Health Care

Via Christi wellness pilot program aimed at employers

Via Christi Health is working on an initiative to help employers expand health and wellness programs.

As part of a pilot program, Via Christi teamed up with Intrust Bank to offer physicals to 16 senior leadership employees.

What had previously been a three-day process that required a trip out of town for Intrust executives was modified to a half-day screening in Wichita by Via Christi providers.

Intrust began health and wellness initiatives in 2006, said Jill Beckman, division director of People Services for Intrust Bank.

Its wellness program, “Centsible Living,” includes preventive screenings, and employees who participate can get reduced insurance premiums and a “Well Day Off.”

“We wanted to expand and help senior leaders be more aware of their health, not only for themselves but to support the organization, and one way was to have a local option for executive physicals,” Beckman said.

Planning for Via Christi’s services began last fall. It’s still too early to see financial savings with the local physicals, Beckman said.

Now Intrust and Via Christi are in talks to possibly expand offerings to other employees. Beckman said they would like to survey employees to determine what some of those offerings might be.

Ed Hett, vice president of new models of care for Via Christi Health and family medicine practitioner, said the initiative aligns with patient-centered care and offers another source of income for Via Christi.

“The part I think made this different for us is we had a specific location we used. … It wasn’t mixed in with a lot of other patient care in a clinic setting,” he said. “It was more private and focused on getting the executive through the physical in a timely manner.”

The executive physical included lab work, pharmacy consultations, audiology tests, treadmill EKGs, bone density tests, behavioral health assessments, some chest X-rays and a consultation at the end to review results.

The screenings found a total of 18 new conditions among the senior leadership, Hett said.

Hett said it was important the physicals did not duplicate services that executives had already received from their doctors.

“We wanted to be careful we weren’t duplicating tests which could increase potential for harm,” Hett said. “We didn’t want excessive exposure to radiation and things like that.”