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Sven Thorslund Joins QHM To Expand Global Sales Growth

Sven Thorslund, a cost containment and travel assistance industry veteran, has joined Quality Health Management (QHM) as Director of Sales.

Mr. Thorslund will be responsible for growing QHM’s international client base by developing new and enhanced solutions and new distribution channels on a global basis. He will report to Patricia Ziomek, who co-founded QHM in 2000 and now serves as its Senior Vice President of Business Development.

With 23 years’ experience in marketing, sales and account management in the cost containment and travel assistance industry, Mr. Thorslund brings a wealth of knowledge, capacity, and contacts to QHM’s expanded sales and services for new and existing clients.

He began his career in 1997 with Global Medical Management, Inc. where he helped its rapid growth while leading the account services and spearheaded a marketing transformation into its new GMMI name and brand. In 2004 he transitioned to US travel assistance business development with Europ Assistance USA (Generali Group), where he played a role in their acquisitions of GMMI and CMN. From 2010 he was at AXA Assistance USA progressing through commercial roles including launching AXA Assistance Travel Insurance in the U.S. and becoming its Chief Marketing Officer.

In 2016 Mr. Thorslund worked as an independent consultant to QHM during the process of QHM’s sale to GBG. He was then re-hired to Europ Assistance USA (now Generali Global Assistance) as VP of Sales and Product Strategy in 2017 where he re-joined GMMI to also lead their sales and account management teams.

“We are very excited to have Sven Thorslund join our team,” said Patricia Ziomek. “Having worked closely with him as a highly strategic industry consultant, we strongly believe he will enjoy the same type of success at QHM that he has had at other companies.”

“QHM’s outstanding leadership and excellent reputation amongst its clients impressed me and I am delighted to be able to join the team to build on its success in the coming years,” Mr. Thorslund commented.

Mr. Thorslund earned an International MBA from University of Göteborg, Sweden and a Master of International Management at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.

About QHM

Quality Health Management (QHM) is a global medical cost containment company offering solutions to the ever-changing requirements of specialized medical management and claims services across the healthcare industry. QHM has been solving worldwide needs of clients, payers and patients with PPO, administrative and specialty services guided by its original founders since 2000. The company became part of Global Benefits Group (GBG) in 2017.


iPMI Magazine Speaks With Mary-Jo McDonald, Managing Director, Europe, Global Excel Management

iPMI Magazine's CEO, Christopher Knight, speaks with Mary-Jo McDonald, Managing Director for Europe at Global Excel Management. They discuss in detail how COVID-19 has affected the industry, life after lockdown and the impact on the travel industry for leisure, business and student travel markets.

Broadly speaking, can you tell us what steps Europe is taking towards life after lockdown?

We know that European countries’ response to this pandemic has varied in intensity – from closed borders to domestic travel restrictions. Overall, Europe is pulling together, and many countries are moving towards opening internal borders before the end of June. This first step will have a refreshing impact on travel, hospitality and education – a variety of industries will be operational. There will be limitations though, in this “new normal”, which we are gradually settling in to. Social distancing, protective face coverings and hand washing are already accepted at large in European society. Travel corridors or air-bridges are being considered, ground transportation will be permitted, and non-essential travel will be allowed.

We’re optimistic, as many clients and partners are preparing for this first step – continental Europe will be open for business very shortly. We remain realistic, knowing COVID-19 won’t disappear overnight. What we expect is that many Europeans will be asking questions and looking for reassurance, especially concerning their health as they travel, first within Europe and then abroad.

Has Global Excel seen a significant increase in assistance requests during this pandemic? What changed and how did you adapt to this unprecedented situation?

We have seen an increase in assistance requests, from business travellers having to modify schedules, expatriates worried about being able to keep their appointment with a physician, students needing to quickly access care and many wanting to speak with a practitioner in a “virtual” environment rather than face to face. One key concern was being able to respond within a reasonable amount of time. To do so, we quickly shifted to providing information, support and guidance online either via chat, text or email. This significantly reduced call wait-times while responding to requests. We prioritized different request-types – medical emergencies remain our top priorities. We also deployed a COVID-19-specific version of our digital health solution, StandbyMD. This is a self-serve virtual assistant which enables travellers to quickly self-assess their symptoms, then select the best care option. Responding with minimal down time, in several languages, across several time zones was a big challenge, but our team made it work, to the satisfaction of our clients and their members.

