Employee Healthcare Costs
– Forecasting for 2018

Crowne Healthcare Costs Forecasting 2018As employers across America look ahead to 2018 budgets, experts predict the keys to successfully maintaining a healthy bottom line will be controlling actual service costs while also reducing medical risks.

According to projections from PwC Health Research Institute (HRI), medical costs in the 2018 employer insurance market will grow at a slightly faster rate than 2017.  HRI’s latest edition of “Behind the Numbers” lists price of services and rates of utilization as the leading factors affecting 2018’s projected 6.5% medical-cost trend.

“In a competitive labor market, employers are looking for new cost containment strategies beyond shifting more costs to employees,” according to HRI’s report, which also recommends employers take action by considering customized worksite-health-promotion programs, drug-spending evaluations, and a stronger focus to “tackle price” on provider arrangements.

An increasing number of employers are now choosing self-funded health plans as a first step in combating costs. Self-funded employers pay medical costs for services without paying insurance premiums to carriers each year. Notably, most self-funded plans will require reinsurance or a separate stop-loss policy for catastrophic events in order to financially manage long-term risks or losses.

Benefits experts can help organizations easily transition to self-funded programs.  Once self-funded, employers are positioned to mitigate risks and lower expenses through the customization of healthcare programs for employees, retirees, and their dependents.

“Shifting to self-funded plans and focusing on preventative care are two ways budget-minded employers in today’s market are achieving the greatest return from healthcare investments,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group, a benefits-planning firm specializing in self-funding and the operation of over 30 onsite and near-site employee health centers.

Employers are launching onsite health and wellness centers for plan members to combat rising healthcare costs.  Onsite healthcare specifically attracts self-funded groups because medical visit costs are paid directly by the employer without claims being filed through the more expensive fee-for-services model typically conducted by Group health insurance programs.  With an onsite-care model, however, the employer controls spending by paying significantly lower costs.

“Self-funded employers can substantially cut costs through customized risk management and on-site care programs, while patients reap the benefits of no out-of-pocket costs and easily accessible primary care, disease management, screenings, x-rays, wellness, and prescriptions,” said Tomlinson.

Crowne Consulting Group’s clients have included school districts, cities, counties, sheriff’s offices, and private organizations.  Contact Crowne or call 407.654.5414 for information and employer solutions.

Employers Turn to More Sophisticated Health Benefits and Wellness Incentives

Crowne Consulting Group Keeps Pace with National Trends Toward Screenings, Health Risk Assessments, and Customized Wellness Programs.

Employee-HealthcareOct. 24, 2017 (Ocoee, Fla.) – As health literacy and risk management become critical components of employer-sponsored health coverage, Crowne Consulting Group meets the demand by launching onsite healthcare with measurable wellness solutions for employees, retirees, and dependents.

Crowne’s benefits planning experts have spent years touting the rewards of preventive medicine through the operation of onsite and near-site health and wellness centers. A growing number of large and small employers agree the onsite-care model uniquely positions them to incentivize plan members to participate in life-saving biometric health screenings, health risk assessments, and reward-based wellness programs including smoking cessation, exercise, nutrition, and disease management.

“Free lab work and primary care coupled with incentives for medical action far surpass the outdated standards of wellness programs triggered by large claims,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group. “Onsite care and proactive programs achieve success by saving employers millions of dollars in medical costs – while also saving countless lives.”

According to a study discussed in the September AEM Journal from the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine, patients with limited health literacy were twice as likely to have preventable emergency department visits resulting in a hospital admission. Employers are recognizing costly health-literacy issues and are taking action through wellness initiatives.

The 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey by Kaiser Family Foundation reports 58 percent of small firms and 85 percent of large firms offer at least one key wellness program.  Additionally, 38 percent of small firms and 62 percent of large firms offer workers health risk assessments. Notable incentives for participation include gift cards, merchandise, and financial rewards such as payroll-fee avoidance or lower premiums.

