Episode #113: RosenCare – “The Real Affordable Care Act” with Harris Rosen, Ashley Bacot & Kenneth Aldridge


What if I told you that I just learned of a completely doable and replicable approach to reducing the costs of healthcare by 30 – 50% while increasing quality outcomes simultaneously?  In this interview we’ll be speaking with an employer that has been achieving this for years. Corporate America – which pays for 50% of all healthcare costs – has been the “sleeping giant” of healthcare. But these giants are now waking up and they’re not going to put up with the status quo. One particular employer has been awake for decades, and we’re going to hear his story told in some detail.

Joining us in this interview are Harris Rosen, President & COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts; Ashley Bacot, President of Provinsure (the health insurance company that Rosen Hotels formed; and Kenneth Aldridge Jr, RN, BSN, MS-HSA, the Director of Health Services at the Rosen Medical Center and RosenCare.

In this episode, we’ll discover:

  • The simple but widely successful approach that Mr. Rosen and his colleagues have taken to achieve the triple aim results of better care, better outcomes & lower costs.
  • Some of the key programs and critical success factors that have contributed to Rosen Hotels having sustained healthcare savings of over 30% for decades.
  • How ProvInsure and the Osceola County School District have replicated the model with remarkable savings and outcomes.
  • Mr. Rosen’s vision for spreading the RosenCare model to the rest of the country.

Each podcast interview is an adventure for me. To really listen well, I have to allow myself to be surprised. I have to allow myself to think differently and to experience uncomfortable emotions that my guests elicit. In this interview, I found myself surprised with almost every turn of the dialogue.

First, having worked within our overly complicated US healthcare system for decades, I was really knocked back on my heels by the simplicity of Mr. Rosen’s approach to healthcare.  It was almost too simple and too obvious; which led me to the second surprise.  The emotional dialectic I experienced was embarrassment on one side and inspiration on the other.  I was embarrassed and inspired on behalf of the American healthcare system. Here is a guy – Mr. Harris Rosen – with no medical, healthcare or technical background, and he figured it out. I was embarrassed and inspired because here is a leader who did not compromise on what he knew to be the right thing to do for his employees. I was embarrassed and inspired because Harris Rosen had the conviction, commitment and courage to do the things that we all know will radically improve healthcare.

I imagine you’re wondering what Harris Rosen and his colleagues have done. There are a number of ways I could explain it. The simplest way is to tell you that he’s inverted the American healthcare system. RosenCare spends the vast majority of its funding on Primary Care, not specialty care; and makes primary care accessible, convenient, affordable and equitable. RosenCare follows its associates throughout the continuum of care to create a more seamless and integrated experience; and promotes and even imposes the principles of public health by making it a requirement to follow certain healthful behaviors.  For example – nicotine use, alcohol consumption affecting “fit for duty” and illegal drug use are not allowable if you’re going to be a Rosen associate.

I’ll share one other emotion I felt as I was listening to the RosenCare story. I felt validated. Having practiced primary care for decades and having been a primary care proponent for over 3 decades, the RosenCare story demonstrates what we have known, and what the literature has repeatedly substantiated. Investing in proactive, preventive primary care leads to better care, better outcomes and lower costs. This is a lesson, sadly, that has not been widely supported or manifested within the American healthcare system.

One final thought. The RosenCare story reveals the power of a caring, loving community. I didn’t know how to describe it as I was listening, but RosenCare felt a little bit like a ‘tough love’ healthcare community. They haven’t just built an exceptional healthcare benefits program or an outstanding employer healthcare approach. What they’ve done is to reframe the transactional and individualistic medical mindset into one that is relational and community oriented. RosenCare’s fundamental principles are about caring, not coding.

Until next time, be safe and be well.
Zeev Neuwirth, MD