How has Global Excel Europe weathered this pandemic?

Early in February this year, we started reaching out to our clients with regular updates on measures we were taking as a response to developing situations. At that time, many countries reactions and directives were varied.

Our concern was two-fold: to ensure we could quickly respond to members returning to their homes – business travellers, tourists and students – but also to respond to medical emergencies and answer concerns while directing them to the best care available in their area. Our second priority was our own employee health, with over 95% of them working safely from home. Transferring our staff and ensuring our systems were up and running within only a few hours is a testament to our leadership’s agile planning and to the commitment of our team members. We were even able to outsource our services to other companies struggling with the sudden increase in volume and complexity.

As the gradual exit from lockdown is being coordinated, what should business and leisure travellers expect and how can they best prepare themselves?

As travel restrictions are loosening up across Europe, we expect that travellers in general will have to focus on low risk areas, seeking information from governments and using “travel bubbles/corridors”. This means additional wait times at airports for screenings and decontamination processes, with physical distancing and face coverings which will likely remain a requirement. Many vacation areas, educational institutions, restaurants and airports have already adapted to these new directives, as well as places of worship, offices and government buildings.

More than ever, we believe that travellers’ best protection is research – being aware of government advisories and looking closely at their travel and health policies, knowing and understanding the limitations, but also reaching out to travel experts to discuss options. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Has access to healthcare for students, travellers and others changed? If so, what are some must-haves going forward?

Polls across different countries indicate that many students and travellers have accessed healthcare using some form of digital solution. In some countries, telemedicine was used, and in other countries a mix of video, text and email communication to engage with physicians has been preferred.

We’ve seen a greater demand for our own digital health tool. Many members appreciate that they can self-serve and choose the type of care they prefer, wherever and whenever. Digital healthcare and choice will be key to responding to needs during a pandemic, but also during any cautious recovery period. These solutions ensure that physical distancing directives are met, minimizing infection risks while reducing wait times. The future is digital, and having a great solution that combines flexibility, personalized care and cashless billing options with worldwide coverage will be the new norm.

How can Global Excel help insurance and assistance companies and their members (business travellers, expats, students, etc)?

Global Excel combines four elements to ensure our clients and their members consistently benefit from the best available care options, no matter where they are: flexible, comprehensive healthcare solutions; world class costavoidance and cost-containment services; FastTrack, our cashless out-patient solution; fully customisable networks across Europe.

As a global enterprise, we can easily assist travellers, expats, international students and those seeking major medical treatment anywhere in the world: a unique, reliable and proven offering from your trusted partner – Global Excel.


Allianz Worldwide Care Launches NGO Healthcare Plans

Allianz Worldwide Care has developed a range of international health insurance products designed specifically for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s). The SANO NGO healthcare plans will be sold exclusively by SANO Concept International and its French partner SANO Care. This new product range has a solution for every NGO, even if they employ different categories of staff (e.g. expats, third country nationals, local staff) or whether their staff are on long term or short term assignments. Whatever their employee categories, nationalities, location or duration of employment, NGOs will have the convenience and simplicity of dealing with a single health insurer.

The SANO NGO plans are available on a Medical History Disregarded (MHD) basis and will cover employees as well as their dependants. There are five plans to choose from and these can include cover for in-patient treatment, out-patient treatment, dental treatment and either evacuation or repatriation.

There is also a choice of geographical region of cover, providing NGO’s with a truly flexible solution from which they can select the cover most suitable for them. Two of the plans can also be used as a ‘top-up’ to the CFE (French social security for expatriates), providing French expats with the reassurance of knowing that their social security cover remains uninterrupted, with no waiting period on their return home.

Hendrik Boelens, Regional General Manager at Allianz Worldwide Care commented: “We believe that the SANO NGO product range will be welcomed by Non-Governmental Organisations, most of whom would otherwise have to use a number of providers and go through multiple layers of administration. This new range, distributed by SANO Concept International and SANO Care, will offer NGO’s a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all their health insurance needs. Plus, plans are backed up by Allianz Worldwide Care’s consistently high level of client service and support, thus helping NGO’s to attract and retain key staff”.

