Perrysburg Health & Wellness Center: A business coalition’s collaborative primary care model to improve community access and well-being

EducationPrivate Sector | October 14, 2021

Learn how WeCare tlc’s partnership with FrontPath Health Coalition and Perrysburg Schools improves quality of life for employees and lowers healthcare costs for employers

As the only primary care solutions provider in the country that is 100% independent, we are proud to partner with companies who are committed to our same values of transparency and accountability while aiming to provide better healthcare solutions to their communities.

Continue reading to learn how our partnership with FrontPath Health Coalition and Perrysburg Schools has successfully offered a collaborative primary care solution to the local community in the Northwest Ohio region of the United States. 

Industries: Healthcare and Education

Clients: FrontPath Health Coalition and Perrysburg Schools

Location: Perrysburg, Ohio

Serving: 475 employees plus CommunityCare members 

The collaborators 

Perrysburg Schools is a public school system in the Northwest Ohio region of the United States, located outside the city of Toledo. With 700 employees, the school system is considered a destination employer with many individuals relocating to the Perrysburg area for the opportunity to work within the system. 

FrontPath Health Coalition is a not-for-profit, member managed organization that partners their members—businesses, public entities, and labor organizations—in the Western Lake Erie region with the local healthcare provider community. Solely guided by the interests of their members in the community, FrontPath is focused on adopting new ideas through collaboration to change the way healthcare is delivered in their market.

WeCare tlc is a leader in the implementation and management of onsite, near site and collaborative advanced primary care health centers around the country that aim to save employers money on their health plans and improve employee healthcare outcomes.

The challenge

As part of their quest to provide the best possible healthcare solutions to their members, FrontPath was introduced to WeCare tlc and felt that their clinics would deliver the change that needed to happen in Northwest Ohio to deliver quality healthcare access to the community. FrontPath was especially interested in partnering with WeCare tlc because of their shared values of transparency and accountability. 

“It’s always great to find organizations that are aligned with our mission. When we connected with FrontPath, we knew right away that we had found an organization who was out to accomplish the same goals,” shared Raegan Garber Le Douaron, President and CEO of WeCare tlc.

In the initial conversations between WeCare tlc and FrontPath, they discussed goals and the intent of their possible partnership. Once WeCare tlc understood their role as a neutral third party to help control cost savings, improve health outcomes, and steer referrals into the FrontPath network of providers, they knew they were ready to partner and bring their advanced primary care solutions to the FrontPath member base. 

The solution

Once the partnership was officially established, FrontPath worked closely with WeCare tlc to have conversations about the process to bring the collaborative primary care model to the Ohio community.

After details about the future health center were solidified, FrontPath began reaching out to groups in their membership organization to share their vision for the WeCare tlc health center concept and what it would look like to have many of their employer groups working together to bring the center from vision to reality. From those outreach meetings, FrontPath connected with three different membership groups—including Perrysburg Schools—that agreed to join and move forward with the implementation of the health center. 

As the largest of the three groups, Perrysburg School’s commitment to move forward encouraged the other two entities to agree to progress as well. With employers on board, WeCare tlc began to implement and open the health center through their standardized process while also working to make the health center feel like a local physician’s office that the community would feel comfortable visiting.

Learn more:

Healthy schools for better education: how an onsite health center benefits teachers, staff and students

The health center

As with all WeCare tlc health centers, the clinic operates under a physician-led care model to successfully function as the medical home for employees and their families while providing superior care at a lower cost than is typically available through the health plan network. In addition to the doctor, the health center is staffed with a highly-trained Registered Nurse (RN) who acts as the patient health guide through disease management, care management, and care coordination as well as a support staff of Medical Assistants. With full lab services and an onsite dispensary focused on chronic care medication at no additional cost to the employees, the clinic also refers patients to trusted FrontPath network providers when a referral is needed for outsourced services.

