Onsite Employee Health and Wellness Center Helps School District Control Healthcare Costs

Crowne Consulting Group and CareHere health center enhances care for district employees while reducting health costs..
PDF: Crowne-Citrus Schools Press Release-5-2-2013

May 2, 2013 (Ocoee, Fla.) —  A Florida school district has taken control of healthcare costs – all while enhancing employee care.Citrus County School District reversed the trend of  skyrocketing insurance prices with the help of Crowne Consulting  Group, Inc., an  employee benefits consulting firm specializing in onsite health and wellness  centers.

Crowne Consulting Group collaborates with Tennessee-based CareHere, LLC to operate  more than 25 employee health and wellness centers in Florida. The  centers offer employees worksite access to wellness programs and medical  services.

With a triage room, three examination rooms, an X-ray lab,  and a pharmacy, Citrus schools’ Wellness Center is open at no cost to full-time  district employees, their dependents, and retirees enrolled in the district’s  health insurance plan.

The district experienced a 10 percent drop in  total health costs within the first year of opening the center in May 2010, with  the majority of the savings being in prescription costs.

“We continue to see those types of savings every year,  even with an increase in participation,” said Audrey Haines, Employee Benefits  Specialist for the district. “We have increased the center’s  operational hours every year in order to accommodate the expanded use of the  Wellness Center.”

In addition to handling workers’ compensation matters for  the district, the center provides free access to primary care,  occupational services, pharmacy, disease management, and annual immunizations  along with the benefits of increased physician face-time.

“I believe that we are being as proactive as  possible in improving the health of our employees, and they definitely  appreciate the efforts,” added Haines.

Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., founded in 1986, consults and provides administrative oversight services for onsite health and wellness centers to employers and is a related company with The Crowne Group, an employee benefits consulting firm, specializing in employer solutions and personal lines of insurance. Crowne’s experts have experience in serving public sector employers such as school boards, city and county government, as well as private organizations. Solutions for consumer-driven plans include health reimbursement arrangements, self-funded plans, onsite health and wellness centers, as well as risk management and human resources consulting.

Onsite Care Lowers Health Costs for Employers and Employees

Study shows onsite health and wellness centers operated by Crowne Consulting Group and CareHere have helped the City of Oviedo save millions.

April 18, 2013 (Ocoee, Fla.) – On the heels of its three-year anniversary, the City of Oviedo’s employee health and wellness center has reason to celebrate.  Newly released numbers from an independent study by the Gehring Group show dramatically reduced health costs associated with high utilization of the center.

Crowne Consulting Group, an employee benefits consulting firm, collaborates with Tennessee-based CareHere, LLC to operate more than 25 health and wellness centers throughout Florida and over 100 nationwide.  Worksite centers offer health and wellness services including primary care, screenings, lab work, X-rays, occupational services, and free prescriptions.

Through onsite disease management and healthy workforce Wellness Program, healthcare costs dropped significantly.  The independent study estimates that Oviedo has avoided nearly $1.3 million in healthcare costs, which doesn’t include soft-dollar savings associated with early prevention and reduced absenteeism.

“By reducing healthcare costs, city funds may be used in other areas such as employee wage increases, purchasing new equipment, and technology to improve efficiency,” said the Human Resources Director at the City of Oviedo, Connie Collins, who feels onsite care is a “win-win solution” for lowering employer and employee health costs.

In addition to reducing costs of the medical plan, the city has saved over $209,000 in prescription drug costs.  Appointments and prescription fills continue to rise, as employees opt for worksite convenience and no co-pays.

“Employees are very positive about the employee health and wellness center,” said Collins.  “The quality medical care is offered at no cost to the employee; it is one of the best benefits to receive.”

About Crowne Consulting Group, Inc:
Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., founded in 1986, consults and provides administrative oversight services for onsite health and wellness centers to employers and is a related company with The Crowne Group, an employee benefits consulting firm, specializing in employer solutions and personal lines of insurance.  Crowne’s experts have experience in serving public sector employers such as school boards, city and county government, as well as private organizations.  Solutions for consumer-driven plans include health reimbursement arrangements, self-funded plans, onsite health and wellness centers, as well as risk management and human resources consulting.


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CareHere Client Recognized at the
2013 Worksite Wellness Awards

April 17, 2013 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Crowne Consulting Group and CareHere are proud to announce that one of our school district clients has been recognized for outstanding achievements in their employee wellness programs.  The District School Board of Pasco County was recognized at the 2013 Worksite Wellness Awards, hosted by the Florida Heart Research Institute and Worksite Wellness Committee of the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade.  This fifth annual event honored businesses throughout Florida that are investing in the health and wellness of their employees with demonstrated outcomes.  Learn more at about our work with Pasco schools by visiting our news pages, which include multiple television stories and articles on the successes of the district’s wellness program.


