Salt Lake City officials hope to reign in escalating healthcare costs while improving the overall health and wellness of city employees and their families. The new Midtown Clinic for city employees opened this afternoon.
Family practice physician, Dr. Trevor Jacobson says the hallmark of Salt Lake City’s Midtown Clinic is that visits will be longer and more personalized, similar to small-town family practices.
Jacobson was hired to lead the clinic, with the help of a medical assistant and receptionist. He says in healthcare today there is too much focus on profit and too little on overall health. But, he says the Midtown Clinic reverses that trend.
“Its focus will be primarily preventative," Jacobson says. "When treatment is needed we will use lifestyle adjustments, educate the patients about their disease and through programs and initiatives, the patients will be able to make differences themselves, all the while making the care affordable and accessible.”
Unlike traditional healthcare, the Midtown Clinic will not operate in a fee for service model, in which physicians are paid more for seeing more patients and running more tests. Physicians at the clinic are paid a market-based salary, without the incentives.
Officials say services at the clinic will cost 25% less than what employees currently pay.
Lee Dobrowolski is Deputy Chief of Police with the Salt Lake City Police Department. He’s also on the city’s benefits committee. He says the high-deductible health plan, which has been offered to city employees since 2011, combined with this clinic will make city employees better health care consumers.
"And with that we have this opportunity today that I’m excited to roll out to my peers of another piece of the puzzle of maintaining costs not just for the employee but also for the taxpayer," Dobrowolski says.
The cost to operate the clinic is shared by Utah’s Public Employees Health Program or PEHP and Salt Lake City. The city’s contribution is expected to be offset by the savings
About 2700 full-time employees and 300 seasonal or part-time employees and their covered family members will have access to the clinic.