General

Car dealer workers can see the doctor — at work

Car dealer workers can see the doctor — at work

After a 35 percent increase in health care costs from 2019 to 2020, Lakeland turned to its employee benefits advisor to find another path. It partnered with Health Rosetta, a group of consultants advocating for self-funded insurance plans, to set up the program.

The cost is based on Medicare and is pre-negotiated. Those insured through the plan can use a “nurse navigator” tool to find an in-network provider if they don’t choose the on-site doctor.

Employees now carry insurance cards with the Lakeland logo. If they select the local physician as part of the direct primary care program, they receive free durable medical equipment and diabetes supplies and have no deductible or co-payment.

Lakeland, which sold about 5,200 new and used vehicles last year, says about 60 percent of employees insured through the dealership are enrolled in the direct primary care program.

dr. Known as Lakeland’s “dealer doctor,” Christopher Salud told ABC Action News in Tampa, Florida, that he enjoys the format because it allows him to focus on fewer patients.

“It goes back to practicing medicine the way you envisioned it when you became a doctor,” he said. “It’s getting to know people, spending time with them and really helping them versus coming in and seeing patient after patient and not being able to spend time with them.”