Accountable Care Organizations. Medical Homes. Integrated networks of providers. Many of the latest health services research catch phrases are attempting to provide patients with a one-stop shop for all their health care needs. The integrated systems attempt to prevent situations such as when multiple physicians prescribe a host of drugs, some of which could be contraindicated.
These integrated models, however, may not serve one population very well: truckers. Because truckers are on the road all the time, they frequently will need care outside of their area. In fact, they may often need moderate amounts of treatment initially and then well seek more intensive treatment with their primary care doctor upon returning home.
The Healthy Trucking Association of America (HTAA) and the Convenient Care Association (CCA) have announced one solution to this problem: provide health insurance which relies on a geographically widespread network of retail clinics. Although the CCA clinics may not be perfect, they do have two advantages: i) they are cheap, ii) they are located nationwide.
According to a recent press release:
“Located in retail stores like major pharmacies and large supermarkets, CCA clinics are much more accessible and affordable for drivers than traditional doctors’ offices or emergency rooms,” says Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the CCA. “Retail-based convenient care clinics provide a perfect venue for employees, and their families, to receive accessible, affordable, high-quality services.”
Are these cut-rate plans? Possibly. I don’t know about the generosity of these plans in terms of cost sharing or benefit structure. The plans, however, are interested in adopting recent initiatives shown to improve patients care.
“…other trucking organizations who have expressed great interest in the clinics’ ability not only to identify and manage chronic disease risk but to support Compliance Safety Accountability Act 2010 federal guidelines through electronic medical records, standardized medical protocols, and technology solutions to reach drivers while traveling on the road,” says Stewart Levy, R.Ph., President of Health Promotion Solutions.
Medical homes and ACOs may help most people, but tailoring health care needs to the individual patient is vital. The HTAA-CCA partnership seems to provide a good fit for the trucker population.