COLUMBUS, Ind. -- Patients at most medical clinics around the U.S. know the drill: They walk into a doctor's office, where they sit for an indeterminate length of time, first in the waiting room and then in an exam room, where they eventually get to see a doctor for a mere 10 minutes or so. The fee could be $75.
That's not how it works at Cummins LiveWell Center, according to Jill Beavins, the medical director of primary care services. Here, an acute-care visit to speak with a doctor about a health issue such as high blood pressure or diabetes typically lasts 40 minutes.
"That would have been 10 minutes in my previous life" as a primary care physician at a conventional clinic near Indianapolis, Beavins says.
That 40-minute visit would typically cost $30 at the LiveWell Center, a new concept health clinic opened by Cummins Inc., the auto supplier and diesel-engine maker, in June. Cummins declines to disclose the cost of the center.
The extra minutes give doctors a chance not just to diagnose a problem, but also consider multiple approaches to solving it, including talking to a health coach about a lifestyle change.
The company's literature states: "Instead of just tackling the symptoms, we'll work with patients to get to the bottom of every health care issue."
Adam Palmer, Cummins' global facilities functional excellence manager, regularly visits the LiveWell Center's chiropractor and pays a flat fee of $20 -- so cheap he hesitates to bring it up with friends who don't work for the company.
"It's a little awkward to tell people my medical expenses can be so inexpensive when others don't have that benefit. It's a company that really looks out for the employee," says Palmer, who also has enrolled in cooking classes at the center and lost 12 pounds as a result of adopting a vegan diet.