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

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Media Contact: Ray Tomlinson, President, 321.221.0665, rtomlinson@crowneinc.com

PRESS RELEASE

Cost-Cutting Solutions to Enhance Employee Care

Crowne Consulting Group Defines Three Healthcare Solutions Proven to Save Employers Money.

July 20, 2017 (Ocoee, Fla.) – As the future of healthcare lingers in a national debate, Crowne Consulting Group, Inc. delivers achievable ways for employers to decrease medical expenses while enhancing care for employees.

An employee benefits consulting firm specializing in the operation of onsite health and wellness centers, Crowne Consulting Group has helped employers ranging from 170 to over 8,000 employees. HR departments and administrators have trusted Crowne’s experts to save millions of dollars in healthcare budgets by implementing three key solutions.

  1. Self-Funding: Employers self-fund to achieve the greatest return from their healthcare investments. Success is achieved by strategically transitioning from fully insured to self-funded or partially self-funded through a guaranteed program with a rate-cap for at least three years. Private organizations, school districts, cities, counties, and sheriff offices have worked with Crowne’s experts and affiliates to control expenses through self-funding.
  1. Onsite Healthcare: Implementing onsite or near-site employee health and wellness centers has helped reduce the cost of healthcare claims 30% to 70% less than what employers were paying under a fee-for-service model. Employers control costs, while employees, retirees, and dependents enjoy cost-free access to primary care, clinic services, chronic care, screenings, lab work, X-rays, EKG, generic prescriptions, and wellness programs.
  1. Disease Management: Employers flatten cost-trends and reduce expenses by assessing risks early and having a healthier, more productive workforce. Free screenings and workplace wellness programs enhance care for plan members and help employers prevent high-dollar claims by mitigating risks associated with chronic diseases.

“Regardless of politics and health reform, America’s budget-minded employers can access today’s most effective cost-containment solutions – from self-funding, to onsite care, to specialty pharmacy programs,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group.

About Crowne Consulting Group:  Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., founded in 1986, provides administrative oversight services for worksite health and wellness centers and is a related company with The Crowne Group, an employee benefits consulting firm specializing in employer solutions and personal lines of insurance.  Crowne serves public sector employers such as school boards, city and county government, sheriff offices, as well as private organizations.  Solutions for consumer-driven plans include health reimbursement arrangements, self-funded plans, onsite health centers, as well as risk management and human resources consulting.  Call 321-221-0665 for more information.

Screenings Save Dollars for School Districts

screenings-xrays-medicalEarly detection of potential health issues is essential to avoiding costly and complex conditions.  Most district health-plans cover screenings for detecting anything from high blood pressure to cancer, but preventative coverage only pays off financially when plan members actually utilize screening services.

The benefits planning experts and onsite care operators at Crowne Consulting Group report that a high percentage of employees, retirees, and dependents with access to an onsite or near-site health center utilize screening services and complete Health Risk Assessments (HRA).

“Our onsite-care model ensures health screenings, exams, and X-rays are free and conveniently accessible for plan members,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group, which has helped dozens of Florida employers to implement onsite care to mitigate risks and prevent high-dollar claims due to unchecked conditions.

Unlike outdated wellness programs triggered by large claims, onsite healthcare services provide a proactive approach based on extensive lab work and assessments. This allows medical staff to proactively bring medical concerns to the attention of patients as well as create a unique plan of action and accountability for preventing more extensive health problems.

If any condition requires screenings for early detection along with a customized plan upon diagnosis – it is cancer.  According to the National Institutes of Health, cancer costs will reach $158 Billion by 2020. Crowne Consulting Group has worked with RN Cancer Guides Solutions to help school districts deliver an individualized approach to cancer care.

Florida-based RN Cancer Guides Solutions is the nation’s first-ever team of oncology nurse specialists reviewing claims and attending patient appointments to make real-time improvements in healthcare. Through its Employee Cancer Assistance Program (ECAP), school districts leverage value-based care and guided support for plan members to achieve the best possible outcomes, which result in reduced claims costs.

“Through special partnerships and an individualized approach to prevention, onsite health and wellness centers are coordinating solutions to make a tremendous impact on member’s health and their wallets,” added Tomlinson.

