There are seven UrgentCareTravel clinics that are currently open in Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Georgia, Virginia and California. Stakeholders expect to open nine new sites in eight states where Pilot operates by the end of 2018.
By David Bennett, Senior Editor
The first quarter in 2018 has already been a busy one for Pilot Flying J.
So far, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based company, which includes a combined network of more than 750 Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers across North America, has opened six new travel center locations in the U.S. and Canada; expansion into five states across the U.S.; launched 150 roadside assistance trucks in 36 states; and established the Pilot Flying J Truck Care program, which includes mobile emergency roadside assistance.
However, what may prove to be the company’s crowning achievement in 2018 is a unique healthcare program, which isn’t geared toward company employees, but rather targets truck drivers traveling U.S. roads.
Pilot Flying J earlier this year partnered with UrgentCareTravel to provide clinical services that patrons can access while at specific Pilot locations. Medical clinics erected at Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers now offer drivers access to comprehensive medical services—from primary and urgent care visits, to chronic disease management, to lab services and U.S. Department of Transportation physical exams—without ever leaving the highway.
Mitch Strobin, vice president of service management at UrgentCareTravel, said the singular healthcare program is in response to the towering healthcare costs the trucking industry incurs every year. It costs the industry millions of dollars in lost productivity as drivers seek out or wait for health service.
“UrgentCareTravel is deploying medical clinics at Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers, where Pilot Flying J’s national footprint and proximity along major interstate highways enables UrgentCareTravel to offer convenient, low-cost health care plans and medical services for fleets, professional drivers and their families, local companies and communities,” said Strobin. “The benefit to the trucking industry is enormous—$1 billion per year can be saved in the industry by improved productivity and improved retention rates.”
UrgentCareTravel, also based in Knoxville, states it’s an organization dedicated to improving the health of truck drivers.
There are seven UrgentCareTravel clinics that are currently open in Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Georgia, Virginia and California. UrgentCareTravel expects to open nine new clinics in eight states where Pilot operates by the end of 2018. The states being targeted are: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Though professional drivers are the primary market focus, business travelers, RVers and local community residents are also welcome to visit the new clinics.
Scott Klepper, senior manager of facility revenue for Pilot Flying J, explained that because these individuals spend many hours behind the wheel, without the ability to move around or exercise regularly, the factors that lead to poor physical health can be damaging.
“Long hours, a sedentary lifestyle and rigors of the job lead to a higher incidence of chronic health problems among truckers. Some 50% of the drivers have a pre-existing health condition (hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol) requiring regular clinic visits and resulting in drivers receiving a license of only one year or less,” Klepper said. “Left untreated, their conditions will worsen and result in drivers losing their license to drive.”
Each clinic is 900 square feet with three exam rooms and with a nurse practitioner and a medical assistant. The services that clinics provide are far ranging, including:
Personalized Care Plans:
• High Cholesterol
Work-Related Injury Services:
• Muscle Pain / Strain
• Laceration Repair
• Wound Care
• Urine / Hair Drug Screenings
Strobin explained while treatments aren’t free, UrgentCareTravel’s Health Network is an affordable healthcare plan that includes all of the services listed above, with all in-clinic services being no co-pay / no deductible, and with no pre-existing condition or age restrictions. In addition, telemedicine with around-the-clock access to medical providers is also included in the Health Network program.