Tourism Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando: Sticker Shock

Innovation in Healthcare-Rosen Hotels

“Geez, that seems a lot!”

No surprise when shopping high-end sports cars, oceanfront homes or fine jewelry. Luxury items are expensive. They’re a luxury, right? Not something you absolutely need, just something you really, really want. Like total hip replacement, an appendectomy or low risk childbirth.

Maybe these lists don’t go together …

No matter the syntax, perspective or spin, in a well-lived, productive life, healthcare is not a luxury. Sure, we all have access. How many hospitals, doctor’s offices and minute clinics did you drive by last week? What is needed is ownership. In this country, the best option for quality healthcare ownership is full-time employment.

Many parents encourage their children to not only pursue salary, but to carefully consider the benefits when seeking employment. My mom knew the advantage of my father’s military medical plan and understood what it meant to a growing family — a universal plan, by the way, that has worked well for the U.S. military’s 1.3 million plus members for the last two dozen decades.

Employer-paid medical plans do not have quite that depth of history, but how many Americans can handle the acquisition and bear the cost of their own health insurance?

Employers resource the plans and use their buying power to negotiate the cost. Employees pay a portion from each paycheck and the employer pays the rest. It is a system working well as long as you are qualified for an employer insurance plan.

There is still a cost to the employee, and unfortunately, it is a cost that has outpaced inflation and incomes. Costs go up, employers and employees would rather not pay more, and so all too often services dwindle.

What is needed is cost cutting. How about cutting the cost by 50 percent? In Orlando, that is not the goal; that is the achievement at Rosen Hotels & Resorts.

Nearly a quarter century ago, some serous sticker shock sent Harris Rosen on a quest for a better way to provide his associates with quality healthcare. High renewal costs for the company’s traditional healthcare insurance convinced Rosen to develop his own self-funded healthcare program.

Today the Rosen health plan offers 5,700 Rosen associates and their families low premiums, no deductibles, minimal co-payments for office visits and free or low co-pay prescriptions. The plan is centered around a 12,000-square- foot onsite, comprehensive, patient- centered medical home, the Rosen Medical Center.

“Our in-house program encourages our associates to feel even more empowered and accountable for their health because wellness is at the heart of everything we do,” said Rosen. “As a company, we have an incredibly low turnover rate because our associates know that we’re invested in helping them stay healthy and we provide a scope of benefits that are not offered elsewhere in the marketplace.”

Rosen Hotels & Resorts offers free on-the-clock transportation to the medical center which includes a multilingual staff of four doctors, three nurse practitioners, one physician assistant, one social worker and one chiropractor. Most prescribed drugs can be dispensed at the center and it is further supported by a dietician, a physical therapist, a podiatrist and other contracted specialists.

Kenneth A. Aldridge, Jr. is director of health services at the Rosen Medical Center. He says the main goal of the Rosen healthcare system is low barriers to care.

“The Rosen healthcare plan takes us back to the days when the primary care doctor acted as the quarterback, coordinating all care including that provided by specialists, pregnancy care management, hospital care coordination and pharmacy coordination, among many more,” said Aldridge. “There are no deductibles or co-insurances to the associate. Instead, there are low payroll deductions and rich benefits. While other company healthcare plans are shrinking benefits, Rosen’s plan continues to expand its benefits.”

Not a luxury, a necessity. And at Rosen Hotels & Resorts, high quality healthcare is half-price.

President & CEO of Visit Orlando


Wellness tourism is a fast growing sector of the travel market and that is good news for our destination. Giving testimony to our position in this area, Orlando has hosted the World Conference for Media Tourism. Orlando is known as the Theme Park Capitol of the WorldSM and gaining a reputation as an outdoor and fitness mecca with plenty of opportunities to stay in shape, re-charge and improve your overall health.

For adventurous visitors and fitness-focused travelers, Orlando offers countless ways to keep in shape and expand workouts. From tennis lessons at the new USTA national training campus to paddleboarding and water sports, or biking the West Orange Trail and competing in area obstacle races, there are a variety of things to entertain today’s active guests. With world-class greens, nationally-recognized marathons and outdoor sports lessons, there is always an opportunity to get out and enjoy the Florida sunshine.

Hotels and resorts also recognize the need to cater to fitness- focused travelers. Many are offering high-tech fitness gadgets, exercise facilities and wellness amenities. Some properties offer workout gear, running groups and personal training. To relax and unwind, resorts offer snooze-inducing amenities like premium beds and linens, meditation classes and even sleep menus with items like herbal teas to help guests wind down and sleep better.

As the focus on fitness rises, so does the demand for healthy, organic food. With James Beard-nominated chefs, farm-to- table menus and celebrity-owned venues, the destination’s dining scene is coming into its own and that means there is always something nutritious and home-grown on the menu — even for vegetarians, vegans and diet-conscious diners.
So whether our guests are looking for a way to stay in shape while vacationing with the family or to join in a yoga class that helps them relax before boarding the plane, Orlando has plenty of wellness options and amenities to attract travelers of all ages, interests and abilities.

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About the author

i4 Business

i4 Business magazine has become one of the most trusted voices for and about the Central Florida business community. Each month through our print and digital platforms, we provide access to meet, to learn from and to learn about some of the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders who are shaping our region.

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