RosenCare-a new paradigm in healthcare
May 22, 2020
By Ed Borowsky
Rosen Hotels & Resorts currently employs more than 4,000 associates, all of whom owner Harris Rosen considers part of his extended family. In 1974, Rosen purchased his first hotel-now the Rosen Inn International-which was the impetus for Rosen Hotels & Resorts. As Florida's largest independent hotelier, Rosen owns and operates an award-wining collection of eight Orlando hotels to include: the 800-room Rosen Plaza, 1,334-room Rosen Centre and the 1,501-room AAA Four Diamond Rosen Shingle Creek, along with the 728-room Rosen Inn International, 1020-room Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, 315-room Rosen Inn closest to Universal, 640-room Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista and the 356-room Midpointe Hotel.
Rosen associates have a unique demographic. The average age of associates is 47 years old, much higher than the mean-age national average. The older the age of a company's associates, the more health care is required, thereby bringing a higher cost average for their care. Also, one-third of Rosen associates come from Haiti and another third come from third-world countries. They're American citizens, but they bring with them a unique set of health issues.
"In the past, we had a third-party insurer for our health care benefits. Each year we noticed that our costs were going up. We weren't happy about this," said Rosen. "Our company costs were actually lower than our premiums. When we asked the insurance agency why, they replied that it was the group we were in. When we asked to leave the group, we learned we couldn't. And that's when we decided to create our own insurance company. We became self-insured and created a whole new methodology insuring all of our associates. We're now self-insured and opened our own medical facility for our associates."
Rosen continued, "When we started RosenCare in 1991, we created space for our medical facility when we moved our accounting office. We then purchased used equipment, moved into that space, hired a doctor, nurse assistant and a front office person... then began seeing patients. In the first year, we cut our health care costs to our associates by 50 to 60 percent."
Today, the Rosen Medical Center is a beautiful almost 12,000 sq. ft. health care facility located at 7656 International Drive in Orlando. The building houses a team of more than 60 medical professionals that support the RosenCare model, including doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, a chiropractor, a dietician, physical therapists, lab technicians, X-ray/DEXA/ultrasound technicians, and more.
Ashley Bacot, president of Provinsure, Rosen's health insurance agency said, "Just take care of folks and great things will happen. Our associates pay approximately $800 a year for single coverage and approximately $2,500 annually for a family, which is deducted from their paychecks throughout the year. Dental and life insurance are covered in these costs."
A study by the American Academy of Family Physicians showed 25 percent of patients with three or more chronic conditions delayed care because of high deductible health plans. A Kaiser Foundation survey indicated that 43 percent of adults with health insurance have difficulty affording their deductibles.
"Rosen associates have little to no co-pays, no deductibles and no co-insurance, while approximately 90 percent of pharmaceuticals are free. While they receive the highest quality care available," said Bacot.
A new Rosen associate qualifies for the health care program at the 90-day mark. First, they receive a full physical examination and a comprehensive lab workup. After that, they're assigned a primary care provider and case manager/health coach that will be with them as long as they're employed.
Today, the medical center takes care of close to 6,000 covered lives, which includes associates and their dependents.
One way Rosen keeps health care costs down while ensuring the highest quality of care is by promoting the value of living a healthy lifestyle, while providing associates the tools they need to achieve this. For example, Rosen has a no-smoking policy and offers associates the support they need to kick the habit. The fitness and wellness programs offer nutritional services with a dietitian on staff and even exercise counseling in their state-of-the-art fitness center. Smoking cessation programs along with weight management programs also are offered, among other programs.
Director of health services Kenneth Aldridge and medical director Dr. Ronald Ryan oversee the daily operational aspects of the Rosen Medical Center. "When an associate has a doctor's appointment at the medical facility, they stay on the clock," said Aldridge. "They're encouraged and given the time to take care of themselves and their families. And they get paid for it. Transportation to and from our medical center is provided at no cost."
They have an onsite medication dispensary, radiology and podiatrist. In the fitness center, they offer Zoomba, Tai-Chi and spinning classes, to name a few, all at no cost to associates.
Rosen's team believes that the current healthcare paradigm needs to be improved on many levels and could benefit from replicating the RosenCare model. With RosenCare, the highest priority is a laser-like focus on prevention in keeping associates healthy and happy. The second is lowering the costs in every aspect of health care by finding ways to negotiate better savings on pharmaceuticals to improving operations to streamlining and increasing efficiencies. "We have found a way to do this. Our program is working," Rosen said.
RosenCare's costs are 30 to 50 percent lower than what their identical demographic would experience in the traditional health-care landscape.
The Rosen organization has saved more than $450 million since the program started. Much of these savings are funneled back to enhance the health-care offerings, as well as to fund numerous philanthropic endeavors. The plan was honored with three awards at the 2018 World Health Care Congress for its innovation and success.
"When health care costs go down so dramatically, the first thought is you're sacrificing care, but you're not," said Dr. Ryan. "Our quality of care is tremendous. It seems too good to be true. We've focused on diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol and our medication compliance and adherence rates on each of these is about twice the national average.
"America spends $3.5 trillion on health care, about 17 percent of our GDP. Our health-care system is terribly broken," said Bacot. "If we take a smidge of the health-care dollar and provide the primary care the tools needed to proactively take care of folks, the cost comes down dramatically. We need to reduce the total cost of health care so everyone will get the care that they really need."
Rosen believes that employers around the country can fix the healthcare problem. Employers have collective leverage because of the number of associates who are on health-care plans through their workplaces.
"It is the employers who pay for hospitals, big pharma, specialists and insurance," said Rosen. "The employer is the health-care consumer on behalf of their associates. They are the ones who can fix this. We are the ones to dictate what we want, not hospitals and not insurance companies, because we are the ones who pay for it!"
"Health care is local. If we can fix it in Orlando, we can fix it elsewhere," said Bacot.