“FrontPath worked very closely with WeCare tlc to supply them with different providers for services that need to be referred out to specialists, so FrontPath members and employer groups can rest assured that when care is not able to be delivered in the clinic setting, it is being directed toward a high quality, low cost FrontPath provider,” explained Jeannie Dohrmann, Director of Engagement at FrontPath Health.

The results

Since its opening, Perrysburg Health & Wellness Center has been extremely successful in serving the employees of Perrysburg Schools as well as other FrontPath Health member organizations. 

“The clinic has really become a one stop shop for all the medical needs of our employees. In addition to primary and urgent care services, we also use the clinic for a lot of the medical needs of the district as a whole such as bus driver physicals, annual flu shot distribution, and health risk assessment events,” shared Kellie Johnson, Executive Director of Human Resources for Perrysburg Schools.

As a destination employer, the health center has only contributed to the recruitment tools of Perrysburg Schools, especially since advanced primary care solutions are difficult to find in the region. In addition to the included benefit for full-time teachers and staff, the health center also offers options for part-time employees to join the center as well. 

Since the implementation of the Perrysburg Health & Wellness Center, a recent evaluation found that: 

  • After the first year, Perrysburg Schools rolling per employee per month of health center and health plan costs was down 23%. 
  • 94% of the population have their A1C in target (no reduction in year 1).
  • 18 patients reduced their blood pressure, resulting in cost savings of $21,280. 46% of the population have their blood pressure in target.
  • 93 patients achieved weight loss, resulting in cost savings of $175,560. 9% of the population have their BMI in target.

Learn more:

Perrysburg Schools keeps employees happy and healthy with advanced primary care in their onsite health center

The data

Every quarter, WeCare tlc does a data review at each of their health centers to assess what’s happening in the patient population and determine ongoing strategies. The following data is from the first half of 2021 at Perrysburg Health & Wellness Center:

“For the schools in particular, a lot of the visits we’re seeing are primarily preventative care visits for health risk assessment follow-ups and nurse-only visits. We also see a lot of urgent care visits which is a win for the schools because it means their employees are not going into emergency rooms and urgent care clinics that cost the schools and patients a lot of money,” said Lauren Kirschner, Director of Client Services at WeCare tlc.

The high number of nurse-only visits at the clinic are due in part to WeCare tlc’s program called WeChampion, a chronic condition management program led by the Lead RN. In addition to other services, the WeChampion program is largely focused on creating care plans for patients with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and engaging patients as their accountability partner. 

Another data report for Perrysburg Health & Wellness Center shows chronic condition improvements which leads to cost avoidance in the future. When looking at patients with chronic conditions who receive care at the health center, they are seeing positive impacts:

The conclusion

“The health center has not only resulted in increased work productivity, cost of savings to our plan, and ease of access for our employees, but it’s also just increased the quality of life of our staff members which is the most important thing to us,” said Kellie.

“The need for primary care is so great, so to have a place where our members can visit time and time again to receive consistency of care with the same medical team who knows their history is making a huge difference in their lives,” explained Jeannie.

“The data we collect from our health centers backs up our belief that primary care is an essential part of the solution to improving the quality of life of patients and decreasing healthcare costs for employers. It’s ideal for WeCare tlc to be in a partnership with an organization like FrontPath that is working on affecting downstream costs, and work with employers like Perrysburg Schools who are really aligned in our focus of making a difference in their employees’ lives. It takes a village, and with this group of people, I think we can be proud of the village we have here,” concluded Raegan.

FrontPath is open to collaborating with other employers in their region who are interested in joining the Perrysburg Health & Wellness Center to continually increase access to care within the community.

Click below to watch a presentation of this case study by Raegan, Lauren, Kellie, and Jeannie at the Health Rosetta Summit: The Future We Choose

Ready to improve employee health? We’re here to help! Take advantage of our experience in offering advanced primary care to communities with employers at our onsite and near site health centers.

Contact us today to learn more.