Ben Franklin offered us a piece of wisdom with the quote “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Our health, as well as our money, can use that same wisdom. The headlines often offer the negative news of higher deductibles, higher premiums, more complex billing and other subjects about healthcare insurance. You may have noticed companies that own hospitals changing their names. In Leesburg Florida, the not-for-profit company that operates the hospital changed their name a few years ago from Central Florida Health Alliance to Central Florida Health. The purpose of the change was to more appropriately describe the integrated healthcare system. Included in that focus was the health part of healthcare.
Prior to that name change, Leesburg Regional Medical Center (LRMC) opened an urgent-care center on the grounds of the hospital. Surrounding that building, now nearly five years old, is a walking path with a special surface to protect your joints. There are workout stations situated throughout the 1/3 mile path to improve your physical condition. The use of the equipment is free. The value in reduced future doctor and hospital costs is in the thousands. Each person that improves their health by utilizing the free path has a personal savings based on their condition. Health includes prevention and wellness which reduces the amount of care dollars needed later.
Community wellness is putting the health into healthcare, preventing diseases and expensive procedures. It is all the rage around the country with a renewed focus from The Affordable Care Act. That legislation included hundreds of pages on prevention and wellness, the actual way that the name affordable becomes reality. It may be a secret to you, but Central Florida Health provides classes that are free to learn about activities and programs that support a healthy lifestyle. You can find them listed on the LRMC website along with the ER wait time that you are avoiding the need for. Should you need the ER, it has recently been expanded.
Once you begin to appreciate the thousands of dollars of “sick care” you can avoid with wellness, the news just keeps getting better. Way back before the Affordable Care Act prioritized wellness, LRMC opened a wellness center. Located at 700 N. Palmetto in Leesburg, it offers various membership options to take wellness to the next level. Membership not only includes the variety of strength and cardiovascular training equipment, but also has an indoor heated pool and aquatic classes. Splurge a little more and get a massage or nutritional guidance. Classes are available and a group activity schedule will keep you well with the variety of options.
My work with seniors has influenced my perception of the multitude of professionals who offer disease-management at the LRMC, my local hospital. Is your local hospital giving away thousands of dollars worth of healthcare, disguised as wellness? My time on the free track each week for the past five years, and the time at the wellness center each week are examples of the thousands in savings by NOT using the nice new emergency room expansion, or becoming hospitalized. I have “healthcare insurance” to pay for that, but avoiding it saves thousands. Very few citizens seem to be aware of this tremendous savings opportunity at LRMC or maybe your hospital, so if you are in town join me at the free track located at 550 E. Dixie in Leesburg, Florida.