GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Patients are frustrated about the high cost of health care and insurance. Doctors are frustrated at patients not coming in for preventative care, which can lead to serious, and expensive, medical conditions and treatment.
In response, Glenwood Medical Associates has come up with a program to address both patient and doctor concerns by offering a new pre-paid health care punch card.
The program was the idea of Rachel Rodriguez, patient financial services manager at GMA.
“I was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, and I hear lots of my friends and family complaining, and I manage the billing [at GMA], so I recognize the need in this valley,” Rodriguez said. “It’s not insurance. It’s like having a pre-paid phone card.”
The “Care 4 You” program includes an annual physical exam, bloodwork and three “sick” office visits during the 12-month period.
The card costs $640, a 25 percent discount compared with the average cost of the included services. Two of the three office visits can be rolled over to the next year.
“The program does not pay for gender-related health care, such as Pap smears or mammograms, and it does not pay for prescriptions,” Rodriguez said. “But with the punch card, you can get 10 percent off on services that are not covered or participate in a 12-month, interest-free payment plan.”
A program for children is available with an annual “Well Child” exam and three “sick” office visits. Blood work is not included in this program as it is not normally appropriate for children. Cost of the program is $480 per child.
Both programs can be paid for with HSA funds or put on a credit card, and they may be used at GMA in Glenwood Springs and also their medical center in Silt.
“I haven’t heard of a program like this anywhere else,” Rodriguez said. “We put it together to give patients peace of mind and help get them in to see a doctor.”
Patients may still see their regular doctor at GMA or choose one from the 21 providers available if they don’t have a physician at GMA.
The program went into effect two weeks ago. Cards may be purchased at the patient registration desk. For questions or more information, contact Rodriguez, 970-384-5045.