NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An innovative move to improve access to primary care services for nearly 9,000 Commonwealth of Kentucky employees is paying real dividends. The state has realized significant cost savings and created a more effective system of healthcare.
In 2011, the Commonwealth of Kentucky brought in Nashville-based H2U Wellness Centers LLC, to manage four health centers in Frankfort: Capitol Annex, Capital Plaza Tower, the Transportation Cabinet and the Cabinet for Health, and Family Services Building.
Access to the health centers (called First Onsite clinics) is available to all Kentucky state employees during normal business hours. An average appointment is often just down the hall from an employee's office. By managing chronic conditions and avoiding hospital admissions, unnecessary emergency department visits and specialist referrals, H2U estimated the commonwealth is saving an additional $400,000 each year. Reduced time away from work and improved productivity produced savings of nearly $200,000.
In 2014, the Kentucky employee health plan's actuary, AON, evaluated the impact of having these clinics and found combined annual savings from more than 15,000 visits totaled $723,900. That's the difference between the $38.53 per-visit paid for a health center stop, versus an average $85 cost-per-visit for similar services in the Frankfort area.
Patients at the health centers receive care from a board-certified nurse practitioner – a registered nurse with advanced training in diagnosing and treating common illnesses and medical problems. The health centers specialize in treating allergies, ear infections, strep throat, minor infections, rashes, routine wellness and preventive care, and cold and flu. Vaccinations and allergy shots are also provided.
"Clinic staff provide excellent customer service. In fact, 99 percent of employees say they would recommend it to their co-workers," says Department of Employee Insurance Commissioner Joe Cowles. "The positive feedback has helped to increase visits. The clinics now have over 1,300 visits a month – an 18 percent increase in utilization from 2013 to 2014."
"The Commonwealth of Kentucky demonstrated visionary thinking by bringing affordable, high-quality primary care services to the places where workers spend most of their waking hours. That's an employee-focused approach to better health," said Yonnie Chesley, CEO of Health to You (H2U). "The cost savings to the people of Kentucky is a win, but improving access and convenience to needed primary care services is proof of commitment to improve employee lives."
To learn more about the worksite health and primary care services, read the issue brief.
About H2U - Health to You
Health to You (H2U) provides convenient, innovative, and cost-effective health solutions for individuals, employers, hospitals, and other groups. Serving over 425,000 individuals nationwide, H2U connects employers to streamlined, affordable primary care services by forging nimble partnerships that deliver better care, better health and lower costs. With over 40 hospital- and employer-sponsored health centers and more than 100 community outreach programs, H2U provides convenient care, wellness and prevention programs, health education, face-to-face health coaching, and other interactive consumer health solutions. These offerings were originally developed for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the nation's largest non-government healthcare provider, which makes H2U uniquely qualified to partner with employers to improve workforce health, increase productivity and help decrease the cost of healthcare. Visit our website at www.healthtoyou.com.
About Commonwealth of Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky, Personnel Cabinet administers human resources services for more than 33,000 state employees. The Kentucky Employees' Health Plan (KEHP), managed by the Personnel Cabinet's Department of Employee Insurance, provides innovative health and wellness benefits to nearly 300,000 state employees, school teachers, retirees, quasi-governmental employees, and their dependents. The KEHP is a nonprofit, self-funded plan and overseen by public employees, for public employees, so participants have a direct stake in the financial well-being of the plan. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, members can have a positive impact on not only their own healthcare costs, but also the healthcare costs of other KEHP members. The KEHP asks members if they want to engage in wellness – by participating in a health assessment or biometric screening annually – if so, members can choose one of two "LivingWell" health insurance plans. LivingWell plans provide members the best benefits, lower co-insurance and annual maximum out-of-pocket costs. Members also have free access to a fully-incentivized wellness platform, HumanaVitaltiy, health coaches, nurse support, weight management, mental health and stress management resources, a healthy kids program, tobacco cessation, worksite wellness, and the national diabetes prevention program.
SOURCE Health to You