Baton Rouge companies out to control their health care destiny 

    Kerry Drake knows, perhaps better than most, the challenges businesses face when it comes to employee health care.

    As an employer and president of employee benefits at BXS Insurance, Drake has long been trying to bust the rising health care cost curve for his company. And as a business insurance broker, Drake works with other employers dealing with the same challenges.

    “With the environment we’re in, employers are paying too much and getting less,” he says. “They’re unsatisfied with the status quo. All employers are struggling with health care cost, access and value.”

    In search of a solution, Drake began looking into a trend larger employers are adopting—worksite health clinics. The strategy has grown increasingly popular among major companies nationwide, allowing them to take control of their health care destiny, reduce costs and boost employee health engagement—with research and results to back it up.

    The only problem: Companies need a workforce of at least 1,000 for an on-site clinic to make sense, Drake says. And his own company, with about 160 employees in Baton Rouge, falls far below that threshold.

    But what if BXS were to partner with nearby employers, who, combined, would have enough employees to make a near-site clinic work? Situated in the United Plaza office park off Essen Lane, Drake’s office neighbors some of the largest companies in Baton Rouge, including Turner Industries and Excel Group, both of which had been interested in finding a new way to solve the health insurance crisis.

    The companies held their first meeting in mid-July to discuss the idea of a joint clinic, with the help of Baton Rouge General, which owns a rehab facility in the United Plaza office park that could make for an ideal site for an employer clinic. But discussions are still ongoing and such details have yet to be decided. 

    Read the full story from the latest edition of Business Report.

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