Management of the Osceola County School District’s employee medical clinic was taken over this month by a company owned by Orlando hotel magnate, Harris Rosen.
Rosen has decades of experience providing healthcare to his own employees through RosenCare, which he established to reduce costs by keeping his workforce healthy.
The same principle has led other companies and public entities to invest in employee health clinics.
The three-year, $2.6 million contract with the School District is the first for RosenCare, which replaced AdventHealth.
“I believe that just changing to Rosen will save us 30 cents on the dollar for everything,” said School District Risk and Benefits Director Rick Hensley.
It costs Rosen about $32 million annually to provide healthcare for his 5,800 employees, or about $5,520 per employee per year, according to the company’s figures. The School District spent about $74.8 million for 9,885 employees, or about $7,572 per employee per year.
Meanwhile, employees can expect a different kind of service at the Center for Employee Health with RosenCare in charge, he said.
AdventHealth, then Florida Hospital Kissimmee when it first contracted with the district in 2016, ran the clinic more like an emergency room and often referred patients back into the hospital system, he said.
Moreover, it wasn’t saving the district money. The School Board allocated $10 million to supplement the program under AdventHealth, Hensley said.
The RosenCare system, along with other cost-saving measures, are expected to save the district $6 million annually, or about 10 percent of the total costs of employee healthcare, he said.
Long-term healthcare, preventative medicine and managing chronic illness, such as diabetes, is the key to streamlining costs in employee health, he said.
“The goal is to keep the health people healthy and help the sick people be less sick,” he said. Earlier this fall, the School Board approved a new program that allows the district’s 10,000 employees to use a Canadian pharmacy to order their prescriptions. It reduces employees’ out-of-pocket costs and will save the district about $1 million a year alone, Hensley said.
It’s cheaper and safe,
Canada is considered a Tier 1 country for pharmaceuticals, which means that it has regulations for prescription drugs that match or are stricter than those in the U.S., he said.
“The cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is higher than in the rest of the world,” Hensley said. “You can get medicine from China or India but you can’t trust the quality. But with Tier 1 countries you can,” he said.
The board this week approved a contract with a local imaging center that eliminates copays for employees and saves the district between $100 and $500 dollars.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” he said.
Still, more can be done to improve the health of the district’s nearly 10,000 employees, according to Hensley.
He hopes to gain approval from the board to establish up to three more satellite employee health clinics in Poinciana, Harmony and Celebration.
“We can do everything right and still only reach a percentage of the population,” he said. “We have to make healthcare as convenient and as accessible as possible.”