WFTV – Eyewitness News9, Feature Story
By Reporter Karla Ray

Oviedo says city-funded health care center saves money

March 5, 2013, OVIEDO, Fla. — This week marks two years since Oviedo opened its own health care clinic just for city employees. It’s a step other local leaders have taken in hopes of saving money.

Channel 9’s Karla Ray crunched the numbers and found out that taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment.

With just a quick walk from her office at the Oviedo Police Department, Lori Shiery is able to see a doctor while on the clock.

“It’s very onvenient, not only because we’re right in the back lot basically, but it saves me a trip from having to go to a doctor off-site,” said Shiery.

The city’s CareHere clinic has been open for two years. It allows city employees and their families to see doctors for free.

“The cost and time savings have exceeded our expectations, so we are very pleased with the CareHere clinic on the Oviedo campus,” said Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere.

New numbers show over two years, the cost to run the clinic has been just over $827,000, but the total savings to the city has been over $1.7 million.

The mayor said that eventually CareHere clinics within Seminole County will have a share agreement, meaning city of Oviedo employees who happen to live somewhere else, like Sanford, will be able to choose which clinic they want to visit.

Many of the other dozen CareHere clinics in central Florida are new and their total cost benefits are still being calculated.

Persampiere said he believes the savings seen in Oviedo will be reflected in other cities as well.

“The cost-savings really should grow with time,” said Persampiere.

The city of Sanford opened its CareHere clinic almost six months ago. Sanford’s mayor said he should have a progress report on his desk next month.

Read More News About ONSITE CARE.

BayNews9, Feature Report
By Reporter Cait McVey

Wellness Center Saves Pasco Tax Dollars

Feb. 8, 2013, NEW PORT RICHEY —  Teachers and other employees of Pasco County schools are using three health wellness centers to get healthy and save tax dollars.

The District opened the facilities two years ago to help employees kick bad habits, but saving money is a benefit no one expected.

Elementary school teacher Rita Echols-Mitchell dropped 50 pounds, reduced her blood pressure and almost moved out of the danger zone for

Echols-Mitchell and 3,000 school employees can put together a personal plan and monitor the results with the help of a health coach and exercise physiologist. Teachers and staff lost 3,800 pounds.

“Whoever comes here to the health center, we do not file claims for reimbursement,” said the centers’ owner Ray Tomlinson.

“The first year the district saved more than $2,000,000 from their health insurance program,” he said.

He also says there was a 34 percent drop in diabetes claims in 2012.

Workers’ Compensation costs are also down by half, giving the district another $1.5 million in savings.

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Scoring an A+ in Employee Care

How onsite care and data-driven
programs save millions.

Jan. 30, 2013 — Crowne Consulting Group and CareHere joined the nation’s top benefits experts this week at the Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE) in Clearwater, Florida.   In addition to being featured exhibitors at the conference, CareHere’s Director of Strategic Development, John Watson, joined Pasco Schools and Med-Vision LLC in offering a dynamic presentation on how to save money through onsite care and data-driven programs. Rather than passing rising health costs on to employees, CareHere and Med-Vision helped Pasco County schools discover an innovative approach to cut costs by enhancing healthcare for its more than 8,000 employees.  By coupling onsite health and wellness centers with customized wellness programs to engage employees, Pasco County schools flattened prescription drug costs and reduced health costs nearly 5 percent, saving more than $2 million in 2011. Mary Tillman, Pasco Schools’ Director of Employee Benefits, discussed the financial value of boosting employee health.  Med-Vision’s Vice President, Connie Gee, explained how health data analytics and wellness planning is crucial to controlling costs, and John Watson of CareHere highlighted the implementation and long-term benefits of Pasco Schools’ CareHere health centers. For more information about Health & Wellness Centers, e-mail jwatson@carehere.com.


Pasco school district clinics
bring big health care savings

By Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer
Newspaper Article
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 26, 2013


Dade City — Lose weight.

Rita Mitchell had heard the words many times before.

But it wasn’t until the Cox Elementary School prekindergarten teacher got the advice during a health risk assessment at the Pasco County school district’s wellness center that she took the message to heart. Mitchell learned she was at risk for diabetes, and heard loud and clear what ignoring the signs could mean.

“It was enough to get my attention,” she said. “This thing, if left unattended, it can kill you. She told me to lose weight. I’ve been hearing that for years. But it was like, hello.”

Flash forward a year, and Mitchell is a new woman.

“I just turned 50, and I lost 50,” she said. “I am excited.”

Her success mirrors that of many other district employees, and of the health clinic program that the school district introduced two years ago.

