will reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis and allow for a much more comfortable flight. It is also advisable to travel light, particularly if you are traveling alone. You don’t want to be dragging a heavy suitcase after a delicate surgery.
GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME
Plan your trip so that you have a few extra days to rest before going back to work or your regular routine. Not only will this give you time to fully recover, but it will provide you with a little buffer time in case you must spend more time in the hospital than you originally planned for. This is your unique opportunity to dedicate time to yourself and your healing process. Remember, mind, body and soul is important for a full recovery.
KEEP YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS AND IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION IN YOUR PURSE OR HAND LUGGAGE
Make sure to keep important information handy at all times. Be especially careful not to pack medical records, prescriptions or important contact information in checked baggage as these can be lost or temporarily delayed.
NETWORK WITH OTHER PATIENTS WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN TO LAS VEGAS FOR MEDICAL TOURISM
One of the best ways to prepare for your medical trip to Las Vegas is to speak with past patients about their experience. What was their recuperation like? What restaurants do they recommend? Nothing beats listening to someone who has already been there and done that. Talk to your Las Vegas doctor or hospital contact and request to speak to past patients. In many cases they will have a list of patients who have granted authorization to be contacted from prospective patients. This information is invaluable for selecting your destination for medical or wellness care.
GET AS MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT THE MEDICAL PROCEDURE PROCESS AS POSSIBLE
- How much will the surgery or treatment cost?
- Who will pick you up at the airport?
- Who will be your main contact at the hospital or clinic?
- How many appointments you will need?
- How long you will be in the hospital?
- How will you get from the hospital to your hotel?
- How long is the post procedure recuperation period
- Ask for a detailed schedule of tests and appointments, etc.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I BUDGET FOR MY MEDICAL TOURISM TRIP TO LAS VEGAS?
The amount of money you will spend in Las Vegas for your medical trip will depend on factors such as length of stay, accommodation choice and lifestyle preferences. To calculate potential expenses, try breaking down your trip into its principal elements and then adding up the costs. Let’s take as an example a patient traveling to Las Vegas for seven days for a lap band, bariatric weight loss procedure. The approximate costs including a companion would be as follows:*
Surgical Procedure - $14,000 USD
Travel - $500 USD
Lodging - $500 USD
Transportation - $600 USD ($100 x 6 nights)
Meals - $100-$200 USD
Entertainment - $300 USD ($75 per day)
Shopping and Souvenirs - $500 USD
APPROXIMATE TOTAL: $2,400 USD EXPENSES OUTSIDE OF MEDICAL COSTS
As shown in the above example, most of these elements can be calculated with a fairly high degree of accuracy. For example, flights to Las Vegas for under $250 - $600 dollars round trip are frequently available from major U.S. cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston and Miami. For hotels, it will all depend on your preferences, but it is not uncommon to find excellent three-four star hotels at under $100 dollars a night including breakfast.
Transportation within Las Vegas will likely be by rent-a-car or Taxicab. Choosing a mid-sized rent-a-car with insurance will run you approximately $300 U.S. Dollars per week plus gas (about $50 per day). If you opt for using a taxicab then at the very minimum expect to pay between $150- $200 U.S. Dollars, taking into account airport transfers, hotel to hospital round trips and some outings for dinner or shopping.
Where meals are concerned, plan on budgeting at least $75 dollars per day for two assuming that you take advantage of your complimentary hotel breakfast. Las Vegas offers visitors a wide range of gastronomic options for all tastes and budgets, so finding inexpensive eateries is never a problem.
Entertainment and shopping expenses are never easy to predict. Expect at a very minimum to spend several hundred dollars during the course of your stay even if you have the super-human will power to mostly abstain from the area’s wealth of exciting attractions and shopping venues.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO?
Las Vegas is a surprisingly inexpensive destination and it is not difficult to find good deals on flights and hotels throughout the year. As with most popular destinations, there is a high and a low season, each of which offers its own particular advantages and disadvantages.
Falls between mid June and mid September. Prices tend to be low; however, it is not unusual for temperatures to reach three digits (over 45 C).
Starts right after the New Year and runs until approximately the last week of March. Prices will be higher than normal during this period so it is a good idea to book your travel at least three months in advance.
In between these dates, prices can vary significantly depending on holidays and conventions which naturally attract many visitors. Some of the most crowded holidays are Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the first week after New Years due to the attractive combination of holiday and weekend. Try to avoid these dates as hotel prices are higher and rooms are not as easy to come by.
Conventions and trade shows also draw many visitors to Las Vegas throughout the year. The months from September through May are especially busy so make sure to visit the Las Vegas convention calendar: http://www.lvcva.com/index.jsp before booking your convention or trade show trip.
The most affordable time to visit Las Vegas is during the low season when hotels are trying to attract visitors with lower rates and specials. It is not uncommon during this period to come across some great flight and hotel combos that can amount to significant savings for the medical traveler. However, beware that it can get extremely hot during this period making even short walks outside very uncomfortable.
Another great tip is to book your stay during the week instead of on the weekend as most hotels offer significant weekday discounts regardless of the season.
Getting to Las Vegas is easy, with more than 900 daily flights to and from one of the nation’s most efficient and fastest-growing airports, McCarran International. Bus service is regularly scheduled and very affordable. Once in Las Vegas, you’ll find traveling around to be safe, speedy and simple by using transportation such as taxis, Las Vegas Monorail, limousines, rental cars, tour buses and the public bus system.
