Oklahoma City Council to consider opening employee health clinic

OKC officials hope a clinic geared toward serving employees and their families would help the city save money on health care costs.
BY WILLIAM CRUM wcrum@opubco.com Published: February 1, 2013
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The city states in the documents seeking proposals that its goals include reducing reliance on emergency room and urgent care, providing access to reduced-cost primary care, and providing access to health coaching and care management.

San Antonio has an Employee Health + Wellness Center that offers physicals, preventive care, and treatment for conditions such as allergies, colds, minor injuries and diabetes. Medical records are stored electronically; employees who want to see their medical records have easy access.

Dallas has a clinic in its city hall that is available to employees, retirees younger than age 65, their spouses and dependent children ages 5 to 25. El Paso has four H2U Wellness Centers.

A memo from City Manager Jim Couch states 83 percent of Oklahoma City employees who responded to an internal survey indicated they would use an employee medical clinic if it would reduce their health insurance costs.

Berry said the city could encourage employees to use the clinic by, for example, reducing or eliminating co-pays.

The city's goal is to choose a provider by May 14, with hopes of opening a clinic by Jan. 1.

Employee health and wellness centers are part of a trend that began with private employers, Berry said.

“We are probably on the fairly front end of local governments that are looking at this,” she said. “We are constantly looking for ways to control the costs.”

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