Allen County Officials Want to Let Employee Health Clinic "Secret" Out of the Bag

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 18, 2010 Updated Sep 26, 2007 at 6:18 PM EDT

The Allen County Commissioners want to pump up the profile of a health clinic in the City-County Building that isn't hitting projected goals for visits by county employees and their families.

The shortfall isn’t because the price is too high.

About a thousand workers enrolled in the county health insurance plan can see a doctor in the clinic free of charge, pick up different generic drugs free of charge, and their family members can do the same.

But six months after the clinic opened, the option is slow to catch on.

The clinic is set up to handle three appointments per hour, or about 130 appointments per week.

The place is seeing about half that number of patients.

The county was counting on enough participation to save close to a million dollars in cheaper health insurance claims over the first three years.

Nelson Peters/(R) Allen County Commissioner: " I don't think it jeopardizes the program. I think if we run a couple years at this level, we're certainly going to have to turn it around and re-evaluate it. But at this point, it's new."

Ruby Bates/County Employee: " I believe as more employees realize the convenience, they'll get on board. You may have a reaction to something here right at work. If they've got the time to see you right then, they get you right in."

Ruby Bates says she's used the clinic several times and it has saved her time and hundreds of dollars.

The county is hopeful business will pick up in the winter months, to justify the launching of this service, in need of its own booster shot.

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