Executive Health Programs Help Bridge a Gap
By Judy Beiler, RN
Successful companies consider their top executives’ health to be a high priority. Unanticipated absences due to illness or a health care crisis can negatively impact their organization. Unfortunately, few time-challenged executives seem to find time in their schedules for regular health checkups. In many cases, preventive health screenings and regular checkups never happen.
‘One-stop shopping’ for executive health care
In recent years, Executive Health Programs have sprung up across the country to help bridge this health-care gap. These programs are designed with “one-stop shopping” convenience to:
• Discover any potential health problems through a comprehensive physical and cardiac evaluation, along with a complete laboratory panel, usually completed in only one or two days.
• Identify and address any risk factors that might compromise the executive’s health in the future.
• Promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and stress management.
Aurora’s Global and Executive Health Program follows basic testing recommendations highly endorsed (categories “A” and “B”) by the US Preventative Services Task Force.1
Generally, insurance companies will cover those wellness screenings that receive an A or B rating, as there is “high certainty that the net benefit” is substantial or moderate-to-substantial. Using an “a la carte” approach, additional tests can be added as the exam progresses, but only if sufficient evidence supports additional testing.
Is more testing better?
Some Executive Health programs offer a pre-priced, comprehensive battery of diagnostic tests as their standard package. Often there is a misconception that “more testing is better,” such as whole body CT scans or heart scans (which may expose the patient to radiation). Most physicians would agree that these tests should be considered on a case-by-case basis — after carefully evaluating a patient’s risk factors and any symptoms that may be present.
Who picks up the tab?
While insurance covers many health care services, executive physical packages are often paid directly by the company and not submitted to the executive’s own health insurance carrier. Prices vary widely – based upon which services are provided – but can run $2,500 and up.
Executive Health programs are available across the country – some at well-known, highly respected health organizations. Similar programs may be offered through local health care systems, especially in larger cities. While having an Executive Physical at a prestigious destination center may sound appealing, there are valid reasons to consider selecting a local health care provider.
Comparing total costs
Find out if the out-of-state health care providers are “in network,” especially if additional tests or consultations might be needed after the initial exam. Executives requiring further testing may be in for a costly surprise when the bill arrives, if those tests and services from a destination center are “out of network.”
When comparing Executive Physical Programs, travel and lodging costs and other expenses (car rental, meals, etc.) at a destination location should be factored in. Days spent traveling are extra days a busy executive is away from work.
Continuity of care
A locally based Executive Health program can more easily facilitate any follow-up medical care that might be needed. Local providers can also offer referrals to local specialists, ensuring excellent continuity of care over time.
Executive Health programs in your community may have connections to an executive health or “concierge” medical practice that could fill the ongoing medical needs of a busy executive.
Ensuring the best care for valued leaders
Local health care organizations, such as Aurora Health Care, understand the value business leaders bring to the community and will ensure that they have an exceptional health care experience. Aurora’s Executive Health staff understands the realities of late schedule changes and will accommodate special requests and coordinate any additional appointments that may have been put off (example: scheduling an orthopedic consultation on the same day as an executive physical for a nagging shoulder injury).
Executive health programs may be housed in a dedicated space offering amenities such as a lounge area, business services and complimentary food and beverages. This environment allows for privacy, convenience and ability to conduct business during any down time.
Aurora’s Global and Executive Health Program offers an integrated, personalized head-to-toe medical evaluation in a relaxed setting that encourages executives to feel comfortable discussing their health and lifestyle. Aurora’s program can include nutrition consulting and an exercise physiology assessment, too.
Once the exam is complete, a confidential summary of findings, recommendations and educational materials is shared with the executive, and the results can be shared with the individual’s primary care provider, upon request.
Offering a personal roadmap to better health
No physical exam or test can fully ensure that there are no health care concerns for your executive staff. However, proactive organizations offering this health care opportunity to their leaders can enjoy peace of mind — knowing that their executives have a roadmap guiding them toward better health and wellness.
1. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/uspstf-a-and-b-recommendations/
Judy Beiler, RN, serves as Aurora’s Director, Global and Executive Health. To learn more about executive health programs, visit AuroraEmployerSolutions.org