Press Releases

Crowne Consulting Group’s clients were featured in American City & County Magazine.

Municipal hospital

Cities fund clinics to temper rising healthcare costs
May 20, 2013 Derek Prall| American City and County
Read this full article at: http://americancityandcounty.com/administration/municipal-hospital

With the cost of health benefits for city workers and their families climbing, cities nation-wide are opening municipal healthcare facilities. To get a better understanding of the trend, American City & County spoke with three cities in Florida to see if the quest for publicly-funded, affordable health care is bearing fruit.

DeLand, Fla., is one city seeing success from a city-funded medical center. City Manager Michael Pleus says the facility was necessary to address skyrocketing healthcare costs. “I’ve been working with this city for 13 years, and every year we were seeing double digit percentage increases in healthcare costs… sometimes as much as 28 percent.”

With the city’s premiums growing steadily, DeLand’s solution was to decrease reliance on its insurance provider by opening its own healthcare facility, DeLand Medical Center, in 2010. The facility is paid for through the city’s general fund, with departments handling costs proportionally based on the number of employees. The center offers general care, diagnostic work and prescription services, and is available free-of-charge to all city workers and their families.

Use of the clinic is not mandatory, and supplements existing health care coverage. However, with more workers visiting the municipally funded clinic than private doctors (whose fees increase the city’s insurance costs), Pleus reports that “eliminating the middle-man” has saved DeLand $705,000 over the course of three years.

Pleus also feels that with a free and reliable clinic nearby, city employees are more likely to keep chronic issues, such as diabetes and hypertension, in check. A more intangible benefit of these programs, he says, is that city workers will take better care of themselves – taking less time off and requiring fewer serious medical procedures.

Jeff Tripplet, mayor of Sanford, Fla., reports that his city has experienced similar successes with The City of Sanford Health and Wellness Center in terms of costs and overall employee wellness. “One of the major benefits of this clinic is that it focuses on the future health of patients,” Tripplet says.

Funding for the center is included in employee premiums paid by each worker carrying Sanford’s insurance. The clinic has treated more than 900 patients in its first six months and is projected to save the city $500,000 by 2016, according to Fred Fosson, Sanford’s director of human resources and risk management.

Like the mayor, Fosson says the driving force behind the center is early diagnosis. If health problems are caught early, he says, the costly procedures often required for treating late-stage illnesses can be avoided. “In-patient hospital stays can be quite costly, but can be avoided if treatment is in the early stages — thus, a savings to the city and the employee,” Fosson says.

Oviedo, Fla., also launched a clinic in 2010. Its facility, The City of Oviedo Employee Health Center, is funded by the city’s general fund, stormwater and utility operations. It offers general care, lab tests, prescription services and some imaging work.

“It provides quality health care in a convenient location, and reduces costs to city employees, and, by extension, taxpayers,”
 Mayor Dominic Persampiere says.

Since opening the clinic, the city has experienced a 3.7 percent decrease in healthcare costs, according to a recent Oviedo Health Center Review. An analysis of the return on investment since March 2010 shows nearly $2 million in claims avoidance, with operating costs totaling $827,182. In short, the return on investment came back as 2.13 : 1.

At first, employees were hesitant to use the clinic. “Acceptance has grown over time, though,” Persampiere says, noting that workers now see the clinic as complementing – not replacing – their doctors. But when city workers opt for the clinic, it saves Oviedo money, according to Persampiere.

“[The clinic] has, without a shadow of a doubt, exceeded our expectations,” he says.

Derek Prall is the assistant editor of American City & County magazine.

Onsite and In Demand:
Helping Large and Small Employers to Lower Health Costs

With the various provisions in the Affordable Care Act and opt-out-only requirements for employee health coverage, it’s clear that Healthcare Reform will push many smaller employers to opt for self-funding.

As a positive, self-insured plans are exempt from medical loss ratio requirements and aren’t subject to risk-adjustment.

