Telluride Med Center: May Health Month

 Discounted services offered throughout the month to uninsured and under-insured.

Many Americans go without the preventive health care needed to stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, lead productive lives, and reduce health care costs. In fact, often due to cost, Americans use preventive services at about half the recommended rate.

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Preventative health is especially expensive for those without insurance, which is why the Telluride Medical Center (TMC) designates May as Health Month.

“Health Month is our way of providing people without insurance, or limited coverage, an inexpensive physical exam and blood work,” said Eric Johnson, family nurse practitioner at TMC.

Until the Affordable Care Act was enacted, even many insurance companies didn’t cover physical exams. The initiative, launched by Johnson 13 years ago, can fill an otherwise slow month at TMC with patients taking advantage of discounted services.

“Even with the Affordable Care Act we still see patients whose insurance doesn’t cover screening tests,” said Johnson.

During May Health Month physical exams are $80 and a chemistry panel test — which include readings for cholesterol, a complete blood count, blood chemistry, and thyroid function — costs only $45.

“Those tests, paid for individually,” said Johnson, “would normally add up to over $350.”

Eric C. Johnson, Primary Care Practice Manager, Family Nurse Practitioner

Eric C. Johnson, Primary Care Practice Manager, Board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner

HIV tests are offered free of charge throughout Health Month, thanks to the Telluride AIDS Benefit. Other discounted services available throughout the month include women’s exams, prostrate screenings, and Vitamin D testing.

“Everyone should have one at least one Vitamin D screening in his or her lifetime. Everybody is low. A test gives us an idea on where to start with supplements,” said Johnson.

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes – which are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75% of the nation’s health spending – often are preventable. May Health Month aims to connect services with those who might otherwise go without care.

To learn more or to schedule blood work and a physical exam, call the Telluride Medical Center at 728-3848.

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