Stillwater School Officials Say New Employee Clinic Will Mean Big Savings

By 2015, district leaders expect to see a more than $260,000 annual reduction in claims. The clinic is expected to open in May inside of Stillwater Area High School.

The Stillwater School Board last week showed support for a plan to establish an onsite health clinic inside Stillwater Area High School.

The clinic, according to school officials, would resemble a commercial Minute Clinic and would provide medical services to employees and dependents covered by the district’s insurance plan.

The idea for the new clinic came about as a result of the district’s switch to self-funded insurance. District officials anticipate a significant reduction in benefit claims to the district through utilization of this staff clinic.

By 2015, district leaders expect to see a more than $260,000 annual reduction in claims. The clinic is expected to open in May.

Al Anderson January 31, 2013 at 02:56 PM
More takeover of private business by monopolistic megolithic "public" school actions.
yomammy January 31, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Healthcare is "free" now, havent you heard? Obama says so....
Valley Dweller January 31, 2013 at 04:20 PM
This model has been incredibly successful in other districts, and on top of the insurance cost savings to the district, it gives teachers a lot more flexibility in using their sick leave. When you work in a more flexible setting, you can easily take an hour anytime during the day for a quick visit to the Minute Clinic - teachers cannot do that. They have 2 choices: half day, or full day - and on top of this they are required to get a sub - which costs the district money. In other districts following this model, it has not only resulted in fewer claims, but less need for subs and an overall improved moral, as staff members are able to make better decisions regarding their personal health - taking time off only when they really need to, not when they are forced to in order to complete a 15 minute clinic visit. When I was teaching, I would have been thrilled to have an in-district clinic! Public schools are not private businesses, they are funded through our tax dollars, and I am happy to support solutions which actually benefit the teachers. Fewer claims means lower insurance premiums for staff, which they deserve as they are not paid nearly enough for the great service they do for our children.
Al Anderson January 31, 2013 at 04:30 PM
If this model is successful -- why didnt the school board allow private businesses to bid for the opportunity to provide this in house service? I am more than tired of my tax dollars going to support additional expansion of monopolistic practice at the expense of private business. The very businesses that pay taxes to pay for the monopoly. What about the above - don't you in the Education industry understand?
Carbon Bigfuut January 31, 2013 at 04:32 PM
And what good will this do for teachers who don't teach at the high school?
Susan January 31, 2013 at 04:40 PM
If this model has been proven to save money (tax payer dollars), then it should be something to applaud. We are not spending MORE tax payer dollars to take business away from the more expensive, less convenient, private clinics, it sounds as we will be spending less. If private businesses don't meet the need of their customers, you cannot fault the customers for finding a less expensive, better option.
Al Anderson January 31, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Susan -- you leave out the most salient points of this. 1) Private business has to provide a building, marketing, etc - which costs them money to do so.... 2) Private business has to pay federal, state, local taxes to support everything including this proposal ..... school districts pay ZERO. The false argument of competition you make is thus null and void. 3) There is no proof that this will save the district money -- that is pure speculation. As to this comment "If private businesses don't meet the need of their customers, you cannot fault the customers for finding a less expensive, better option." Walmart (an actual private company) has made itself huge by providing many different types of businesses under one roof and at the expense of smaller ma and pa retail --- which every liberal I know complains loudly about. So, why arent liberals complaining about this unfair monopolistic grab? Hypocrisy, much? This is nothing more than a monopolistic anti-business grab by the district and the teachers to serve a special interest group
Valley Dweller January 31, 2013 at 05:11 PM
@Al Anderson I actually do not understand. What monopoly do public schools have on anything? The whole point is to save district/tax dollars by bringing a solution in house, not outsourcing to a private company. Additionally, there is no one saying that Stillwater staff can no longer choose their own clinic or are being forced to use the in-district Minute Clinic, it is simply a money saving convenience being offered as a perk. Win win. This is akin to businesses that offer in-building gyms, cafeterias or day cares for their staff. @Carbon Bigfuut Good point. It will certainly not be as convenient for those staff that do not work at the high school. However, I would assume that for many of our district staff who do not also live in the Valley, this could still be a great convenince becaues a quick clinic visit can be done within a few miles of the school they do work at. For example, if an educator lives in a community 30 mins from Stillwater, it is likely that their clinic visits happen in the community they live, rather than where they work. They would be required to take a 1/2 day, and have the district pay a sub, in order to visit their local minute clinic. Now, that 15 minute clinic visit can be done conveniently just before the school day starts, as soon as it is over or even during a lunch/prep break. For medical issues that don't hinder your job functions because you are not really "sick" or contagious, such as UTI diagnosis, this will be a big time saver.
Susan January 31, 2013 at 05:19 PM