Onsite healthcare for employees attracts self-funded groups because visits are paid directly by the employer.  No claim is filed.  Group health insurance typically is conducted in a fee-for-services model.  The more physician services, the higher the bill.  With an onsite health center, however, the employer controls spending by paying a flat fee and pass-through costs without any markup.

Employers can stick with their current healthcare plan and benefits provider.  The only difference is that the employees now have the option to handle medical appointments and wellness visits at the worksite rather than at more costly outside providers.  As a result, the costs for operating an onsite health center are 30-70 percent less than paying for a fee-for-service model.

Dozens of onsite health centers popping up across Florida have succeeded with the help of Crowne Consulting Group, Inc. , which partners with Tennessee-based CareHere to handle administration and operations of the onsite health center.

While many private companies have opened their onsite health centers, public entities including cities, counties, and school districts, have led the charge in recent years.

Importantly, the Crowne-CareHere model is completely scalable, which means it can work for employers from small to large.  Crowne Consulting Group has helped self-funded employers in Florida ranging from 175 employees to 8,500 employees.  Employers have managed to save millions of dollars in healthcare costs and decrease their prescription drug expenditures.

See video about Onsite Care Sweeping Florida https://crowneinc.com/2012/10/.

What’s more is that it’s not just the employer seeing the savings – the employees are also reaping the benefits.  Employee utilization remains high because employee health centers offer on-demand medical service for employees, their dependents, and the retiree population for no out-of-pocket costs.

Announcement

CROWNE CONSULTING GROUP PRESENTS AT THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE FOR FLORIDA
CITY & COUNTY MANAGERS ASSOCIATION

Government leaders gather for
education and information pertaining to onsite healthcare.
May 29, 2013 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., an employee benefits consulting firm specializing in onsite employee health and wellness centers in Florida, announces that its team presented a case study for the Florida City and County Management Association (FCCMA) annual conference last week at the Orlando Hilton.
. FCCMA is a professional organization of practicing public administrators from throughout Florida local governments.  The association focusses on providing education, support, information, and regulation to its members.
. The 2013 conference theme was “Loving Your Community – Building Attachment to Florida’s Cities, Towns and Counties.”  Crowne Consulting Group, which was a Diamond Sponsor for the event, offered a one-hour presentation with financial analysis and human resources planning for employers interested in the dynamics of onsite healthcare.
. Crowne’s session, titled “Onsite Health Centers: Real Results from a Five-Year Case Study,” outlined the successes of the onsite health center at the City of Ocoee.  Since implementing onsite care for its more than 740 employees, retirees and dependents in 2008, the City of Ocoee reversed its trend of rising healthcare expenditures and avoided over $4 million in costs.  Last year, an impressive 92 percent of eligible employees visited the center at least once.  Also, medical costs of its workers’ compensation program has decreased over 50 percent annually during a four-year span.
. “In addition to creating a healthier workforce, the onsite healthcare model is helping self-funded employers of all sizes to save millions of dollars,” said Ray Tomlinson, President of Crowne Consulting Group, who presented alongside Jim Carnicella, Crowne’s Client Account Manager and the former HR Director for the City of Ocoee.
. Crowne Consulting Group collaborates with Tennessee-based  CareHere LLC to operate more than 25 centers in Florida.  Nationally, CareHere operates over 120 centers.  Onsite health and wellness centers service employees, dependents and retirees.  Services typically include primary care, occupational services, pharmacy, disease management, and wellness services along with the benefits of zero copays, free screenings and increased physician face-time for employees.

For a copy of this case study or to learn more about the benefits of onsite healthcare, contact Ray Tomlinson at rtomlinson@crowneinc.com
.
View this release in PDF format: Crowne Announcement-FCCMA-5-29-2013.

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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View PDF of Release

Announcement

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
diabetes.

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.

*See more news reports.

*Click to watch another news story.

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