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Cowley HealthWoRX Clinic Opens

A new concept in health and wellness for Cowley County opened its doors earlier this month. Cowley HealthWoRX is a direct primary care clinic formed through a partnership between South Central Kansas Medical Center and Revere Healthcare Solutions Inc. (RHS). Located on the medical center campus at 6403 Patterson Parkway in Ark City, the clinic hopes to be a catalyst for improved health within the community by emphasizing preventative healthcare.

January 25, 2018

January 25, 2018 - A new concept in health and wellness for Cowley County opened its doors earlier this month. Cowley HealthWoRX is a direct primary care clinic formed through a partnership between South Central Kansas Medical Center and Revere Healthcare Solutions Inc. (RHS). Located on the medical center campus at 6403 Patterson Parkway in Ark City, the clinic hopes to be a catalyst for improved health within the community by emphasizing preventative healthcare.

 “It’s a concept different from what we are used to. What we are used to now is that you wait until you’re sick to go to the doctor. With this concept we are going to be proactive and start looking at wellness as the central core of our healthcare delivery going forward for our employees,” said Virgil Watson, SCKMC’s CEO.

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The clinic is employer driven, meaning that it is designed to be offered as a benefit to a company’s employees with no out of pocket deductibles or office visit copays for individuals that are covered through the program.

“Today the general population has to face at least a $25 copay to receive primary care. That barrier represents a reason to not take care of your condition early on, but wait in hope that the condition will eventually just cure itself. When it doesn’t cure itself, the condition that was a primary care issue becomes a much more expensive form of care for the employee and for the employer. The clinic starts not only intercepting visits that would have gone to the much higher level of acuity and expenses, but also over time allows the population to become healthier and therefore less risky to ensure while allowing (the employer) more control in the healthcare premiums,” said Carmine Di Palo, RHS’s Chairman and CEO.

Di Palo’s business strategy is based on the belief that because there is no out-of-pocket cost to the members, it is more likely that patients will not only receive treatment earlier but also take advantage of preventative services such as annual physicals, personal health improvement plans, and chronic condition management for such issues as diabetes, obesity, or tobacco addiction. As the employee population becomes healthier, insurance claims go down and the combination allows employers more leverage when negotiating their insurance premiums, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars over time.

Kansas Senator Larry Alley is a proponent of the direct primary care model. He attended the hospital’s October Board of Trustees meeting to discuss the benefits of the direct primary care model for both the medical center and for the community.

“There has got to be a better way to deliver healthcare to Kansas. I think this is something that can benefit our hospital here, it can benefit our community. I really believe that if we change the discussion of healthcare from dollars to what’s best for the patient, how can we improve healthcare for that patient, it will be a great thing,” Senator Alley said.

The CowleyHealthWoRX team will initially include Cherie Bahm, APRN; Diane Ray, Registered Dietitian, and Shari Spencer Clinic, Administration. The team is energetic, focused, and small by design.

“I think that the individual advantage to direct primary care is having one-on-one access with a practitioner. In that practitioner-client relationship, the care is patient focused from the moment they walk through the door. From that, I think the clients will feel more like they are being listened to.  Having 30-minutes with you from start to finish I am going to learn a whole lot more about you then if I have three or four other people going in to talk to you,” Bahm said.

Employers interested in learning more about the Direct Primary Clinic should contact Virgil Watson at South Central Kansas Medical Center by calling (620) 442-2500 or visit www.cowleyhealthworx.com.

 Pictured: The Cowley HealthWoRX team: (from left)Diane Ray, RD; Shari Spencer; and Cherie Bahm, APRN