I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Employee Health Clinic Concept Moving Forward

In October and November of 2010, while researching ways self-insured entities like the Escambia County School District could save money on Employee Health Plan costs, I read a lot about walk- in Employee Health Clinics. 
I found that many municipalities, school districts, and county governments were establishing their own clinics to save money and provide employees a low cost alternative to going to the Emergency Room, a Primary Care Physician, or an Acute Care Facility.
Several school districts in Florida, Including St. Johns County and Manatee County, had clinics up and running that were successes at that time (2010). 
I spoke with the Risk Manager for the city of Ocoee, who told me their city’s clinic had been established for years and had been a huge success.
So I contacted some companies, gathered my materials and presented the concept to the school board at the November, 2010 meeting.  I explained that I felt this sort of an employee clinic concept could alleviate some of the pressure on our plan due to rising health costs.  The Board and the Superintendent’s staff were generally positive about the idea.
For the next year, the staff and our Health Care Consultant, Gallagher Benefits, studied the concept and formulated a plan and a cost estimate.  This estimate and a summary was presented to the school board one year after the idea was initially discussed, in November of 2011.
In early 2012, we terminated our relationship with Gallagher, and established a relationship with a new benefits consultant.  The new consultant, utilizing input from staff, the internal auditing department, the employee unions,  and the School Board, produced an RFI in early April, of 2012.  From the RFI, a group of several interested companies provided input into what a plan for the Escambia County School District could look like. 
From all the research and fact finding, an RFP was put out for an employee clinic.  A total of Eight companies responded to the RFP over the last few months.  Within that time span, the list was whittled down to two companies, and from the two companies, one company was selected, unanimously by the benefits committee and the Superintendent  to present their plan to the school board.
That Company, Marathon-Health of Vermont, gave an excellent presentation to the school board yesterday on the subject of the positive aspects of an employee wellness plan and clinic.  The presentation allowed for Board members to ask questions and elicit feedback from the company.  I was extremely impressed with the presentation by Jerry Ford and his team from Marathon.  The video of the meeting, including the question and answer session between Marathon and the School Board, can be found here

What a fantastic benefit this clinic will be for ALL employees!  A true win-win that will also save precious taxpayer dollars in the process.


Alice Sohn said...

Jeff, First, please accept my apology for my negative comments about our school system. I was, for the moment, in the "valley of despair."
Have the teachers been "polled" to determine how many would take advantage of the clinic? I recall that earlier attempts with "employee wellness" were not very popular with teachers.
Congratulations on your ride!

Jeff Bergosh said...

Alice, you never need to explain or apologize to me about your positions. I respect your viewpoint and even when we disagree I try to be open minded to the opposing side of things. The clinic concept is exciting, as it will save millions of dollars and it will save our employees time and money. A true win-win that frankly should have been in place for many years. Now, with health care reform a certainty-this concept is needed more than ever as our costs to the self-insured plan for our employees will continue to escalate over the next few years. As for the ride-yes, that is a highlight of my life right up there with my wedding day and the birth of my kids--a chance of a lifetime!

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