HUDSON — The Pasco School District held a ribbon-cutting and tours for its newest CareHere Health & Wellness Center at Hudson Middle School last Friday, Sept. 27.
The 2,600-square-foot clinic at Hudson Middle School is one of three centers at Pasco County schools operated by Crowne Consulting Group, an employee benefits consulting firm andTennessee-based partners CareHere.
Employees, retirees and dependents covered by the district’s group health plan, Florida Blue, can receive medical services including treatment for primary care, lab work, medication, x-rays, and more at no out-of-pocket cost at any onsite CareHere Health Center.
The other centers are located near Gulf High School, Land O’ Lakes High School and Centennial Middle School.
“A lot of folks live in Northwest Pasco and this health center is open to all Pasco schools on the plan,” said Jason Tomlinson of Crowne Consulting Group, the co-administrator of the wellness clinic along with with CareHere “Only one person is scheduled for each appointment and when you get here, the doctor is waiting in the exam room for you. You aren’t waiting for them.”
Each exam room is equipped with a digital scanner that scans medications and enters it into a patients medical history. It also prevents physcians from prescribing medications that might conflict with other medications the patient is taking.The clinic is paper-free and stores all records electronically.
An X-ray rooms allows images to be taken on-site and viewed electronically and all physicians are able to suture wounds.
“Physicians don’t have to worry about running the clinic, keeping the lights on or filing claims, we run that all for them,” Tomlinson said. “This way they can truly do what they went to school for-practice medicine.”
Bren Case, one of the nurse practitioners at the new clinic, is transitioning over from her job with the Pasco County Sheriffs Office. She said the way the wellness center operates promotes a “much healthier lifestyle.”
“What you have here is the time and resources to promote a much healthier person,” Case said.
Through the CareHere model, the district has saved $10 million after paying for health center and claim costs. They’ve also saved $1 million in workers’ compensation costs by using the clinics for traige instead of sending the patient to an emergency room.
The St. Johns and Citrus County school district also have CareHere centers for employees.
“It’s beneficial for the taxpayers and the district,” Tomlinson said. “We are saving folks money and there are no losers in this.”
The funding vehicle the school district has is a partially self-funded arrnagement, meaning the district uses their insurance carrier as a third party administrator to adminster the plan. When a patient goes to the plan, the school district, not the carrier, is paying for the claim cost. Becausec of that, Tomlinson said, “we don’t charge for claims through our model. We are not a fee for service. Our costs are significantly less than what it would cost to go to a provider on the health plan.”
At the ribbon-cutting, Superintendent of Schools Kurt Browning, School Board Chairwoman Cynthia Armstrong, and School Board member Steve Luikart were joined by Crowne Consulting Group/CareHere representatives and district Employee Benefits staff for the short program that preceded the ribbon cutting. The center was open the rest of the day for staff and family members to tour and on Monday, Sept 30 opened to the district for appointments.
Crowne Consulting Group, an employee benefits consulting firm, is co-administrator of more than 25 health centers throughout Florida, helping Tennessee-based partners CareHere, which was started to assist large employer groups with spiraling costs of healthcare.
District employees and retirees can schedule appointments at any of the District’s four CareHere Health & Wellness Centers by calling, toll free, (877) 423-1330, or logging on to www.carehere.com. The CareHere Health & Wellness Center is at 14730 Cobra Way, Hudson. For GPS pruposes, 14540 Cobra Way