February 6, 2016

After all these years. . .

spring-calendar-clipart-1.jpgManatee County in Florida announced that they will vote on the creation of an on-site clinic for their employees in the next month. On the Editorial page of the Bradenton Herald (February 4, 2016) it was noted that the issue had been under review for months with objections from the medical community over fears of losing patients.  The Editor pointed out in the article that the County already is self-funded with a premium-sharing model like nearly all employers in the U.S.  And, as with most on-site clinics, management would be handled by a third party.

The County has a long history of providing other related on-site services beginning more than 15 years ago with wellness programs, adding services over time.  All-in-all, the editorial describes the process and the projected services at the new on-site clinic to be much like what we have seen so often in the past.  Nothing really new.

But, on the flip side, there was also really nothing new in the comments by people in the community who read about this clinic.  It still surprises us that the public can so misunderstand the concept of an on-site clinic.  The County has already cut costs by 2.3% annually in a state where the cost of health plans has risen an average of 11.4%.

The Editor closed the article by endorsing the concept, not only because it will save the County money, but because it will provide primary care services to people who have no PCP now.  “This is a sound proposal whose time has come.  Commissioners should approve the plan.”

You then read on through a few comments and wonder, how is it that with the industry so well-established, and so much being saved, that people in general can still misunderstand what is going on?   Like this comment:

“If the county has money to open clinics and pay for the space, utilities and what nots then the county should have the funds to open an East Manatee Substaion on SR70 for the Sheriff’s office.”

Obviously, the substation is apparently a really important issue in Manatee.  However, and we don’t pretend to know how, the explanations of the clinics, their  funding, the savings (actual historical and projected future) need to be clearer.  And, we felt the Editor did a good job to begin with.  It remains a mystery that the public (and employees being approached about adding on-site services) can still be so confused.

The good news is that employers have overcome these obstacles in the past and will continue to do so in the future, the bad news is that it is still oftentimes difficult to “sell” the on-site concept when the data should allow the product to sell itself.

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Filed Under: General, On-site Facilities

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