For the past seven years, Washington County and Jean’s Extrusions have been able to keep health insurance costs down by joining together to provide health insurance for employees.
Mark Nantz, of Knapp Miller Brown Insurance, helped the two team up to open a health care clinic for the employees for routine care and tests. One year later, the City of Salem employees joined the group.
Today, approximately 375 employees benefit from the services of the health clinic.
The partnership was the first of its kind in the area and is one that has been successful for all three groups. The clinic is housed in the Jean’s office building.
When they opened in 2010, the clinic was under the management of NOVIA. Recently, the management of the clinic changed to Activate Healthcare. Clinic services are available to employees, spouses and dependents who are covered under their insurance plans.
The goal of Activate Healthcare is to transform health care by delivering primary care that engages the patient, supports a culture of health, guides the health care continuum to lower costs, integrates data to help proactively manage patient outcomes, and enables employers of all sizes to benefit from dedicated care.
Nantz said the company holds operational monthly meetings, which gives everyone involved a chance to meet and discuss things and make sure everything is going well for all parties involved. Soon, they will put together wellness committees from each group - the county, the city and Jean’s Extrusions.
“There is a cost savings up front,” said Nantz. “But the overall idea is to get better engagement and improve the health of employees,”
He said the clinic provides healthcare on the spot and a closeness in proximity for employees.
“We want them to feel comfortable with their healthcare,” said Nantz, adding that when they go into the clinic, there is no cost. They can get a check up, see someone for an illness, get labs, etc.
He said the overall problem with rising healthcare cost is the unhealthiness of today’s society. If people can be proactive instead of reactive, it will help costs go down.
“Obesity is a huge issue in our country,” he said. “And obesity leads to a variety of other health problems - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sugar, etc.”
That is one reason Nantz got in on the ground floor of starting Working On Wellness in Washington County.
“The idea is to improve the health of the community,” said Nantz.
The health clinic will hopefully continue to encourage employees of the participating businesses to make strides in improving their overall health.
Donna Carter, NP-C is the new nurse practitioner. A native of Salem, Donna is excited to return. Donna is a strong proponent of preventive medicine and health promotion, and is excited for the opportunity to work with the Salem employees and their families and provide the tools to promote good health.
Rhonda Whipker, Medical Assistant, is pleased to work with employees and their families to address health and wellness issues, that can help them lead healthier lives.
Activate Healthcare engages patients to take charge of their own health by delivering proactive, preventive primary care at or near an employer’s location. Headquartered in Indianapolis, the company was formed in 2009 by Debra Geihsler and Peter Dunn.
Nantz said he is excited about the switch to Activate Healthcare and said unlike the previous management, they encourage smaller groups to get involved. Businesses who employ 10, 20, 50 or more people are encouraged to look at the idea of health clinics.
“We have had talks with Kimballs and some other smaller companies,” he said. “The idea is to grow the clinic.”