News and Tribune

Education/Schools

December 4, 2013

Greater Clark Schools readying wellness clinic

District hopes to save $1 million in health care costs

JEFFERSONVILLE — A health care change for employees of Greater Clark County School Corp. could save both its employees and the school district money.

A planned Wellness for Life Center will provide opportunities for Greater Clark employees covered by its health insurance plan to go to the center for routine medical needs and receipt of generic prescriptions at no cost to the employees. By limiting the school corporation’s claims, it could eventually save Greater Clark $1 million.

Tom Dykiel, chief financial officer at Greater Clark, said the cap on the operating expenses for the Wellness for Life Center is $883,881.

“It won’t go over that,” he said.

Dykiel explained the school corporation will be paying the money directly to Wellness for Life. In exchange it will allow school employees to visit the center that will be located in River Ridge Commerce Center, in the 6200 building off of Ind. 62.

There will be no cost for visits and generic medications for the employees that visit the clinic, effectively eliminating their co-pay. In return, it will also lower the claims filed with Greater Clark’s health insurance provider Humana.

“It also turns into a wellness visit,” Dykiel said. “What we’re trying to do is catch things early.”

By catching diagnoses early the hope is Greater Clark will “save big bucks in the long run,” he said.

The hope is that the clinic will help Greater Clark save about 10 percent on its $10 million annual insurance premium, which would total about $1 million.

It is expected that the clinic will be open by Jan. 13.

The approval granted by the school board at its meeting Tuesday was to allow a steering committee for the project to handle the day-to-day operations of the Wellness Center.

PROJECT LEAD THE WAY

An additional $100,000 was requested to pay for computer equipment on top of the $400,000 used out of Greater Clark’s rainy day fund to purchase computers in June.

The purchase requested was for the school’s Project Lead the Way curriculum, centered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs.

“With your approval tonight we would have purchased all the necessary equipment, remembering that our Project Lead the Way is involved in every middle school in our school system as well as both Charlestown High School and Jeffersonville High School,” said Greater Clark Superintendent Andrew Melin.

Melin said he expects some return following the total $500,000 investment, at about $160,000 per year through state reimbursements for program enrollment.

The request for funding was unanimously approved by the school board.

POTENTIAL LOANS APPROVED

Tax anticipation warrants were also unanimously approved that will allow Greater Clark to borrow money between tax disbursements received biannually from Clark County.

The approval by the board Tuesday allows the school corporation to borrow up to $8 million during 2014 between the disbursements, Melin said. Loans are for non-general fund operations. The general fund budget totals $69 million annually.

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