The School Board approved spending about $1.5 million a year to operate three school-based clinics, offering free appointments and medications, in addition to preventive wellness programs for employees. The idea was that the district would save money in the long run by reducing insurance claims and related expenses.

Last year, the district saw its claims drop by more than $2 million, with per-employee costs down by nearly 5 percent. Its rates did not increase as much as expected, allowing the board to use savings to reduce the number of furlough days imposed on employees.

Its focus on diabetes care resulted in a 34 percent decrease in related claims, and the district saw a 26 percent increase in diabetes patients actually getting the monitoring tests they need. Its efforts on weight reduction, expected to net about 1,000 pounds among participants, totaled a loss of 3,800 pounds by those employees.

Use of the centers has been so strong, in fact, that the district is considering opening two others, as well as a center focused on occupational health and physical therapy. District benefits director Mary Tillman said they had to add staff to the centers over the summer to meet the growing demand.

With medical costs rising, Tillman said, the only real way to cut expenses is to get people healthy. Making visits convenient and affordable, while focusing on managing chronic illnesses and catching problems before they get out of hand, has allowed the district to make such strides.

“I’m very proud of our wellness centers,” said School Board chairwoman Cynthia Armstrong, who sits on the district health and wellness incentives committee. “I really feel like it’s been a win-win situation for the district and the employees.”

Armstrong said she and her husband both take advantage of the services the clinics offer, and can see firsthand the benefits. Other districts have started looking at Pasco as a model, she added, as they consider establishing their own wellness programs….See Tampa Bay Times for this full story.

To learn more about Crowne Consulting Group and CareHere’s onsite care, visit our Health & Wellness Centers Page


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Cities and school districts met with Crowne Consulting Group for a Summit on Jan. 15 to assess the growing number of employee health and wellness centers.

Jan. 23, 2013 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Central Florida has become a hub of innovation in employee healthcare.  Since 2008, onsite employee health and wellness centers have been popping up across Florida and pushing down employer healthcare costs.
Last Tuesday, government representatives met to discuss the benefits they’ve reaped from implementing onsite care centers.  They also formed strategies to enhance care by sharing healthcare center access with neighboring municipalities.

Attendees of the 1st Annual Crowne Summit included, the School District of Lake County, City of DeLand, City of Kissimmee, City of Leesburg, City of Lake Mary, City of Mount Dora, City of Ocala, City of Ocoee, City of Oviedo, and City of Sanford.  All entities are working with Crowne Consulting Group and CareHere to manage onsite employee health and wellness centers.

Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., an employee benefits consulting firm, is co-administrators of more than 25 health centers throughout Florida, helping Tennessee-based partners CareHere, LLC surpass a milestone of 100 centers nationwide.

Onsite health and wellness centers help employers cut health costs through onsite medical care and wellness programs.  Health center services typically include primary care, occupational services, pharmacy, disease management, x-rays, and wellness services along with the employee benefits of zero copays, free screenings, free generic prescriptions, and increased physician face-time.

All centers are staffed by a physician and other supporting medical staff.  In addition to providing primary care, chronic disease management and medication, the centers also focus on providing health risk assessments (HRAs), which is a short health examination with blood draw to assess a patient’s risk for diseases and conditions.

Mitigating risks early and keeping employees healthy have prompted positive financial results, including: 10 percent reductions in plan costs, 15 percent decreases in prescription costs, drastic reductions in sick time, and millions of taxpayer dollars saved.

“We’ve saved over $3M since opening our health center,” said Robert Frank, City Manager for Ocoee, which is approaching its five-year anniversary for onsite care for its 350 employees.

Jerry Boop, Finance Director for the City of Oviedo, spoke of similar results.  “Crowne has left their footprint on our organization.  The City’s healthcare costs are down significantly and are currently trending around 3 percent.  We all know that’s a huge accomplishment.”

And they’re not alone.  The City of Ocala’s team thanked Crowne for helping them to improve efficiency in a tough economy.  The center is one of “our crown jewels,” according to Catherine Cameron, Assistant City Manager.  The City saved enough money to go from fully-insured in 2009 to being self-insured within a year of opening its doors.

“Prior to opening the clinics, our premium increases were trending around 10 percent annually. Since we put in the clinics, we’ve been able to keep that down consistently to just 2 percent,” said Jared Sorensen, Director of Human Resources and Risk Management for Ocala.

“We also utilized CareHere’s wellness program last year and tied an incentive program to our premiums so that those completing HRAs and following up with doctor care benefited from lesser premiums.  This has provided great success in identifying risks and controlling costs.”

Mark Hayward, Human Resources Director for the City of DeLand, says they’ve seen a $145,000 drop in combined workers’ compensation and medical costs since opening in November of 2010.  DeLand also struck a deal with the local hospital to allow employees easier access to specialized medical care.

