by Diane Sears
Updated 2 yearss ago
Exams will pinpoint everything that's wrong -- for a price.
Time magazine cover." SRC="http://www.floridatrend.com/media/images/2005-11/exechealth_rippe_spa.jpg">AT THE FOREFRONT: Dr. James Rippe (right) has one of only 15 new cutting-edge cardiac scanners featured on a recent Time magazine cover.
Auto mechanics have long recommended taking your car in for a 60,000-mile checkup to avoid untimely surprises. Now, more executives are heeding the same advice when it comes to their bodies.
Daylong head-to-toe diagnostic evaluations allow doctors to measure everything from cholesterol, hearing and vision to diet, exercise, prescriptions and symptoms that could lead to one of the top three fatal diseases in America: Heart disease, cancer and stroke. They allow executives to take care of a wide range of tests in a day at one facility rather than having to schedule appointments with numerous specialists individually.
Programs typically aren't set up to accept insurance, so executives or their companies pay out of pocket.
When it comes to their health, executives "are very reflective of the American population," says Dr. James Rippe, a cardiologist who has operated the Rippe Health Assessment facility for six years at Florida Hospital Celebration Health near Orlando. "Over 30% of them are obese. Over 70% do not get enough physical activity to lower their risk of heart disease. They're creating problems for themselves that they wouldn't tolerate in any other aspect of their lives."
Rippe splits his time between the Florida clinic and Rippe Lifestyle Institute in Massachusetts, where he's on the faculty of Tufts University medical school.
The programs promise executives no waiting time between tests. Each Florida facility tries to lure clients from outside its geographic area by offering different kinds of programs and advantages.
Rippe recommends spouses undergo the tests along with the executives because it's hard to change your diet, exercise and other behavior if you don't have buy-in from others in your household.
"You can't expect to take these executives out of context and say, 'This is how I want you to change your life.' These decisions typically are at least couple decisions if not family-wide decisions."
Carillon Executive Health
St. Anthony's Health Care, St. Petersburg
Price: $1,975 to $3,495 (colonoscopy and other services are additional)
Draw: Dr. Steven Masley is a board-certified physician, nutritionist and longevity researcher. He has written three books. His most recent, "Ten Years Younger," encourages lifestyle changes to create improvements.
Cleveland Clinic Florida
Weston and Naples
Price: About $1,400 to $6,000 (includes CT scan and colonoscopy)
Draw: The backing of the multispecialty, private-practice non-profit. Its Florida locations have a combined 175 physicians and 35 specialties. Physicians include one of only two female heart surgeons in the state.
Price: $1,469 to $6,269 (includes bone density test and colonoscopy)
Draw: Any problems uncovered in the evaluation can be taken care of at the Mayo Clinic, which has more than 2,500 physicians and researchers in three states.
Rippe Health Assessment
Florida Hospital Celebration Health, near Orlando
Price: $2,682 to $5,019 (colonoscopy and other services are additional)
Draw: The clinic's ties to GE Healthcare and other research organizations provide access to new treatments. Dr. James Rippe is a world-renowned cardiologist. Partner Florida Hospital is the largest private non-profit hospital in the state.
Shands Executive Health Center
University of Florida in Gainesville
Price: $748 to $1,936 (colonoscopy, bone density test, mammogram are additional)
Draw: More than 500 specialized physicians and experts at one of the leading medical and research centers in the Southeast.