It’s not an oversimplification to say that the difficult thing about providing care for truckers is that they’re not in the same place for long. What’s worse, there are certain occupational hazards that make access to care especially important. According to UrgentCareTravel (UCT), 80% of the 3.8 million professional truck drivers in the U.S. are obese; half live with untreated sleep apnea; and 65% don’t have a primary care physician. So, UCT is partnering with the Pilot Flying J Travel Centers to provide occupational medicine and urgent care services while truckers are literally on the road. The American Transportation Research Institute has actually come up with data on the subject, reporting that if drivers were able to receive drug screens or DOT physicals while they’re out on their routes, they’d spend an average of 1.5 hours less seeking those services, saving the industry more than $700 million in lost productivity annually. With the average cost to replace a driver estimated to be $5,000, UCT reasons that cutting the turnover rate by even 10% could make buy-in appealing to trucking companies. Currently, UCT clinics are located along major interstate highways in Knoxville, TN, Oklahoma City, and Atlanta. One is expected to open in Dallas early next year, with more in the planning stages across the country. In addition to conducting screens, the clinics are outfitted and staffed for blood pressure checks, chronic disease management (eg, diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension), weight management, men’s/women’s wellness exams, upper respiratory infection, cold or flu, ear infection, and wound care.
Treating Truckers Not Where They Are, but Where They’re Going