Sébastien Menand, Managing Director of Sano Concept International added “The SANO NGO product range is one of the first developed exclusively for the NGO sector. We recognise the fact that the profile of NGO employees is changing, with an increasing number of local employees and third country nationals (TCNs) being hired. This is why these plans have been designed for NGOs who may employ local employees and/or third country nationals, as well those who employee expats, which would be the more traditional approach. The ability to be able to provide healthcare cover for all categories of employees is essential to meeting the needs of today’s NGOs.”


Allianz Worldwide Care Announces Healthcare Plan Enhancements Following Annual Product Review

Following its annual product review, Allianz Worldwide Care announces enhancements to its individual healthcare plans as well as new online support tools for maintaining health and wellness. The company has introduced a range of deductibles for its Core Plans (which primarily cover in-patient treatment) for individuals, offering clients an even greater level of flexibility and choice when it comes to selecting the combination of healthcare plans and options that best suits their needs. Selecting one of these new deductibles, which range from €450 to €10,000, will reduce the member’s Core Plan premium, with the highest deductible option corresponding to a premium discount of up to 60%.

A number of new health and wellness resources have also been added to the members’ area of the Allianz Worldwide Care website, providing information and tools to support members in terms of managing their health. The new resources now available in the Health and Wellbeing section include access to health risk assessments, stress and weight management advice, assistance on giving up smoking, advice about sleeping well as well as tips on fitness and nutrition.

The company’s annual product review includes an analysis of healthcare premiums, and in line with the company’s commitment to maintaining affordable premiums, Allianz Worldwide Care has increased its premium base rates by an average of only 5% for the majority of its group and individual international healthcare plans. This is significantly below the industry average and can be attributed to the company’s well established cost containment practices.

Susan Landers, Head of Marketing and Client Management commented: “Listening to feedback from our clients and understanding their needs is a critical part of the product review process. People want healthcare plans which can be tailored to their specific requirements. We also understand the importance of ensuring that our health insurance remains affordable. Our ability to proactively monitor and manage the cost of medical treatment and associated services is what enables us to offer competitive premiums combined with a high level of service.”



  • Published in GMMI

GMMI is a leading ISO 9001:2008 certified provider of cost containment and medical risk management solutions. At GMMI, we have been setting the industry standard for quality customer service, medical management, and competent claims administration since our inception in 1992. And we do it better than any other company. We are Passionate for People. Focused on Client Results. Driven by Legendary Service. Our Core Competency is Medical Cost Containment and Case Management.

Based in Florida, USA, GMMI, Inc. (Global Medical Management) is a leading ISO 9001:2008 certified provider of cost containment and medical risk management solutions. At GMMI, we have been setting the industry standard for quality customer service, medical management, and competent claims administration since our inception in 1992. Since our founding in 1992, we have been a pioneer in the delivery of managed care and cost containment services to the international health care payers and their members. GMMI’s client list includes many of the world’s leading insurance and assistance companies. In 2008 GMMI joined the Europ Assistance Group of companies. Our mission is to support the success of insurers, re-insurers, self-funded groups, and assistance companies via complete cost containment services for medical management, cost savings and 24 hour customer care in the U.S. and globally.

By virtue of our services and our provider contracts, GMMI’s Clients pay significantly less for their healthcare expenses in the USA. Clients may choose to contract GMMI for a single service component, such as claims repricing. Others may engage GMMI for their complete customer service and cost containment needs – from web-based and telephonic patient directing, to 24/7/365 Customer Service Call Center, Catastrophic Claims Management, Organ & Tissue Transplant Services Administration, to Claims Management, Medical Case Management, Claims Payment and beyond. GMMI can help our Client with a single service component, or serve as a Third Party Administrator (TPA), a one-stop-shop for all medical and case management services needs.

Company: GMMI, Inc.

Address: 1300 Concord Terrace, Suite 300 Sunrise, Florida 33323 USA

24 hr Customer Service Phone: +1-954-370-6404

Free of charge in the US: 1-800-682-6065

Fax: +1-954-370-8130


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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