Town’s on-site clinic here to stay

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The Town of Fishers’ main healthcare option for employees and their dependents is here to stay, provided that employees remain satisfied and the town continues to save money.

“It will be in place as long as it continues to provide value to the organization and to the employees,” said Cici Hendrix, human relations director.

In 2008 the Town of Fishers formed a committee, including Hendrix, to review health care costs and forecast future insurance premiums. Hendrix said it was a frightening picture. Three on-site healthcare vendors presented clinic models to the committee.

The town selected Novia Care Clinics to bring on-site healthcare to the employees and dependents that are on the plan.

According to a press release from Novia Care Clinics, 76 percent of the town employees utilize the services, as well as 45 percent of their dependents.

When the Town had Novia Care start providing health care in 2009, it paid a start-up fee.

Kate Snedeker, a public relations representative for Novia Care, could not provide an exact start-up cost for a clinic similar to the one used by Fishers employees.

However, she said via email that startup expenses of such a clinic depend on the type of facilities available, floor space, handicap access, distance to plumbing, number of available rooms, and more.

Town of Fishers employees currently pay a premium on their paychecks that fund the program.

“The philosophy is; if they’re paying into the health fund, which is paying into the clinic, they should be the ones to benefit,” Hendrix said.

Employees who are not on the town’s plan do not utilize the services.

Novia Care charges per town employee, as well as for how much work the doctors at the clinic put in weekly.

Hendrix said the clinic is open 18 hours per week and only accepts patients by appointment, making it a challenge for some town employees and dependents to get into the clinic. Others credit the medical staff for saving lives.

Christy Orusa, wife of Fire and Emergency Services Chief Steve Orusa, said that Dr. Leanne Fortner saved the chief’s life.

Fortner diagnosed Orusa with prostate cancer in its early stages, and Christy credits her with saving his life.

Christy said the couple sees Fortner as a hero.

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