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Cape Council to discuss employee clinic

By Staff | Mar 21, 2019

Cape Coral City Council will discuss the feasibility of an employee health clinic Monday, a proposal a consultant says will save the municipality millions.

The Gehring Group will make the presentation at a 4:30 p.m. workshop meeting at City Hall.

The city’s healthcare consultant will talk to the council about the feasibility of issuing a request for proposal for an enhanced health care clinic for employees, which it says would result in a $4 million savings in employee health care costs over the next three years.

Gehring currently works with Charlotte County and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, which are among the agencies that have built employee clinics.

In its presentation to council, Gehring will say the clinics will shift costs from the medical plan to the health center by engaging employees, retirees and family members of the plan, changing employee and dependents’ attitude toward healthcare, consistently focusing on prevention and wellness integration; no copays, identifying potentially catastrophic issues such as cancer quickly, and changing medical plans to incentivize use.

The presentation states this will reduce claims utilization, long-term high-dollar claims and Worker’s Comp and Occupational Health claims and enhance wellness programs.

The clinic would provide primary, acute and chronic care, labs, X-rays, prescriptions, wellness programs, physicals, hearing and drug tests, and more for employees, their dependents, COBRA participants and retirees.

Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello said when he saw the potential savings, that piqued his interest, but he wants to hear more.

“It seems like it’s more convenient for employees, but it also looks to be more of a preventative and wellness program,” Coviello said. “We have to make sure the medical care through this is comparable to what they’re getting now.”

Councilmember John Carioscia said if this is a way for the city to save money, he’s onboard.

“If this possibly saves the city, I’m for this. It’s a great idea. It will help our employees by giving them better health care benefits.” Carioscia said.

The clinics have proven successful in Port St. Lucie, where they have had a nearly $2.8 million in claims reductions.

Gehring projects in three years the city will save more than $4.3 million, assuming a yearly increase in claims by 8 percent with no plan changes and 75 percent utilization capacity within three years.

If city council ultimately approves the measure, a clinic could open as early as the start of the new year in 2020.