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More than $1.4 million in savings has been realized between Hall County Government and those covered under its health insurance plan in the first 18 months after opening its own pharmacy on Old Cornelia Highway.
According to Hall County Human Resources Director Bill Moats, from January 2015 until June of 2016, the Hall County Government insurance members saw savings of approximately $628,000 by utilizing the pharmacy at the Hall County Government Family Health Center. Meanwhile, the savings to Hall County's insurance plan totaled $816,441 during that same time period.
"I'm very encouraged by the significant savings the clinic and pharmacy have provided for the County," Moats said. "In addition, employees are taking advantage of the facility and are seeing lower prescription costs, no-cost doctor visits, improved appointment availability and are implementing healthier lifestyles overall."
From January through September of this year, 5,521 patients were seen by the clinic, averaging 24 patients every day. In addition, 262 physicals were completed at the clinic for newly-hired employees, and 76 patients were seen for workers compensation treatments. The patient volume has already doubled in the first nine months compared to the volume for the previous calendar year.
Moats said a number of patients seen at the clinic averted serious health complications because their symptoms were diagnosed and treated early.
"Because patients are seen for free at the clinic and possibly seen sooner than they might be seen by a private doctor, we're seeing them come in before a cold turns into a sinus infection or before an inflamed appendix ruptures," he said.
Hall County District 3 Commissioner Scott Gibbs said because those patients avoid a more serious (and often more expensive) procedure, the expenses the County incurs due to healthcare have been less as well.
"The savings realized at the clinic and pharmacy has a direct impact on the taxpayers of Hall County," said District 3 Commissioner Scott Gibbs. "By keeping healthcare costs low, the Hall County Board of Commissioners has been able to maintain a low millage rate while also offering a tangible benefit to employees that dedicate their lives to public service."
The Hall County Government Family Health Center serves Hall County Government employees, their dependents and retirees who are covered under the County's medical insurance plan.