Below is a list of airlines with service to McCarran International Airport:
Aeromexico - 1-800-AEROMEX - www.aeromexico.com
Air Canada - 1-888-247-2262 - www.aircanada.ca
Airtran -1-800-247-8726 - www.AirTran.com
Alaska Air - 1-800-426-0333 - www.alaskaair.com
Allegiant Air - 1-702-505-8888 - www.allegiantair.com
American Airlines - 1-800-433-7300 - www.aa.com
British Airways - 1-800-247-9297 - www.britishairways.com
Condor - 1-866-960-7915 - www.condor.com
Continental Airlines - 1-800-525-0280 - www.continental.com
Delta Air Lines - 1-800-221-1212 - www.delta.com
Frontier Airlines - 1-800-432-1359 - www.frontierairlines.com
Hawaiian Air - 1-800-367-5320 - www.hawaiianair.com
Jet Blue - 1-800-438-5000 - www.jetblue.com
Korean Ai - 1-213-484-1900 - www.KoreanAir.com
Omni Air - 1-877-718-8901 - www.omniairintl.com
Philippine Air - 1-800-435-9725 - www.philippineair.com
Southwest Airlines - 1-800-I-FLY-SWA - www. southwest.com
Spirit Air -1-800-772-7117 - www.spiritair.com
United Airlines - 1-800-United-1 - www.united.com
US Airways - 1-800-428-4322 - www.usairways.com
Virgin America - 1-877-359-8474 - www.virginamerica.com
Virgin Atlantic - 1-800-862-8621 - www.virgin-atlantic.com
Viva Aerobus - 1-888-935-9848 - www.vivaaerobus.com
Volaris - 1-866-988-3527 - www.volaris.com.mx
West Jet - 1-888-WESTJET - ww.westjet.com
TRANSPORT FROM AIRPORT
Shuttle and limousine services are located on the west side of baggage claim, outside door exits 7-13. Please note that there are both group shuttle and “for-hire” stretch limousine services. Shuttle service to Las Vegas proper will cost between $6-$8 dollars per person depending on if you are going to “the strip” or “off the strip.” Also, make sure to check with your hotel to see if it offers its own shuttle service. If you plan to take a limousine, then plan on spending between $45 and $60 dollars.
Taxicabs are available on the east side of baggage claim, outside door exits 1-4. There is usually airport staff available on the curb to assist passengers. Taxicabs are also available at the McCarran Rent-ACar Center. Please note that there is a $1.80 charge on all taxi fares originating at the airport and that not all taxis will accept credit card payments. If you are planning to use a credit card, make sure you notify the attendant.
Two bus routes operate from the airport – Bus Route 108 and Route 109. Neither travels all the way to the strip, so you will have to transfer to the double-decker Deuce Routes 301 and 302 running from the south end to downtown. However, traveling by bus is not recommended for most medical tourists – particularly with baggage in tow.
If you are traveling with a companion or are in Las Vegas for a minor medical treatment then a rental car can be a good option, especially if you plan to do a lot of moving around. After arriving at McCarran International Airport head to exits 10 or 11 to get a shuttle to the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center. Be aware that during holiday weekends or during conventions it can often be difficult to rent a car on the same day. The best advice is to reserve your rental before your arrival.
Whether you are building a house, buying a car or traveling for a medical treatment, chances are good that you will run into some unexpected costs. That is a fact of life. The important thing is to try to anticipate these situations so you are not caught unprepared.
Some common culprits are:
- Extra airline luggage fees
- Additional rental-car fees for insurance coverage or for extra perks such as a child seat or a GPS navigation system
- Unexpected medical costs
Let us take a more detailed look at this last one.
Every surgical intervention in the world – no matter how small, has the potential to end in a medical complication. Fortunately, medical complications tend to be rare for most procedures. However, it is important to keep in mind that if one occurs, you might be responsible for paying additional medical costs. It all depends on your health plan, insurance coverage, or the type of medical procedure package you purchased.
If you do not have insurance coverage, then it is advisable to purchase a medical complication insurance to protect yourself against these types of situations. Additionally, you should educate yourself about the potential risks and complications associated with your particular procedure, and try to lower your risk for complications by following your doctor’s instructions.
LONGER HOSPITAL STAY
There may be circumstances when your doctor will recommend a longer hospital stay than was originally anticipated. This could be due to a medical complication or simply because you are not healing as quickly as expected. In other instances your physician may ask you to spend a few extra days in your hotel recuperating. In either case it is important to be prepared to pay additional charges, especially if you do not have insurance coverage.
It is no secret that America’s healthcare system will face some tough challenges in the coming years that will require innovative solutions. Las Vegas wants to become part of the solution by creating a world-class healthcare cluster that provides patients with both quality and affordably priced medical services.
As a city invested in attracting patients from across the country and around the world, we welcome you to research our medical facilities and take the next step to improving your health and wellbeing. You can do so by contacting any of the facilities listed in this guide or by getting in touch with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority or the Medical Tourism Association using the information below:
3150 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: 702-892-0711Toll-Free: 877-847-4858
Medical Tourism AssociationTM
10130 Northlake Blvd Suite 214-315
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA 33412
The Las Vegas Health and Wellness Destination Guide can also be accessed at www.MedicalTourism.com.
Las Vegas has always been synonymous with opportunity. It is our hope that this guide has opened your eyes to the many opportunities available for medical travelers in Las Vegas. Whether you are interested in repairing a damaged hip or simply to renew your mind and body at one of our tranquil spas, it is our goal to satisfy your needs and make sure your medical tourism experience is a positive one.