In addition to discussing medical concerns with a qualified physician, savvy healthcare consumers may research official websites like American Cancer Society, AACC’s Lab Tests Online, American Heart Association, and Mayo Clinic for guidance in maintaining health and keeping up-to-date on recommended health screenings.

Crowne Consulting Group’s clients have included school districts, cities, counties, sheriff’s offices, and private organizations.  Visit www.crowneinc.com  or call 407.654.5414 for information and employer solutions.

Press Release
Crowne Consulting Group

Healthy Bottom Line for Healthy Workplaces

Heart Health and Financial Savings for CareHere Crowne LLC’s Onsite Care Clients.

Feb. 2, 2017 (Ocoee, Fla.)Crowne Consulting Group, benefits experts helping employers save money through onsite healthcare, is spotlighting patient-focused care in celebration of American Heart Month this February.

“Onsite care is optimized when coupled with personalized initiatives including health-risk assessments, incentive programs, and worksite health coaches to help individuals maintain a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, nutrition, and disease prevention,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group.

The District School Board of Pasco County promotes a healthy culture with onsite care for over 10,000 plan members. The district has worked with Crowne’s experts and medical affiliates since 2011 through CareHere Crowne LLC, which oversees onsite care operations. Onsite and near-site health centers provide employees, retirees, and dependents convenient access to no-cost primary and chronic care, screenings, lab work, X-rays, EKG, generic prescriptions, and wellness programs including smoking cessation.

“After 25 years of smoking, I succeeded to permanently quit smoking without any tendency to smoke again,” said Maged Honien, 41, who is an eighth-grade science teacher working with a certified health coach at Pasco schools’ onsite health center. “I’ll keep taking care of my health by staying smoke free and by going to the gym at least twice weekly.”

In addition to success stories and district awards from the American Heart Association for promoting a healthy workplace, the district has drastically cut costs. Between 2011 and 2016, Pasco schools reported over $26 million savings in health and medication expenditures. Simultaneously, district employees saved over $4 million in co-pays for office visits and generic medication.

“In addition to lowering expenses, employers with onsite or near-site care centers are promoting heart health and demonstrating measurable outcomes in employee care,” added Tomlinson.

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

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PRESS RELEASE

Employers Take Control of Medical Costs
With Self-Funded Health Plans

Nov. 16, 2016 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Healthcare cost control and risk management are critical reasons why Crowne Consulting Group and its benefits-planning partners are helping employers to self-fund their health plans.

While Crowne’s solutions have supported corporations, school districts, sheriff’s offices, and municipalities spanning Florida, the self-funding trend is spreading nationwide. Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, published a July report on trends in self-insured health plans between 1996 and 2015.  A rise from 28.5 to 39 percent was reported for private employers offering self-funded plans.

For decades, a majority of large employers and government agencies have benefited from self-funded plans, but EBRI’s report notes an increasing percentage of small and mid-sized businesses self-funding. Additionally, October’s Market Realities report by Willis Towers Watson forecasts lower rate increases for self-insured plans compared to fully insured plans in 2017.

“Whether a decision to self-fund is for lowering insurance expenses or for managing government provisions, employers are achieving greater control of costs,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group, which is aligned with partners offering special programs with rate-caps from one of the nation’s largest stop-loss carriers for those risks who qualify.  “Reinsurance or external insurance for catastrophic events is essential in managing long-term risk and avoiding losses through high-cost claims.”

Crowne and its partners are also helping self-funded employers mitigate risks and lower expenses through the operation of onsite and near-site health and wellness centers.  In contrast to the typically expensive fee-for-service model of filing insurance claims, a self-funded employer can launch an onsite-care model and pay significantly less for medical services for employees, retirees, and their dependents. No-cost primary and chronic care, screenings, x-rays, wellness programs, and onsite pharmacies are among the benefits to patients of worksite healthcare.

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

Awareness for Adult Immunizations

Vaccines can play a vital role in preventing serious diseases.  While many of us think of infants and children when we hear about vaccinations, it’s also critical to remember that immunization is important at every age.

