Jonathan Edelheit is the founding president of an organization that will focus on efforts to help U.S. residents who seek health care outside the United States.

The mission of the new Medical Tourism Association, West Palm Beach, Fla., is to “promote positive and stable growth of medical tourism internationally, to set credentialing standards for hospitals and medical tourism companies, and to increase the awareness and utilization of overseas hospitals for Americans,” organizers say.

Edelheit, the leader of the MTA, is vice president of United Group Programs Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., a benefits broker and plan administrator.

Edelheit, who also has been active in efforts to promote limited-benefit medical insurance plans, says the MTA will try to help U.S. residents who travel out of country for treatments such as dental procedures and stem cell transplants.

One goal of the MTA is to make quality data for non-U.S. health care providers available in the United States.

Another goal of the MTA is to ease communication between international hospitals and U.S. claims payers, by promoting use of a single gateway for electronic data interchange, health care transactions and claims, the MTA says.

In addition to Edelheit, founding MTA board members include public health researchers, executives from non-U.S. hospitals and medical tourism experts.

The group’s Web site is at Document Link