December 22, 2014

Future of Healthcare

Healthcare Innovations: Ahead of the Curve

| 5/1/2010

Healthcare Banking

Noting the popularity of health savings accounts (pre-tax contributions into an account used to pay deductibles and out-of-pocket medical expenses), UnitedHealthcare chartered its own bank, Optum Health Bank, exclusively to support the HSAs. Today, the company administers 400,000 such accounts. Those with HSA accounts in the bank can invest a portion of their deposits in a dozen separate mutual funds. The bank also recently partnered with Intuit to produce a healthcare expense tracker that automatically organizes healthcare expenses online, says David Lewis, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Florida.

— Amy Keller

Cheaper Alternatives

Wolf Schlagman
Wolf Shlagman’s Consult A Doctor sells 24-hour access to doctors.
Minor conditions that send many people to the doctor’s office often can be handled by phone or e-mail — a child’s earache, a question about a symptom, a traveler who left his prescription pills at home. Entrepreneur Wolf Shlagman, 40, pitches his Consult A Doctor as an answer for employers and insurance companies looking to cut costs. He sells, for as low as $1 per employee per month, 24-hour access to doctors via phone and e-mail who can provide information or a diagnosis and prescription. His service saves 50% on an office visit cost and also cuts workplace absenteeism, he says. Next up: Consult a Specialist.

— Mike Vogel

Onsite Care

Rosen Hotels and Resorts' in-house clinic
Rosen Hotels and Resorts’ 4,500 employees have access to the company’s in-house clinic. [Photo: Megan DelMonte/DPR]

Sarasota Mayor Richard Clapp says the city may join the ranks of employers who provide healthcare for their employees via an onsite clinic. “People could come in without making an appointment, and they could get routine things done with no cost at all to them, and our costs will really be held at a minimum,” says Clapp.

The clinic approach was pioneered in Florida by Rosen Hotels and Resorts, which launched its in-house model 19 years ago and covers each of its 4,500 employees at an average cost of around $2,500 a year. Rosen’s 4,000-sq.-ft. medical clinic employs two full-time primary care physicians, two nurse practitioners, a full-time social worker, a part-time podiatrist and a part-time dietitian. The company provides access to specialists through an agreement with Florida Hospital.

Ashley Bacot, risk manager for Rosen and president of ProvInsure, Rosen Hotels’ insurance agency, says the key to savings for Rosen was cutting out the middleman — the insurance company. While most companies use onsite clinics only for convenient/occupational care and continue their contract with large insurers, Bacot negotiated directly with the hospital group and got “better rates than the large insurance companies.”

The company recently launched a business called Rosen Healthcare Solutions, which provides customized advice and assistance to companies that want to build their own on-site medical facilities. Bacot says clients are charged a “small percentage” of the savings that result from the new on-site healthcare model.

— Amy Keller

Tags: Healthcare

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