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Colorado Springs company opens on-site health clinic
by WAYNE HEILMAN wayneh@gazette.com -January 15, 10:55 AM
by WAYNE HEILMAN wayneh@gazette.com -

At a time when some companies are cutting back on health insurance for employees or making them pick up a bigger share of the premiums, Spectranetics Corp. of Colorado Springs is going in the other direction.

Spectranetics has partnered with Denver-based Paladina Health LLC to open two free clinics for its employees and their families, making it one of just a handful of local employers to operate workplace health clinics.

The company opened one clinic at its headquarters in the InterQuest business park on Jan. 6., and another near Dublin and Academy boulevards on Jan. 9 to serve family members who might not want to come to Spectranetics' office.

The sole staff physician, Dr. Dale Spencer, splits his time between the clinics, which are open to Spectranetics' 600 U.S. employees, but will primarily be used by the medical laser manufacturer's 386 local workers.

"We want our teammates and their families to have easy and unlimited access to high-quality physicians who are focused on improving their health over the long-term," said Robert Fuchs, Spectranetics' vice president of global human resources. "The cost of health care continues to increase, the quality is sporadic and the amount of time spent with physicians is inconsistent."

Spencer also is available to employees and their families around-the-clock, seven days a week, for consultation by cell phone, text message or email.

"We want a concierge level of service so there is 24-7 availability for our teammates and their families," Fuchs said. "We believe that if we can keep our teammates and their families healthy, our (financial) break will come with them not having any major illnesses."

Spectranetics began seeking a provider for the clinics early last year and sought proposals from a variety of companies. Three finalists were chosen from the five that submitted proposals before Spectranetics setteled on Paladina, a unit of Denver-based dialysis provider DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

Denver-based Paladina operates 38 clinics for 37 employers in 12 states, including six in the Denver area that will be open by March 31. Most of the clinics were acquired a year ago, when Paladina bought Milwaukee-based employer-clinic operator ModernMed.

Kate Stabrawa, a DaVita spokeswoman in Denver, said Paladina is in "active discussions with major employers in the Colorado Springs market, and are pursuing rapid market expansion in that area and across the Front Range."

The clinic schedules hour-long appointments that allow Spencer to learn more about patients, their lifestyle, behaviors and medical history before treating them for specific illnesses, Fuchs said. They can receive primary and preventive care, chronic condition support, urgent care and referrals to specialists and hospitals.

Spectranetics employees can still visit their regular physicians under the company's health plan with Aetna, but they're responsible for co-payments required by the plan, he said.

People who aren't Spectranetics employees can get in on some of the action at Paladina's off-site clinic at 6475 Wall St. But Paladina is limiting the number of non-Spectranetics patients to about 30 percent of the patient load to ensure that enough one-hour appointments are available to everyone, Stabrawa said. Individuals can buy a monthly membership for $99 to access Paladina doctors and clinics, which operate as a "medical home" where patients can get 85 percent to 90 percent of the medical services they need and owe no co-payments, she said. (For more information, call 1-866-808-6005.)

Several local employers operate clinics for their employees, including El Paso County, Progressive Corp. and USAA.


Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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