According to HHS.gov and the National Vaccine Program Office, our national adult vaccination rates remain low, leaving millions of adults susceptive to vaccine preventable diseases and their potentially severe consequences.

August is designated by The National Public Health Information Coalition as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), which raises awareness about the significance of vaccination for people in each stage of life.  Data shows that thousands of adults needlessly suffer, are hospitalized, and even die each year as a result of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.

Depending on your age and health condition, there are various options to improve your health with timely vaccination:

-ADULTS:  Adults are encouraged to ask their doctors about immunizations to protect against the dreaded flu, travel-related illnesses, as well as diseases like shingles, pertussis, and hepatitis.

-PREGNANT WOMEN:  Pregnant women must understand the importance of getting vaccinated to protect newborns from diseases like whooping cough (pertussis) and flu.

-ADULTS WITH CHRONIC CONDITIONS & SENIORS: It’s vital for patients with chronic health conditions like Asthma, Diabetes, COPD, and Heart Disease to be up-to-date on recommended vaccinations, as they are at increased risk for complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control web pages specifically offer helpful details about vaccine schedules (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/index.html).  Individuals are encouraged to consult with a medical provider for making informed decisions about your personal healthcare plan, vaccinations, and screening schedule.

Medical providers across the U.S. generally encourage patients to achieve prevention of infectious diseases and chronic conditions through preventative care, vaccination, and regular screenings.   With prevention as a high priority, onsite health and wellness centers are uniquely providing easy access for patients to free primary and preventive screenings, thus, helping adults maintain optimal health.  Crowne Consulting Group, for example, operates onsite and near-site health centers for self-funded employers with plan members including employees, dependents, and retirees. Worksite health and wellness centers offer primary care, x-rays, prescriptions, and medical screenings near the worksite for plan members.

Making preventive care easier to access and more affordable for the patients has resulted in cost-savings for employers and employees. For information about Crowne Consulting Group, call 407.654.5414 and ask about Crowne’s years of expertise in serving school boards, city and county government, sheriff offices, as well as private organizations.

PRESS RELEASE
Return On Investment With Onsite Medical Care

Crowne Consulting Group Reports Million-Dollar Savings For Employers With Worksite Healthcare.

June 14, 2016 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Crowne Consulting Group and its partners are helping employers lower medical costs through onsite and near-site health and wellness centers for employees, retirees, and dependents.

By providing pass-through services without mark-up costs, Crowne’s Florida-based team and its medical affiliates are helping employers reduce the cost of typical insurance claims.  Employers save money, while plan members reap the benefits of free and easy access to primary care, screenings, wellness programs, and prescriptions.

“For the employee, there are no co-pays for the office visit or for most prescriptions,” said Carol MacLeod, Chief Financial Officer at Lake County Schools. “For the District, every patient visit that is seen by the wellness center instead of another physician saves the District in excess of $150. We have contained our health care cost increases to 2.66 percent per year when trend has been in excess of 9 percent.”

Crowne Consulting Group and its partners are helping other employers save millions of dollars through the implementation of customized onsite-care programs.  President Ray Tomlinson emphasizes that an advanced, patient-centric approach can boost clients’ financial successes.  Pasco County Schools, for example, is showing major returns since launching onsite care in 2011.

According to the superintendent at Pasco County Schools, Kurt S. Browning, “The District has saved/avoided over $26 million in health and medication expenditures and employees have saved over $4 million in co-pays for office visits and generic medication. We estimate that over 90 percent of our insurance eligible employees have used the medical clinics at some point since inception.”

About Crowne Consulting Group, Inc:

Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., founded in 1986, provides administrative oversight services for worksite health and wellness centers 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 serve public sector employers such as school boards, city and county government, sheriff offices, 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.  In response to the growing demand for comprehensive care, Crowne is continuously adding new solutions for employee healthcare.

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PRESS RELEASE:

Governor Signs New Law Helping Schools Save Money
through Electronic Procurement Processes

Crowne Procurement Services applauds new law to improve purchasing for school districts.