It doesn't matter what the overhead is for private business, if customers find a better option at a lower cost, you cannot force them to continue to spend more money "just because" their costs are more. Just as you cannot force people to buy from the often more expensive mom and pop shops. I choose to shop at Target because I don't like how Walmart treats it's employees. Interesting that you use Walmart as an example being as they pay most of their employees so little that they are among the 47% that you often complain about. Many of these employees need public assistance just to survive. If Walmart actually paid their employees a living wage (no, I don't want the unions coming in), then we would remove tens of thousands from assistance. But of-course that might knock three of the Walton family members off the richest people in the country list. It is my understanding that this model has been PROVEN to save money. We don't know yet if it will do the same here, but if it is working elsewhere, it is worth a try to save the taxpayers some money. Special interest group? Saving the tax payers money. I guess if you consider tax payers a special interest group...
Al Anderson January 31, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Valley Dweller If you don't get that public schools are monopolies.... control of market supply: a situation in which one company controls an industry or is the only provider of a product or service. In this case K-12 education. Yes, there are a few private schools -- for which the parent has to pay taxes for the public schools and for their use of the private school. But public schools are most certainly monopolies
Al Anderson January 31, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I as a taxpayer -- should never be asked to support another person's choices. That this model saves anything is pure speculation and it does hurt business. That you choose to ignore that the school doesnt pay any form of taxes or deal with the same costs while forcefully taking taxes from those very same businesses is quite telling.
Al Anderson January 31, 2013 at 05:26 PM
By the way .. school districts are doing the same thing to the day care industry. Same model .same assumptions.
Al Anderson January 31, 2013 at 05:51 PM
And also Susan .....since I am a customer of health care with the need on occasion to the type of services that an actual Minute Clinic provides......why wouldnt I be able to go into the HIgh School clinic and have my business done there?
Susan January 31, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Because it is for their employees. Any business can offer this option for their employees and the general public is excluded. It's a perk of the job that will now be at a lower cost, if we are to believe what has been proven. Yes, the tax payers are paying for this perk, but they were paying for it before as well, just paying more.
Valley Dweller January 31, 2013 at 06:01 PM
School districts are publicly funded, government entities. No, they are not subject to the same taxes and fees as privately held businesses - however neither are any government entities, such as the library, our police force, the DNR, state parks and many other benefits we are lucky to have here in the Valley, and that our tax dollars pay for. Schools are not killing the day care industry, or any other. They don't have the money or the power to do so even if they wished. "I as a taxpayer -- should never be asked to support another person's choices." Attending school is not a choice - it is a requirement of the law. It would be nice if everyone could afford private school, but they can’t. Luckily for us our country at least TRIES (albeit not perfectly) to offer education to all children. I'm sorry our public school system is so disappointing to you. If you have ideas about how to fund and provide quality to all of our community’s children, at no cost to their parents, ages 5-16, please by all means - run for office and create reform! And back to the original subject of the in-district clinic, as Susan pointed out - this model has proven to SAVE money - that money is tax dollars. It seems to me that if soemone is upset about funding our public schools, they would welcome a solution that could help deter from future levys and tax hikes.
Al Anderson January 31, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Valley Your comment skirts the main issues again. Should government agencies (and yes, a school district is one) attempt to put into place items that businesses provide? Businesses pay taxes, schools pay zero. I wasn't referring to the "choice"of public schools versus private in terms of attending school. I am talking about subsidizing high school teachers choice of which clinic to go to - when that choice isnt being provided to the general public. This model is based on speculation -- not actual savings. This is more about providing a special perk for teachers than cost savings. The headline that the Stillwater School Board and the Patch is using is pure spin. And yes, K-12 monopolistic actions are hurting the day care industry, despite your claim. And yes, this sort of private business takeover by school districts will hurt those who have invested their own capital into making a business happen...the very businesses who prop up those school districts.
Valley Dweller January 31, 2013 at 08:57 PM
“Should gov't agencies…” While I see your point here, I personally feel that providing in-house services to our gov't employees that will ultimately benefit the community they are serving is beneficial. The clinic, while absolutely being a perk for staff, will ultimately keep dollars in the classroom–benefiting the students. Keeping focus on the true goal of the project is important when judging whether or not its money well spent. “I wasn't referring to the "choice" of public schools…” My apologies–I misunderstood. As Susan pointed out, we all already pay for their healthcare–whether it’s in house or not, our tax dollars subsidize everything related to teacher salaries. This will just make it less expensive. “This model is based on speculation…” Yes, the headline is speculating that this will result in savings, but the clinic is absolutely not MORE about providing a perk to teachers–it’s about using a proven model to save money for our schools. Here is one example, right here in MN: http://tinyurl.com/anzgz3j “And yes, K-12 monopolistic actions…” I am still not sure how schools hurt daycares–school aged children don’t NEED daycares, because they are in (free, if public) school. Should schools provide no services? (ie) Meals–perhaps we should let McDonalds and Taco Bell in to feed our children... Overall – agree to disagree and hope that this clinic does what it is intended to: save money for Stillwater Area Schools!


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