Collaboration was a running theme at the summit, as most entities remarked that they were open to discussing the idea of access sharing, which would allow their employees an opportunity to visit nearby CareHere health centers operating under neighboring counties and cities.

A partnership example is the City of Ocoee sharing with the City of Apopka to extend the convenience of easy access for employees living in different areas.  The Cities of Mount Dora and Leesburg also have an access-sharing agreement for their onsite health centers.

In addition to multi-entity sharing, some have gone the route of opening more than one location, such is the case with Lake Schools, which is in the process of opening their third onsite health center this year for its more than 5,000 employees, dependents, and retirees.

“The centers have been a great success and employees are asking for more locations.  Plus, we didn’t have to raise healthcare premiums on our employees this year,” said Carol MacLeod, Chief Financial Officer for Lake Schools, which began working with Crowne and CareHere in 2011.

Attendees of the summit took notes while listening to these exciting results.  The Cities of Lake Mary and Sanford, who just launched onsite centers within the past few months, hope for similar results, while the City of Kissimmee is counting the days until their first center opens in April.

“These employers deserve a round of applause for implementing solutions that actually lower health costs while enhancing employee care,” added Dan Ross, president of Med-Vision LLC and Med-View LLC, which provides healthcare data analytics and benefits consulting for Crowne.

Prior to posing for a team photo and pictures with smiling clients and vendors, Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group gave the following statement:  “We are thrilled to hear so much positive feedback from clients who are decreasing healthcare costs and improving quality of care for their employees.  The fact that more centers are opening soon means that Florida is on the leading edge of employer-driven healthcare reform. Additionally, this idea of clients sharing access in neighboring areas could extend greater convenience for employees while increasing access to affordable care.”

About Crowne Consulting Group, Inc:Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., founded in 1986, consults and provides administrative oversight services for onsite health and wellness centers to employers and is a related company with The Crowne Group, an employee benefits consulting firm, specializing in employer solutions and personal lines of insurance.  Crowne’s experts have a cumulative 100 years of experience in serving public sector employers such as school boards, city and county government, as well as private organizations.  The firm’s mission is to bring innovative solutions that meet the fiscal responsibility of employers and maximizes investments.  Solutions for consumer-driven plans include health reimbursement arrangements, self-funded plans, onsite health and wellness centers, as well as risk management and human resources consulting.

Call 407-654-5414 to learn more about corporations, school districts, and government agencies implementing on-site health and wellness centers for their employees.

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ABC – WFTV, Channel 9 Eyewitness News, 12/24/2012
Reporter: Steve Barrett

Central Fla. Cities Push for Health Clinics

CENTRAL FLORIDA — In an effort to save taxpayer money, mayors and council members across central Florida are asking to start their own health care clinics.

CareHere is a company that’s helped local cities, counties and school districts open their own health care centers for employees, retirees and their families.

“The average cost for a regular visit — the difference is about 50 percent less to have it done at our health center here,” said Jim Carnicella of CareHere in Ocoee. In addition to Ocoee, there are CareHere clinics in Sanford, Lake Mary, Apopka and one coming soon in Kissimmee. They are all free to employees of those cities and their families.

“Every service that we have here, all the primary care that you would receive at a regular physician’s office, we do here and it’s free to the employee and their dependents,” Carnicella said.

He said when the clinic opened in 2008, health care costs for Ocoee were projected to skyrocket from $3.5 million to nearly $6 million. Instead, health care costs for the city haven’t increased at all.

“The doctors and the staff get paid an hourly rate to see as many patients as they can,” Carnicella said.

Doctors at CareHere clinics get more time to talk to patients. They’re allotted 20 minutes with each person. Most clinics offer about five minutes with the doctor. Most clinics are paid by insurance companies, but at CareHere clinics doctors, nurses, X-ray technicians and other workers only work for their municipality.

“It’s really brought me back to why I went into medicine — to just focus on patient care and not think about insurance and getting authorizations and doing what I think is right for the patient,” said Ocoee city physician Dr. Roberta Chung.

Municipal CareHere clinics are also one-stop shopping – X-rays, blood work, rehabilitation and a pharmacy are available right in the clinic.

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Most Innovative Partner/Consultant Award
Healthcare Consumerism Superstars 2012

HealthCare Consumerism Solutions Magazine, December 2012, features Ray Tomlinson, President of Crowne Consulting Group, as a HealthCare Consumerism Superstar.  Crowne Consulting Group was crowned with the Most Innovative Partner Consultant Award by the magazine, which is a publication of the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism.

View this full article, titled “Working On-Site to Enhance Employee Care” via this link:

Healthcare Superstars: Most Innovative Partner/Consultant Award