Officials also hope it will encourage workers to get pre-emptive care, since a visit would be free to those with medical coverage and $20 for those without. Employees would still be able to go to their primary physician.
“It’s completely voluntary,” City Manager John Bennett said when discussing the proposal from low-bidder H2U First Onsite last November. “It’s a lower-cost option for someone who’s not really sick.”
The clinic would be a joint venture with the Floyd County Commission. Representatives from both boards are scheduled to meet early this morning to finalize the details.
A major sticking point has been the issue of prescriptions, which would be filled at cost by the clinic under the contract.
Local pharmacists have complained that their businesses would be affected, and there are concerns that a patient’s physician wouldn’t know of all the drugs they’ve been prescribed. At a January committee meeting, some city commissioners proposed eliminating the prescription plan.
H2U is a division of HCA, the parent-company of Redmond Regional Medical Center. The clinic, in the West Town Center complex on Shorter Avenue, would be run by a nurse practitioner with access to Redmond doctors next door.
Start-up costs would be just less than $77,000 and the governments would — at least at first — split the estimated $200,000 a year to operate the service. Officials expect more than 2,000 clinic visits the first year.
Part of the focus would be on minor illnesses and on-the-job injuries. Another aspect would be screenings such as pre-employment physicals, drug and alcohol testing and wellness services.
Bennett said the city currently spends about $52,000 a year on physicals and blood draws.
The board will caucus at 4 p.m. today and start its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 601 Broad St. Both sessions are open to the public.
Also on the agenda are proclamations honoring Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Wells and recognizing February as Black History Month. Wells, a Rome native and East Rome High graduate, became the Georgia National Guard’s first black general in 2009.