Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

October 12, 2012

On-site health clinics provide convenient services, help improve productivity

GOSHEN — The cost of medical benefits has skyrocketed the past decade, forcing employers to come up with creative ways to continue offering benefits to employees without breaking the bank.

According to Kate Snedeker, representative of Indianapolis-based Novia Care Clinics, one route that seems to be gaining increased support among many Indiana businesses — including those right here in Elkhart County — is the use of on-site medical clinics.

Snedeker pointed to the successful on-site clinics currently being operated by Elkhart County Government and Concord Community Schools, and more recently Goshen Community Schools. Novia manages the county and Concord sites, while the Goshen site is run through a partnership with IU Health Indianapolis.

“By providing convenient access to medical care, on-site clinics have proven to increase employee health and improve productivity,” Snedeker said. “Employers win due to improved employee morale and less sick time.”

Starting early

According to Carol Caviness, director of Elkhart County Human Resources, the county got into the on-site clinic game fairly early, opening two on-site clinics — one in Goshen and one in Elkhart — in early 2007.

“It has been excellent,” Caviness said of employee response to the two clinics. “I think if we were to take it away, we’d probably have a mass rebellion. The employees love it. It’s not without its kinks, but that’s true about anything. But I think both clinics have well over 90 percent utilization, meaning 90 percent of the slots we have available are utilized annually.”

Janet Gruwell, business manager for Concord Community Schools, reported similarly positive results at the corporation’s on-site clinic, which like the county sites was also opened in 2007.

“We meet with the reps that run the clinic quarterly, and they provide us with information on how well it’s being utilized,” Gruwell said. “We had 74 percent of our employees who were eligible to use the clinic use it last quarter, which was above what they would expect for usage. So it’s very popular.”

In discussing why the county went the way of the on-site clinic, Caviness pointed to a combination of both cost savings and increased employee wellness as the selling points of the decision.

“It was a combination of both cost savings and the wellness component, because the clinics are heavily geared toward having the employees take control of their medical conditions and work toward wellness,” Caviness said. “For example, every year they have to complete a health risk assessment and do a metabolic blood draw to check for any health issues.”

For those who may still be sceptical of what an on-site clinic has to offer, Caviness was quick to point out that on-site clinics are able to provide almost everything that a typical family practice can provide, and at significantly reduced cost.

“They can get physicals, cancer screening, they can have stitches put in or removed, moles removed... it’s just a wide, wide range of services,” Caviness said. “And one of the biggest things is, it doesn’t cost the employees anything. It’s part of their health plan, and the county pays the cost. We get a bill each month for the labs done, the provider hours and medications dispensed, and I would have to say we pay probably somewhere in the area of 45 to 55 percent less than you would pay out in the marketplace. So it’s a significant savings.”

Broader reach

According to Jerry Hawkins, coordinator of business affairs for Goshen Community Schools, one of the biggest positives associated with the on-site clinic model is that it is often able to reach those employees who may not have had a regular physician in the past. The corporation officially established its own on-site clinic in February of this year.

“One of the things that really surprised us was how many of our employees, particularly our new employees coming in, didn’t have a regular primary care physician,” Hawkins said. “This clinic isn’t about trying to take away from those who already have great doctors. This is more about helping those who maybe didn’t have that primary care physician to begin with and giving them an additional piece to their medical pie. It’s one option designed to supplement what’s already out there.”

As for potential drawbacks to the on-site model, Caviness could point to only one thing, lack of flexibility in clinic appointments.

“The biggest drawback is it’s not a walk-in clinic. You can’t just go in, you have to have an appointment scheduled, or it messes up the whole day,” Caviness said, noting that the average clinic visit is only about 10 to 20 minutes long. “We do actually set aside some acute or urgent care slots, because especially with kids you don’t know when they’re going to be sick. So if someone has a need to get in, they can call the 1-800 number, and those people will work as diligently as possible to squeeze someone in.”

Other than that, Caviness said she couldn’t be more pleased with how adoption of the on-site medical clinics has worked out for the county.

“I would say it’s meeting expectations 99.9 percent of the time,” Caviness said. “I think the biggest thing that surprised me was the overwhelmingly positive outlook from the employees. I knew it would be embraced, but I didn’t know it would be to this extent.”

Gruwell was quick to agree.

“I think we were a little surprised at how quickly people did take to it and start taking advantage of it rather than going someplace they’re used to,” Gruwell said. “They were willing to try this and give it a chance, and it has turned out great.”

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Press Release 04-23-2014 J.jpg SLIDESHOW: Police need help ID'ing suspects The Goshen Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying suspects wanted for questioning in relation to a number of thefts from retail stores throughout Indiana. The four individuals have stolen over $25,000 worth of merchandise, according to law enforcement. The men are believed to be African-American and have been seen fleeing in a white Dodge Ram or another white pickup truck with a white cap which may have Florida license plates. Anyone with information is asked to call the Goshen Police Department at 574-533-8661 or Michiana CrimeStoppers at 800-342-STOP.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEMA OKs aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by storm

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS GN140421 jobless rate Elkhart County jobless rate drops to 5.8 percent

    Elkhart County’s jobless rate dropped below 6 percent last month, according to figures released today by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
    The March unemployment rate for the county was estimated at 5.8 percent, compared to the February estimate of 6.2 percent and the March 2013 figure of 8.3 percent.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol motorcyclist dies from crash injuries

    Dale Greensides, 32, Bristol, the driver of a motorcycle involved in a crash with an automobile Sunday north of Middlebury, died today at 11:25 a.m.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News No injuries in Concord Township fire

    Firefighters were called to a basement fire in a Concord Township home shortly after midnight today.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol bank robbery suspect arrested

    A South Bend man has been arrested in connection with a bank robbery last year in Bristol.
    Zamale E. Davis, 19, 1805 Chapin St., was arrested at 7:10 a.m. Friday in South Bend by officers with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Six injured in crash northwest of Wakarusa

    A two-vehicle crash injured six people north of Wakarusa Tuesday.
    The mishap occurred around 7:20 a.m. at the intersection of C.R.s 1 and 26.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140416 Leesburg crash Driver critically injured in Kosciusko County crash

    A one-vehicle crash injured two men — one critically — south of Leesburg Tuesday.
    The mishap occurred on C.R. 150 West just south of C.R. 400 North around 5 p.m.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man killed in South Bend while possibly on bike

    Police in South Bend say a man was fatally shot in the head

    April 16, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results