A Case Study Presentation of the Transport Workers’ Union Clinic in St. Marys, GA

Brian’s Note: As I’ve noted before, I am Chief Development Officer of WeCare TLC, a leading edge onsite clinic firm based in Lake Mary, FL . WeCare now has 15 clinics in 5 states, and typically produces savings of 18-30 percent in the first six months, net of the clinic cost, while measurably improving population health status.

With Will Montoya, the broker on the case, I delivered a 9 minute case study presentation in October 2010 at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco, describing the experience and performance of our clinic for the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) in St. Mary’s, GA. The union members are tradespeople on the Kings Bay Submarine Base. The group is fully insured with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, and has 310 employees and 800 lives.

Prior to having the clinic, TWU had loss ratios (i.e., claims/premium) that typically ran about 85 percent. Within 4 months of the clinic’s opening, their loss ratio had dropped to 42 percent, and it has remained below 55 percent since.

In January 2010, after one year’s experience, BCBSGA offered a 2 year, 7 percent premium reduction. Comparably sized groups in the regions were receiving 25-30 percent annual increases.

While TWU is one of our smaller clinics, the mechanisms in play are the same for all our clinics. We chose this group to profile because the performance numbers were developed, not by us, but by BCBSGA.

Clinics As Health Care’s Transformational Engines

By way of full disclosure, I am Chief Development Officer of WeCare TLC, a rapidly growing onsite clinic firm, with clinics in 5 states, that produces dramatic, measurable improvements in quality and cost for its clients. I have been writing about this model – which effectively incorporates the best health care lessons from the past 25 years and places them at the front end of the care delivery system, where they can get the most traction – for several years, and have become convinced that it is both the basis of a fully-realized medical home and will drive a great deal of positive change in the system.

BRIAN KLEPPER

Originally Published in the December Issue of Medical Home News.

The recent explosion of interest in onsite clinics – not just by employers, but by health plans, hospital systems, public health programs, and others – is anything but just another health care fad. At once, clinics’ growing popularity signals purchasers’ weariness with an intransigent, self-interested health system, as well as their guarded optimism about a better way.

Today’s best clinics are single-mindedly focused on what works best for the patient and purchaser within a competitive health care marketplace. They are a return to the hard-learned care management lessons of the last several decades. They look like what experienced health care professionals would develop if they could start fresh, without the perverse incentives that drive so much of health care today. But by leveraging new tools, programs and incentives, they also create a uniquely powerful, contemporary design for managing care and cost.

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