The Iowa Clinic Executive Health program was recently featured in a Des Moines Business Record article exploring health and wellness in Central Iowa. Read our excerpt below and learn more about what a day in our Executive Health program looks like.
Business Record | Written by Joe Gardyasz
Central Iowa executives have a new option for obtaining a comprehensive suite of diagnostic health exams, through a concierge program developed by The Iowa Clinic.
The Iowa Clinic Executive Health Program offers a highly personalized, integrated approach that enables executives to have multiple tests performed throughout one morning and then sit down with the doctor and a health coach by early afternoon to review the results and develop a personalized health strategy.
“This is something we're very excited to be able to offer, as much as we can, for someone in one day,” said Dr. Christina Taylor, a board-certified internist who is one of four physicians in the program. “We have busy lives as well, and we personally understand what it's like to get these screenings done. It's difficult to accommodate when you have a busy working life. We want to offer it in one convenient package so they know that they did everything that they needed to.”
The program, which is offered at The Iowa Clinic's main location at 5950 University Ave. in West Des Moines, is designed to be a convenient local option for executives who otherwise are scheduling comprehensive health checkups at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic or other major metropolitan health facilities. In Greater Des Moines, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines launched a similar program two years ago.
“I think business has become increasingly conscious of the value of the health of their employees, and when we looked at the marketplace, one of the investments that businesses make is in their management personnel,” said Ed Brown, CEO of The Iowa Clinic. “When it comes to executive health, most of those individuals have been seeking their health care outside of Iowa at other organizations.
“We felt like we were at a place in our organization where we could not only compete qualitywise, we could also compete costwise with what they were doing and provide the convenience of staying within central Iowa,” Brown said.
The core program costs $3,300, although additional tests can add to that cost. The portion that is covered by health insurance will vary based upon several factors, some of which include the individual's specific insurance plan and coverage, age, gender, and timing of past examinations, clinic officials said. Typically, the executive's company will pay for those costs not covered by the insurance plan.
Currently, the program is set up to handle just one person per day but it could expand to two per day, depending on demand, Brown said. “We wanted to develop a footprint to allow us to get started. And it can be managed into whatever we see the demand growing into.”
It took months for the clinic to develop and test the program, which is geared to handling just one client per day in a format designed for maximum efficiency and minimal waiting time. Between tests, the executive can relax or get some work done in a private suite equipped with a big-screen TV, secure Wi-Fi, a kitchenette, a private bathroom and other amenities.
Among the dozen core tests taken in rapid-fire succession are a physical exam, resting EKG, an advanced cardiac stress test, hearing screening and, for women, a pap smear and mammogram. Other tests can include a bone density scan, cardiac calcium scoring and a lung function test.
While waiting for their test results, clients can choose from a menu of complimentary well-being services that range from a massage or facial to a consultation with a dietician or a plastic surgeon, just to name a few options. The client can also add more procedures, such as a colonoscopy or sleep study, although that would extend the program to a second day.
Each client is personally escorted to each test or specialist by a health coordinator, who several days prior to the appointment conducts a pre-exam health screening and determines what particular health needs or concerns the executive would like to focus on.
“The health coordinator who escorts them is also a health coach,” said Natalie Spitzig, business development coordinator at The Iowa Clinic. “That's actually the last appointment, so (the client) can talk to the health coordinator about their health goals.”
“You show up at the front door and we're going to absolutely take care of all the rest,” Spitzig said. “We want to make sure that we're delivering a best-of-class experience with the people and the facilities, and we've gotten such positive feedback. We're really trying to take it to another level.”
Having same-day test results available makes it easy to bring forth health concerns to the client, Taylor said.
“There may be things the patient didn't know that they needed to work on,” she said. “Maybe they're pre-diabetic and we really need to do counseling on diet and sugars. So we tie in the patient's goals with the results so that they're addressed.”
Brown said he believes demand will come both from companies that have sought out these services elsewhere in the past as well as from those that haven't but want to improve the health of their employees.
“I think the untold benefit of it is the early diagnosis or indication of issues that come out of a program like this, even if it's on one employee out of 50,” he said. “Those benefits are somewhat immeasurable.”
“. . .we tie in the patient's goals with the results so that they're addressed.”
-Dr. Christina Taylor Board-certified Internist, The Iowa Clinic