Several states are estimating double-digit percentage hikes for insurance premiums in 2019 under the Affordable Care Act. America’s saga has included these annual increases along with rising healthcare claims under traditional insurance plans. In response, many employers are innovating change to regain control of healthcare dollars.
School districts, government agencies, sheriff’s offices, corporations, and small businesses alike have reduced costs by transitioning to self-funded health plans and launching worksite care for employees, dependents, and retirees.
For those considering this money-saving switch, here are three ways employers and plan members mutually benefit from health and wellness centers at or near the worksite:
Added Convenience: Utilization of onsite and near-site health centers is high because plan members embrace convenient access to an array of medical services. Primary care, first aid, occupational services, pharmacy, disease management, and wellness services are within easy reach through worksite care. Plan members simply visit the health center during a lunch break, as opposed to taking time off to travel across town for check-ups.
Increased Productivity: Keeping employees in peak working condition is a benefit to any organization as a whole. Plan members are often incentivized to access free health-risk assessments with lab work for evaluation of cholesterol, blood sugar, liver function, blood pressure, and other bio-metric panels. Screenings and onsite wellness initiatives help catch any health issues early and support efforts for optimal health.
Decreased Costs: In addition to providing preventative care to mitigate risks and avoid high-claim costs, onsite health and wellness centers help decrease specialty-care needs and help avoid expensive ER visits. Wholesale costs on generic drugs also reduce pharmacy costs, while providing access to free prescriptions for plan members. Best of all, plan members pay zero deductibles and no copays for worksite care.
“Worksite care provides a win-win situation for employers and plan members,” said Ray Tomlinson, president Crowne Consulting Group, which is engaged in operating over 30 onsite and near-site health centers across Florida. “Services are tailored for each employee population to eliminate unnecessary spending and to optimize benefits for health and productivity.”
Crowne Consulting Group has built a solid reputation in helping employers implement an onsite-healthcare model with customized services for plan members. Healthcare centers, including operations and administration, are costing approximately 30 to 70 percent less than what employers are paying under the fee-for-service model.
Crowne Consulting Group and its affiliates serve school districts, city government, county government, sheriff’s offices, and private organizations. Call 407.654.5414 for information.
Preventive Care Simultaneously Helps Patients and Employers
Today’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.
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.
GOVERNMENT LEADERS ACROSS CENTRAL FLORIDA GATHER FOR CROWNE’S SUMMIT ON INNOVATIONS FOR ONSITE HEALTHCARE
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.
Shots for Tots Combines Toy Drive with Free Flu Shots
Crowne Consulting Group, CareHere, and Pasco Schools partner to collect toy donations while providing protection against the flu.
Dec. 19, 2012 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Crowne Consulting Group, Inc. and CareHere LLC announces that they teamed up with the District School Board of Pasco County last week for “Shots for Tots,” a program to offer free flu shots to all adults and children ten-years old and older who donated an unwrapped children’s toy.
As part of the program, CareHere nurses visited several school campuses offering the free vaccine to eligible individuals in an attempt to vaccinate as many people as possible during what is considered by the CDC as a more severe flu season.
In addition to inoculating community members and increasing protection against the flu, the program also collected toys for children in the Pasco County area to aid in the District’s yearly efforts to provide presents for children whose families cannot afford to purchase gifts this year. Guidance counselors from the District School Board of Pasco County joined the drive, picking up the donations and distributing them among needy families whose children attend Pasco County schools.
Toys donated at flu shot clinics outside school campuses were donated to Metropolitan Ministries to assist in boosting their annual toy drive, which had been experiencing a decrease in the number of donations this year.
Crowne Consulting Group collaborates with Tennessee-based CareHere, LLC to operate more than 25 on-site health centers throughout Florida. Since 2011, Pasco Schools have had three onsite health and wellness centers for their employees. A news segment highlighting how Pasco Schools saved $2 million in the first year of opening its CareHere health and wellness centers is available at https://crowneinc.com/news/.
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.
Win-Win in Workers’
Compensation for Employees and Employers
Onsite health centers enhance care while lowering workers compensation costs
December 5, 2012 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Beyond improving employee healthcare through onsite health centers, Crowne Consulting Group, Inc. is drastically lowering health costs and decreasing workers’ compensation costs for employers.
Crowne collaborates with Tennessee-based CareHere, LLC to operate more than 25 health and wellness centers throughout Florida, with the City of Lake Mary opening last month and the City of Kissimmee slated for 2013. CareHere specializes in primary care, occupational services, pharmacy, and disease management. Its cost-saving model helps self-funded employers extend employee benefits to include zero copays, no deductibles, and free screenings.
Crowne and CareHere’s worksite centers are the first stop for triage and treatment of workers’ compensation and other occupational services. Services are fully compliant as there is no co-mingling of health information with work-related services. The occupational health providers also follow required regulations related to medical surveillance programs, drug testing, reporting, and return to duty.
“An on-the-job injury can set back an organization’s productivity, but health centers offer prompt care to mitigate risks and expedite return-to-work programs,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group. “Instead of days or weeks, many workers are back to work within hours.”
Since opening three onsite health centers in 2011 and implementing numerous wellness and benefits education programs, Pasco Schools realized a more than 50 percent decrease in workers’ compensation costs, totaling over $1.5 million in savings.
Th City of Ocoee’s medical costs of its workers’ compensation program averaged a 70 percent annual reduction during a four-year span. Last year, 92 percent of eligible employees visited the center at least once, with 35 percent of the visits for acute care.
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 districts, 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.
Central Florida Becomes a Hub
of Innovation in Employee Healthcare
Crowne Consulting Group helps employers cut health
costs through onsite health centers.
Nov. 29, 2011 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., an employee benefits consulting firm, reports that employee health and wellness centers are the growing trend among central Florida employers to combat rising health costs.
With over 50 percent growth this year, Crowne is now co-administrators of 24 health centers throughout Florida, helping Tennessee-based partners CareHere, LLC surpass a milestone of 100 centers nationwide. In central Florida alone, the City of Leesburg, City of Deland, City of Mount Dora, City of Ocala, City of Ocoee, City of Oviedo, City of Titusville, Lake Schools, and Pasco Schools are innovators in offering onsite care.
At no cost to the employee, worksite clinics provide services including primary medical visits with no copay, screenings, lab work, x-rays, occupational health, wellness programs, and free generic prescriptions.
“Results have included 10 percent reductions in plan costs, 15 percent decreases in prescription costs, drastic reductions in sick time, and millions of taxpayer dollars saved,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of the Crowne Consulting Group.
By accessing risks early and providing efficient care, Crowne’s clients are defying the national averages. According to an October 17 Gallup Poll, unhealthy U.S. workers’ absenteeism costs $153 billion in lost productivity annually. About 86 percent of full-time workers are above normal weight or have at least one chronic condition, and they’re missing an estimated 450 million days of work each year.
“While the health of the U.S. workforce declines, onsite health centers are helping employers reduce risks and boost productivity,” added Tomlinson.
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 include health reimbursement arrangements, self-funded plans, onsite health and wellness centers, as well as risk management and human resources consulting.