Commission to discuss health clinic

ALBANY, Ga. -- City staff is recommending that a health provider from Winter Park, Fla., be granted a three-year contract to provide an employee health clinic -- a move driven by the city's quest to drive down employee health care costs.

After soliciting bids, staff will recommend at Tuesday's commission meeting awarding a three-year contract worth an estimated total cost of $1.2 million to HealthStat, a contractor from Winter Park, Fla., that has provided clinics around the country.

The contract will include an option to renew for additional periods of two years each, according to city documents.

According to documents obtained by The Herald, HealthStat was the one responding firm that most clearly met what the staff determined to be the needs of the employees at the most reasonable cost.

While that cost will initially be $472,867 for the first year, according to city documents, the annual cost is estimated to be around $396,067, with an annual increase of 4 percent anticipated.

That cost is for operating the clinic 40 hours per week with the assumption that 90 percent of the city's eligible 1,689 employees and spouses will participate in the program.

The employee health clinic has been billed as measure to help reduce the cost to the taxpayer that the city incurs providing medical coverage to its employees by ensuring that health issues are caught before they require expensive emergency room visits or procedures that could've been avoided with early preventative care.

There was no mention in the commission's packet of documents as to where the clinic would be located.

Originally, city staffers were eyeing a building at 509 Flint Ave. that used to be the downtown headquarters for Mediacom after the company proposed giving the building to the city if the city would in turn forgive $139,000 in franchise fees and penalties the company owes the city. City officials have said the building would cost at least $60,000 to renovate before it could be used.

The commission has yet to make a final decision on that proposal.