Tampa Bay employers bring health care to office - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay employers bring health care to office

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Getting a doctor's appointment can be a pain. Once you get to the office, you're usually faced with more waiting. On top of that, you don't feel well.

According to a study by Press Ganey, a group that researches health care performance, the average wait at a doctor's office is 24 minutes. Tampa Bay area employers say they have a solution to that problem; office clinics.

Raymond James Financial has provided HealthWorks to employees for the last year and a half. Employees can see a Physician Assistant or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner right in the Raymond James building.

"They got me in right away which was great," Raymond James employee Raymond LaCour said. "They checked me over and then they told me I needed to go home right away. If I had not I was going to get pretty sick."

LaCour rested the remainder of the day and calls it a "win-win." He says he wouldn't have gone to the doctor if it wasn't so convenient, which probably would've made him miss more work. Plus, there's little or no co-pay in the clinic and even some prescriptions on hand.

Patty Zanghi, the head of Benefits Department, says the clinic is about more than "quick fixes." 

"Obviously in the short term for the cold and flu," Zanghi said. "On a long term basis if someone's walking around and they don't know they have high blood pressure we can catch it before it becomes more critical."

Prevention: that's where the savings come in. Employers hope they'll catch the signs of a serious health condition before it translates to serious health costs. For the first year, though, Zanghi says the company got more claims.

She expects costs will go down eventually. Tampa and Clearwater offer a similar service for city employees. Pasco County Schools district also provides medical care for employees. Linda Cobbe, the district spokesperson, says they've saved $10 million over the last three years.

Zanghi says she'd recommend it to any workplace considering it.

"There are some future cost benefits but that's not the only reason we're doing it," Zanghi said. "It encourages employees to engage in health and wellness."

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