As 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.
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.
Healthy Staff for Healthy Schools How Onsite Care Benefits Teachers, Staff, and Students
Healthy, hard-working teachers play an important role in the education of our children, which is why access to quality care and health education for our teachers is critical to inspiring learning in the classroom.
Based on a 2016 report by Education Week, approximately 39% of Florida K12 teachers missed more than 10 school days during the 2013-2014 schoolyear. Nationally that same year, slightly more than 1 in 4 teachers missed 10 days or more, according to data from Education Week Research Center’s review of U.S. Department of Education and the federal civil rights office.
While personal reasons for time off may vary, sick days out for colds, flus, and other preventable conditions are days setting students and teachers behind. In an attempt to prevent teacher absences from impacting learners, some districts are taking a proactive approach to ensure their employees have convenient access to high-quality preventative care, vaccines, and primary care. Florida schools are particularly embracing an onsite-care model by offering employee health and wellness centers at or near the worksite.
When opening Lake County School’s first employee health and wellness center in August 2011, risk manager Lauren Deridder said, “The health and wellness center provides convenient and quick service, and the employees have quality time with the doctors, less of wait, and no out-of-pocket expenses.” Now with four centers spread across the county, the district is saving $150 for every patient that is seen by the employee center instead of an outside physician.
The ease of use and cost-free care keeps utilization high for teachers, staff, dependents, and retirees. Patients visiting onsite health and wellness centers enjoy free access to primary medical, screenings, lab work, X-rays, EKG, occupational health, wellness programs, generic prescriptions, as well as comprehensive treatment and health education for managing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
“In addition to helping employers save millions of dollars, we’re thrilled to be helping keep teachers in the classroom,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group, which operates over 30 on- or near-site health and wellness centers throughout Florida, including several for school districts as well as private companies, cities, counties, and sheriff offices.
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, Health Risk Assessments (HRA), and health education through customized wellness programs. “These increased screenings, HRAs, and easy access to preventative care like flu shots are helping districts increase productivity, while also cutting absenteeism costs and expenses that could be reallocated for other school resources,” added Tomlinson.
Crowne Consulting Group’s school district clients have included Citrus, Levy, Pasco, Lake, St. John’s, and Indian River. Crowne and its affiliates also serve city government, county government, sheriff’s offices, and private organizations.
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.