Kingsport opening clinic for city workers

POSTED: 5:24 AM Feb 25 2013   UPDATED: 11:41 AM Feb 25 2013

The city of Kingsport is opening a health clinic for its 725 employees.

The facility will allow employees and their dependents to see a doctor or a nurse for general health care needs with no co-pay.

City officials believe the clinic will improve wellness and help the city save about $200,000 a year in health care costs.

The Associated Press reports the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted last week to contract with Brentwood-based CareHere to manage the clinic and earmarked $150,000 for the project.

"Around 20 percent of (city) employees don't have a primary care provider and go to urgent care facilities for the most part, which charge $200 to $300. The emergency room costs at least $500," Alderman Mike McIntire said. "This gives us a way to take care of those issues before they get serious."           

The facility would be open 40 hours a week and patients would be able to schedule a 20-minute visit with the doctor.

It would offer a standard array of services, such as blood tests, EKGs, physicals, wellness services and disease management. It would administer mostly generic drugs.

McIntire said the model has worked well in cities like Knoxville, Chattanooga and Morristown.