March 10, 2016 (Ocoee, Fla.) – This week Florida’s governor has signed into law Senate Bill 350, which allows the use of online procurement tools for school districts and state colleges.

“Along with the citizens of Florida, I give a big thank you to Gov. Rick Scott for signing the bill to support electronic procurement,” said Neil McDonald, Director of Crowne Procurement Services and The Crowne Group’s affiliates focused on helping school districts cut costs and reduce risks.  “Also, congratulations to Sen. Bill Montford and Rep. Brad Drake for effectively and efficiently shepherding SB 350 through the legislative process.”

The measure reforms the statewide process for electronic procurement for school districts and promotes access to competitively priced, high-quality goods.  Each year parents and teachers look for ways to ensure their dollars are spent wisely.  SB 350 authorizes school boards to use an electronic procurement process similar to common online procurement tools like eBay.

“SB 350 ensures schools receive the most competitive prices and can therefore spend more money in the classrooms,” said Sen. Montford.  “When it comes to taxpayer dollars and student education we need to give school districts the most effective tools, and this bill adds another tool to the tool box.”

The legislature places performance metrics on school districts to show they are getting their goods at the lowest price while not sacrificing on quality.

“We see this as a step forward in making sure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and ensuring Florida’s teachers also have the best tools available,” said Rep. Drake.  “The online procurement tool has handy reporting tools with minimum time required, allowing the schools to focus on providing the best teaching environment for our children.”

About Crowne Procurement Services: Crowne Procurement Services is part of The Crowne Group, a diversified consulting firm offering employer solutions and serving school districts, cities, counties, government entities, and private companies. Crowne Procurement Services prides itself on having decades of procurement and supplier-side experience along with an extensive knowledge of procurement requirements and processes. In partnership with EASi, Electronic Auction Services, Inc., Crowne’s experts are making the most of a proprietary technology platform to help organizations procure everything from A-to-Z while helping to save money.

For more information, contact: Neil McDonald, (321) 221-0674, ndmcdonald@crowneinc.com

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How Schools are Saving Money and Lives
Preventive Care Simultaneously Helps Patients and Employers

Doctor and Employee, Onsite ClinicToday’s healthcare system provides an array of screenings for detecting everything from cancer to cholesterol issues. Screenings have become an essential component of preventive healthcare. Detecting health issues early can be the key to avoiding costly and complicated illnesses in the future.

In step with the movement towards consumer education, well-informed employer groups and school districts are launching onsite and near-site health and wellness centers to incentivize employees, dependents, and retirees to keep up-to-date on disease management and preventive health screenings.
Employers are discovering these value-added benefits of the onsite and near-site health model:

  • As a first line of defense, the onsite-care model ensures health screenings are free, easy, and conveniently accessible.
  • Unlike outdated wellness programs that are triggered by large claims or passive educational material, the onsite-care model includes an active approach based on extensive lab work and Health Risk Assessments (HRA).
  • The medical team can offer recommendations for when a patient should be tested and can provide customized care to meet each individual’s unique needs.
  • Physicians can proactively bring medical concerns to the attention of patients as well as create a potentially life-saving plan-of-action for patients to avoid future health problems.

A national Health and Productivity Survey from 2015 indicated that HRA and biometric screenings remain popular components of worksite wellness programs, with 57% of 700 surveyed employer organizations offering an HRA. Through easy accessibility, onsite and near-site health centers offer a solution for increasing utilization of HRAs.

Florida-based Crowne Consulting Group and its affiliates are helping dozens of employer organizations to operate onsite healthcare centers, in which high percentages of members utilize HRAs and screening programs, helping clients prevent high-dollar claims for chronic diseases including diabetes and congestive heart failure. Pasco schools’ first-year results included a 34 percent decrease in diabetes claims costs.

Increased screenings, HRAs, and easy access to preventative care are helping employers achieve millions of dollars in financial savings for taxpayers and reallocating those dollars for other school resources. Additionally, by shifting from disease management to disease prevention, health centers are providing a positive impact on members’ health and their wallets.

Contact Crowne Consulting Group for more information about onsite care.