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

What Makes a Healthy Employer?

Crowne provides tips to build a healthy workforce.
Healthy Workforce
Build a Healthy Workforce with the Help of Crowne Consulting Group.

Employers have great opportunities to apply for an array of awards each year.  From the best places to work to fastest growing companies, there is no shortage of honors and nominations. Particularly, many organizations, respected journals, healthcare groups, and business associations across the nation give out employer health awards for having a healthy workforce.  The standards vary for award rankings, but most designate wellness and easy access to care as essential criteria for a healthy workplace.

“Preventative care and disease management are top priorities for cultivating a healthy workplace,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group, a benefits-planning firm specializing in the operation of over 30 onsite and near-site employee health and wellness centers throughout Florida.

Public and private organizations deemed as “healthy workplaces” have implemented onsite care for employees, retirees, and dependents.  Onsite care provides plan members with convenient access to no-cost primary and chronic care, screenings, lab work, X-rays, EKG, generic prescriptions, and wellness programs including smoking cessation.

  • Through Crowne’s onsite-care model, patient appointments can be made online or by phone for a 20-minute visit with a doctor.
  • Patients can reserve additional time with the physician if needed, and they never have to pay a copay.
  • In addition to physicians, the staff typically includes nurses, dieticians, exercise physiologists, and other medical staff.
  • Teams work together to provide a holistic approach to care while nurturing a healthy working environment.

Crowne points to the District School Board of Pasco County as a shining example for healthy workplaces. The district has worked with Crowne’s experts and medical affiliates since 2011 through CareHere Crowne LLC, which oversees onsite care operations for its more than 10,000 plan members. The district’s list of subsequent awards have included a Platinum Fit-Friendly Worksite Award from the American Heart Association, a Worksite Wellness Silver Award from the Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance, the Top 100 list from the Healthiest100 awards, and a Healthiest Employers Award from the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Between 2011 and 2016, the District also saved over $26 million in health and medication expenditures

“Financially, the ease of use and cost-free care keeps utilization high for employers wanting a return on investment when implementing onsite care for a healthier workforce,” said Tomlinson.

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Learn more about bottom-line wellness! See Crowne Consulting Group’s featured statements in the Orlando Business Journal’s August 18, 2017 cover story: How Orlando-area firms save money on health care budgets.  The special issue also features the 2017 Healthiest Employers.

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

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

Onsite Employee Health Centers Bring Cities Success

City Government Clients of CareHere Crowne LLC Cut Costs While Improving Care.

April 12, 2017 (Ocoee, Fla.) – The benefits planning team at Crowne Consulting Group reports enhanced care and lower medical costs for city governments providing onsite and near-site health and wellness centers for employees, retirees, and dependents.

Employers had faced relentless increases in healthcare expenditures for years. In an effort to control budgets and save taxpayer dollars, many Florida cities turned to self-funding and worksite healthcare models as a way to control medical costs, while preventing and managing chronic conditions.

“On average, the operation and administration costs for onsite health centers are 30 to 70 percent less than what employers are paying under the fee-for-service model,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group.

Onsite health centers provide plan members with cost-free access to primary care clinic services, chronic care, screenings, lab work, X-rays, EKG, generic prescriptions, and wellness programs including exercise, nutrition, and smoking cessation. Florida cities opting for worksite care include Ocala, Ocoee, Apopka, Sanford, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Sarasota, Leesburg, Mount Dora, Deland, and others.

The City of Oviedo, a CareHere Crowne LLC client, has experienced success with onsite care and wellness programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles. The city won the 2016 Healthy Weight Community Champion from The Florida Department of Health. Since opening its employee health and wellness center in March 2010, the city reduced medical care costs while improving care.

The Annual Survey on Employer Health Benefits by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated five percent of employers with at least 50 employees offered health services through an on-site health clinic. The 2016 survey interviewed over 1,000 non-federal public and private firms. Approximately 25 percent of larger firms with at least 1,000 workers offer onsite care benefits.

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 407-654-5414 for more information.

Healthy Town, USA

Oviedo-Winter Springs Life, March/April 2017

By Jill Cousins

LifeMagazineThe City of Oviedo, a client of CareHere Crowne LLC, has been featured in Oviedo-Winter Springs Life magazine, a premier lifestyle publication dedicated to publishing positive and uplifting stories about the local community.

Since opening its health center in March of 2010, the city reduced health cost trends and improved care for plan members.  Enjoy this feature article about the city’s wellness programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles.  Read the article (PDF)


In case you missed it, visit Crowne’s “In the News” page for a full list of recent news articles, including a healthcare reform Q&A in the Orlando Business Journal.

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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Healthy Staff for Healthy Schools
How Onsite Care Benefits Teachers, Staff, and Students

apple-healthyschoolHealthy, 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. 

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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