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3 Steps to Turn Your Executive Physical Program into an Executive Health Program

Executive Health

Executive physicals are increasingly popular at companies of all sizes. And for good reason. Companies know how valuable their top employees are and are willing to invest the resources to protect them — both from potential health risks and the possibility of getting poached by a competitor. One of the biggest reasons companies add executive physicals is to reduce their key person risk.

But, as with almost everything in our world, the COVID-19 pandemic changed things.

Executive physicals are still valuable for their annual monitoring and preventive screenings. But more and more companies are also looking to expand beyond executive physicals. They want to get their best employees not just a once-a-year physical, but a year-round healthcare experience that keeps them at their best.

So, how do you turn your executive physical program into an executive health program? As an executive health provider since 2003, we’ve helped numerous companies do just that. Here’s our advice.

1. Start with the executive physical.

Start with the basics. The foundation of an executive health program is still going to be the executive physical. These more advanced physicals include screenings and tests that go beyond what health insurance normally covers to allow your most important people to identify their risk factors, hopefully before symptoms occur, and track their progress year over year. It’s the piece of executive health that’s been around the longest and for good reason.

For your executive health program, the annual executive physical exam is like a pre-requisite. There is no executive health program without it.

And this is where many companies are today. Some have had their executive physical program in place for years, maybe at a place like the Mayo Clinic or with their regional health system. But now, after a year of uncertainty, stress, and elevated risk, you’ve decided it’s time for your company to go even further.

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2. Add concierge primary care and wellness for comprehensive care throughout the year.

With executive physicals, you send your top employees to get the most in-depth physical of their lives every year. Afterward, they return to the office and get back to work. They probably work hard for you, too, pulling long hours each week for the betterment of your company, but probably not their health.

A recent study by the World Health Organization indicated that working 55 hours or more a week was associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease. If you’ve got employees working long hours for your company, it’s time to think about their long-term health.

If their annual executive physical exam revealed they had some heart concerns or were developing some stress-related issue, do they act on it afterward? Or do they just wait until the next physical to see if it’s progressed any further?

We think of an executive physical like a roadmap to lifelong health. But everyone needs help to get there. And that’s where turning your executive physical program into a full-fledged executive health program can pay dividends.

Do your most important employees have someone helping them improve their health throughout the year? Do they even have a relationship with a primary care doctor? It’s estimated that 25% of people in the United States do not have a PCP.

When it comes to adding primary care and wellness to your executive health program, you’re going to need to look at either boutique concierge medicine practices or larger hospitals that also have a concierge practice.

The concierge model is an ideal fit for executive health. It removes the hassles of the traditional primary care experience – the long waits in a lobby or exam room, the inability to get an appointment in a timely manner, the lack of reliable after-hours care.

And for your company’s top employees, who manage a busy life both at the office and at home, the convenience of concierge primary care can be well worth it, both for their health and your company’s productivity.

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3. Stack on a partner not just for the health of your top employee, but the health of your company, too.

COVID. Sars. Zika. Avian Bird Flu. Swine Flu. These are some public health events that have attracted the world’s attention and they’ve all happened within the past 20 years. As we’ve learned the hard way during COVID, any public health crisis can affect your business operations. Even the regular flu season disrupts business every year.

When you’re looking to take your executive physical program to an executive health program, you should look for a partner willing to offer some kind of medical consulting services. Think of it like a lawyer. You rely on them to help you navigate myriad legal issues, because they're the expert. They can take complicated jargon and simplify it into advice your company can use to make decisions.

Shouldn’t you have someone who can help navigate medical issues as well? Just like you might have an outside general counsel, you should think about finding an outside medical counsel as well.

We’re not fear-mongering here. It’s just a fact. Public health crises aren’t going anywhere. Most experts expect the next pandemic to be some form of influenza. Helping businesses navigate health issues within their own operations is one of the after-effects of COVID, and it’s here to stay.

Executive Health: More than just a physical.

Executive physicals are important, but making them just one piece of a broader executive health program can be highly valuable. They can help your company stand out. They can protect your top employees. They can help improve productivity. And they can give your company’s leadership help in a crisis.

We frequently help companies explore their options for several situations, such as:

  • Adding concierge care to a long-running executive physical program.
  • Selecting a second (or third) executive health provider to give their employees more options.
  • Implement an executive physical or executive health program for the first time.

If you’re looking into executive physicals and executive health, we’re happy to help. Read more about our executive health services on our website, and fill out one of the forms to start the conversation.