Onsite Clinics in Hotels Serve Travelers Best: New Innovations for Hospitality Bridging Health(care) [H2H] Can have Competitive Market Advantages
By Fred DeMicco, Executive Director and Professor in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University and Adel Eldin, MD, FACC, FACP, MBA, GGA, Founder, CEO of Quality Affordable Healthcare, Prontocare
The long, exciting journey of 24/7 effort to introduce real solutions to fix the healthcare crisis is here and holds great potential. Prontocare delivers quality, affordable healthcare to help both consumer and the system remain functional without pushing either party to bankruptcy. There is a strategic and tactical opportunity for the lodging industry to have a role in these health efforts and to enhance revenue generatoration and build positive guest relationships in health and well-being as well.
It has become abundantly clear that the current fee-for-service model is unsustainable. Spending more money than any country in the world does not guarantee top healthcare quality. The US spends more money on healthcare than any other developed western country, but still ranks number 37th in the world when measured by healthcare metrics.
Moving into value-based medicine has become crucial for the American system to become sustainable. Hence, the solution that we have been working on over the past decade is simply a Direct Contracting Model. This will bring a direct relationship between the doctor (healthcare provider) and the patient (healthcare consumer) without any third-party interference. This model also reduces the cost of bureaucracy, which consumes more than one-third of physician time and is a major contributor to physician burnout. On top of this, unpaid medical bills are the number one reason for individual bankruptcy. More than half of patients with insurance are unable to pay their healthcare bills.
A proposed solution is the Direct Contracting for Healthcare model that we developed and introduced to help so many. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/direct-contracting-healthcare-adel-eldin-md-facc-facp/) This comes with an emphasis on disease prevention, physical and mental wellness, nutritional education, and lifestyle modification to prevent chronic diseases, which currently affects more than 130 million Americans. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cost-chronic-diseases-adel-eldin-md-facc-facp/)
The work on this Direct Contracting model started after the World Economic Crisis of 2008, with extensive research on the development of the direct-to-consumer model for healthcare, which had many years of community education about this new-old concept. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2FP880Bd-Y&t=117s)
This initial phase was followed by approval of the Direct Contracting program by the City of Tampa as a choice for non-Medicare retirees for three years straight (2014, 2015, and 2016). This is followed by many presentations to HealthCamp Tampa, University of South Florida, and participating in Healthcare Innovation Round 1 and Round 2 during the Obama Administration and again was well received but did not move forward. In the meantime, more data showed significant improvement in measured healthcare metrics along with significant savings up to $10,000 compared with traditional insurance! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA1_DTPdVJM, couple saved more than $90,000 dollars over 5-year enrollment).
Enrolled patients had less mental stress from economic burdens, and they were able to pay bills and fulfill their financial obligations through savings which could not have been done if patients continued the traditional insurance policy as there is zero out-of-pocket cost to the patient (no copayments, no deductibles). A recent study showed that senior citizens not enrolled in this program pay an average of $7500 of out-of-pocket expenses. A positive personal experience, along with patient satisfaction, would be important elements to boost patient compliance and improve outcomes in addition to saving financially. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U-3PLzd_xw)
Therefore, Prontocare.co was created to include a network of caring physicians who will provide excellent professional services with transparent, discounted pricing. There is no bureaucracy, no burnout to doctors, no hassle to patients, no referral needed, no denial of a pre-existing condition, and no copayments. Simply go to www.prontocare.co and click on your age-specific contract and if you like it, then go to PayPal and enroll online to make their appointment. This is a great convenience for patients, especially during a pandemic and tough economy. Open enrollment is available 24/7/365 to help the hard-working middle class, small and medium-sized businesses, and anyone looking for affordable healthcare coverage.
Now, Direct Contracting Model finally comes to Medicare. (https://www.medpagetoday.com/practicemanagement/reimbursement/90003) With added services such as transportation to doctor visits, vouchers for over-the-counter medication, room air conditioning for patients with asthma which reflect the importance of addressing the social determinant of health (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-determinants-health-adel-eldin-md-facc-facp-mba-gga/) to improve medication compliance, healthy nutrition, etc.
Over the past four decades, we have been a passionate advocate of patients -especially the most vulnerable. Seniors paid more than $22 Billion dollars out-of-pocket in 2019 and, thus, would benefit from the Direct Contracting Model.
Most experts agree that hotels and resorts are better than airports to offer testing either with rapid Antigen testing or PCR testing and can be scheduled prior to departure. It would sense, comfort, less stress, anxiety, and hassle to the traveler who is worried whether he or she would be able to get on the flight to their desired destination or not. The Air travel companies had to cancel many clients because of not having negative testing within the required time frame to be cleared to be allowed on the flight. Then, comes the ever-increasing problem of getting the COVID-credit on the canceled flights.
On the other hand, the hotel industry is similarly devastated with markedly diminished occupancy. To restore confidence in the travel industry, avoid ticket cancellations and all related complications leading to further losses in the travel business. Thus, it is a fact that testing for COVID-19 is critical to all stockholders of the travel and hospitality industry combined. We offer a proposed solution with having on-site clinics at the hotels as a strategic item during the pandemic and beyond
The Strategic Value for Having an Onsite Medical Clinic at Hotels / Adel Eldin, Frederick DeMicco, Shelly Rehav
Instead of using a guest room or the lobby to do testing as currently done, it would be more appropriate to have a dedicated onsite clinic at hotels to provide this critical service, give assurance to customers and minimize added stress on the travelers when compared with doing testing at airports for example. A resort spa and could become a MediSpa with in the hotel and offer these services to guests. Advertised on Hotel and resort websites, guest would value this healthy and safety addition to the hotel and resort amenities and offer a competitive value proposition to the property to enhance revenue.
Below Presents is a simple step by step Process to set up a Prontocare clinic at Hotels.
- The lodging property will need an 1100-1200 sq. feet space preferably on the first floor close to the lobby area) and near the well-being, spa area (Medi-Spa).
- Properly spaced seating for social distancing along with masks, hand sanitizers.
- One triage area to assess vitals and take Temperature, pulse oximetry then performs COVID-19 testing using either Antigen or PCR testing.
- Two exam rooms to evaluate patients further and make appropriate triage decisions (doing EKG) as well if any symptoms or those with known risk factors for heart disease or have established heart disease (they had prior heart attacks, stents, bypass surgery). There is almost one-third of COVID patients have cardiac complications
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov ‹ articles ‹ PMC7165109
- Immediate communication between the traveler, hotel, and the Air carriers to inform about the results (after getting the proper consent of the traveler) to avoid confusion by improved communication regarding flight eligibility, coordinate the discharge dates from the hotel and related logistics
- It is important to keep in mind that the need to have a system in place for testing travelers will continue to be needed even after successful mass vaccinations up till fall 2021. Remember, the vaccine is not a guarantee for not getting infected by Coronavirus especially with the new variants of the virus mutations. The evidence thus far suggests there will be a long -term need for testing, triage, and management of travelers on top of pre-existing medical needs prior to the pandemic with an aging society and chronic diseases that would persist in a post COVID -world Thus adding to the strategic value of having onsite clinics at Hotels. Refer to the diagram below. with step by step to set up Prontocare Clinic in a hotel. This is to serve COVID and non COVID healthcare needs of the Guests staying in the hotels and resorts.
Acknowledgment: This Paper is sponsored by the GloMed.Education website https://glomed.education/.
If interested in Prontocare for Hotels and Resorts, email [email protected].