Future uncertain for Moffat County employee Health and Wellness Center
November 1, 2018
CRAIG — The future is uncertain for the Moffat County employee health and wellness center.
The Moffat County Employee Health Insurance Board is considering options after Memorial Regional Health provided notice it will end its service Dec. 31. MRH also offered an alternative, more cost-effective solution to replace the clinic.
"Because we are aware of the ongoing financial challenges of Moffat County as an entity, we would like to continue to collaborate with you on an alternative solution," MRH CEO Andy Daniels wrote in a legally required letter of termination sent to commissioners in September.
The entire letter, including a cost comparison, can be viewed in this story at CraigDailyPress.com.
"Our proposal to the county did away with the county-owned clinic and proposed that we instead provide the services out of our existing Rapid Care Clinic," Daniels said in a follow-up interview Nov. 1.
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If its makes the change, it is estimated the county will save more than $63,000 in 2019. It could also gain one-time revenue and ongoing maintenance costs by selling the county-owned building at 551 Tucker Street, where the center is located.
Moffat County employees and their dependents have exclusively had the option to seek care at an employee-only health and wellness center since it was established in 2013 as a strategy to lower insurance costs.
Between then and January 2018, that meant diverting county employees away from the county-owned health care provider (now Memorial Regional Health). In January 2018, MRH became the service provider after a successful bid.
"When this whole idea came about, it was partly due to insurance, because we were having some large claims in the county and found that it would be cheaper to go this route,” said then-County Commissioner Tom Mathers in an interview with the Craig Daily Press.
Moffat County Commissioners Ray Beck and Don Cook may have addressed those concerns when they saved the county an estimated $224,000 in insurance costs in 2019 by voting to change insurance providers from UMR/Berkshire to the new Anthem Mountain Enhanced Network. The new insurance offering was brought to the community by Anthem through collaboration with MRH, as announced Oct. 19.
"We are looking at all areas of the budget and where we can save money for the county and save money for employees," Beck said Thursday.
And, according to Daniels, even more, money could be saved if county employees elect to participate in mHealth Direct — a new health care membership plan launched Thursday.
"This is not an insurance product but a primary care subscription model designed for people without insurance or those on high-deductible plans that want to budget their health dollars more efficiently," he said.
Next, Beck said he expects to have a conversation about the county’s options with members of the Employee Health Insurance Board, though this discussion is not yet on the commissioners’ November workshop schedule.
The board will need to make a formal recommendation to commissioners for their approval before any action can be taken on the health and wellness center.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.