ABC – WFTV, Channel 9 Eyewitness News
October 15, 2012, KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A new healthcare model seems to be sweeping through central Florida and it has nothing to with the Affordable Care Act.
Cities, counties and school districts are opening their own health clinics, offering free health care to employees, retirees, and their families.
Kissimmee is set to vote on Tuesday to contract with CareHere, a company that already operates more than a dozen clinics in central Florida.
“The numbers of heart failures have come down, asthmas are down, diabetes is down, all those chronic, big-dollar, big-ticket items,” said Brian Branham, of CareHere clinics.
Branham said health is up and costs are down at the facilities, saving taxpayers money. And in exam rooms, patients not only consult with physicians, they get their blood drawn and pick up prescriptions.
Patients get more time than in a traditional medicine model, where a doctor gets a few minutes with a patient.
Doctors with CareHere are allotted at least 20 minutes of consultation time with each patient.
“The physicians get time to actually sit with the patients, talk with them, figuring out what’s going on with them,” said Branham.
Sanford opened a clinic last month. Lake Mary will open one in December and Kissimmee wants to be the next city with healthier employees.
There is already a long list of taxpayer-owned clinics around central Florida, including Flagler County, Lake County Schools and local cities: Leesburg, Deland, Mt. Dora, Sanford, Apopka, and more.