Truck driver health and wellbeing are issues with several regulations and mandates assigned to them. CDL physicals, blood pressure limits, and sleep apnea tests are either already legally required or on the schedule for discussion.
So why are truck stop clinics so hard to find? Attempts to form a chain of clinics nationwide recently resulted in failure, as “Truckers Health Team” (THT), of whom I personally was a paying member, filed for Chapter 7 and liquidated back in June ‘21.
One would think that truckstop-based clinics would be a gold mine waiting to be claimed. Being able to score even a few percent of the millions of truckers out on the road would be enough to make the venture worthwhile, in my opinion.
Interstate Health Systems makes an attempt to build trucker clinics
Luckily for drivers, a new attempt to build out a trucker-specific healthcare facility is in the planning stages. Interstate Health Systems (IHS) said, in a document reviewed by FreightWaves, that it plans to open 40 to 60 locations over the next two years.
The company, which was launched about eight months ago, wants to build more than 300 locations over the next six years. This is a major undertaking as THT had around a dozen locations at its peak.
So what makes IHS different from its predecessor? THT was operated by financiers who had no experience or understanding of trucking and freight transportation.
The investors who started IHS are well known in the trucking and logistics industry:
- Rob Estes, CEO of less-than-truckload carrier Estes Express Lines
- Jett McCandless, founder and CEO of freight visibility provider project44
- Chad Eichelberger, president of insurance company Reliance Partners
- Perry Mandera, chairman and CEO of truckload carrier Custom Companies
- Bruce Campbell, former chairman and CEO of Forward Air
- Brad Pinchuk, CEO of refrigerated carrier Hirschbach Truck Line
- Bob Peterson, chairman and CEO of flatbed carrier Melton Truck Lines
- John G. Larkin, an operating partner at private equity firm Clarendon Capital and a longtime transport analyst
- Ron Rother, former chairman and CEO of management consultant Strive Consulting
- Fulton Wold, chair and CEO of Bold Planning Technologies, an emergency management software concern, are the two non-transport and logistics investors
So how are the clinics designed to work?
So we got a proper trucking-based brain trust to start this endeavor, so how will it work? The clinics are to provide primary and urgent care services. They will not provide surgical services, nor will they be set up to treat patients whose conditions would be more suitable for treatment at a hospital’s emergency room.
Drivers will be able to book appointments and talk to the clinics through an app on their phones or telematics device in the cab. The locations will offer telemedicine services, very helpful as drivers might not be able to get to the clinic in an expeditious manner.
Just like most primary care clinics, Nurse Practitioners, who can access physicians via online systems if the situation warrants, will make up the staff. In an effort to ensure continuity of care, each facility will be connected to a singular electronic medical record.
This means a driver who had services rendered in one city can have follow-up care for the same issue in another city. This is excellent as drivers could be on the opposite side of the country by then.
For more information, you can check out Mark Solomon’s article over on FreightWaves. This is a developing story and we will post updates as new information becomes available.