Lexington officials are looking at a variety of ways to reduce health care related costs. Plans for a new health and wellness center for city workers, their families, and retirees were spelled out Thursday. It would be a voluntary and no co-pays would be required. Health consultant, David Dermers says the service would not take business away from doctors.
“We’re building on and augmenting the fantastic medical care that’s already here in the community. This is not looking to replace or displace any of the providers or services that are out there,” said Dermers.
The site hasn’t been determined. Health consultants say the one and a half million dollar investment is expected to be recouped in about a year. City budget director Ryan Barrow sees cost savings.
“Doctor and nurse practitioner spend more time with the employee. The employee is away from work less and that cost, that health care cost that we would have to get in the retail market by some existing primary care, it’s also cheaper,” said Barrow.
A pharmacy would also be on site. Evelyn Bologna (buh-LONE-ya) with parks and recreation sat in on the presentation Thursday. She admits some workers may not want to part with their current doctor for any reason.
“You know that probably would be the case for many people. However if the staffing is such where a person starts to go will meet the doctor meet the staff at the center. Then hopefully they will develop a trusting relationship with the staff that are there,” added Bologna.
The mayor’s office is also working on new health care benefit plans for workers. The city is working to move away from the so called ‘platinum’ plan previously used by over 80 percent of the workforce. That plan will still be available, but at a relatively high cost.