Employers throughout the United States have been facing a major dilemma and it’s not just the rising cost of Health Insurance. Employee accessibility to high quality primary care physicians has taken a backseat to many cost related issues, but has been a steadily growing challenge with serious implications.
Fifty years ago roughly half of America’s physicians were considered primary care doctors. Today that number is less than one third. That trend is likely to worsen as the large majority of major medical school graduates are opting to pursue specialty practices. Meanwhile, many older primary care doctors are opting for retirement out of frustration in spending more time trying to make ends meet than actually practicing medicine. It’s important to note that primary care physicians don’t just handle “simple things”. They’re highly trained and experienced in caring for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, and heart disease. With less of them, the quality of care for such conditions suffers. Chronic diseases account for 75% of every healthcare dollar spent on healthcare in America, and 1 in 5 ER visits could be avoided by having timely access to a primary care provider.
When an attempt to make an appointment with a physician typically one has to wait a month to schedule a visit. Many practices are overbooked trying to make ends meet, and you do not receive the proper care for a Minor condition which can easily turn into a Major condition requiring an Emergency Room (ER) visit. The net effect is that you are now faced with a large deductible expense versus a simple office visit copayment, for an ER visit. All avoidable if you had ACCESS to high quality Primary Care.
In an effort to thwart the primary care shortage and accessibility dilemma that is plaguing our country and, most importantly, our community, The Florida Healthcare Consortium is offering concierge Primary Care directly to Individuals as well as Employers.
Tod Mazzocco, Executive VP with McCoy Federal Credit Union, member of the Florida Healthcare Consortium, believe they’ve found a solution to this primary care dilemma via Direct Primary Care.
“McCoy FCU offers a very rich medical benefit portfolio to our employees but these benefits mean NOTHING if our employees don’t have access to the care they need,” according to Tod.
On August 1st, 2018 McCoy Federal Credit Union offered Direct Primary Care to their employees. In the first 2 months 60% of the staff has utilized our state of the art facility for their Primary Care, lab work & pharmacy needs. All occur with one stop to the nearby health center, so employees don’t have to take additional time off work to make multiple visits for lab-work, or to pick up prescriptions. The idea is to bring care “to the employee”, thus breaking down barriers to access. Patients can schedule appointments quickly through a mobile phone application, and wait times at the center are typically less than 5 minutes.
Tod added, “The employees are ecstatic to have the ability to utilize this facility which allows them to see their physician, receive lab work and up 250 generic medications all for $0; this is an actual benefit that goes beyond the offering of a health insurance plan.”
It is important to understand that there is a difference between Health CARE and Health INSURANCE. By providing direct Primary Care, over time, Individual AND Employers will save on the actual health insurance costs as unknown or chronic conditions, which could result in a large emergency room bill, will have been avoided.
The Florida Healthcare Consortium Direct Primary Care model is a patient-centered delivery model that improves access while maintaining affordability. The health center staff spends the time needed to learn about their patients’ conditions and objectively measure & monitor their results. Ultimately that means better health, better medical care, and a much reduced total cost of healthcare for all stakeholders.
Specialty Rx Program
Urgent Home Care
Primary Care Team
Born in Maryland, James spent most of his childhood in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, where he lived with his mother, two brothers, and sister. He attended Misericordia University for his Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Mr. Carpenter worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, a Lifeguard, and a Nursing Aide during that time. Shortly after completing his degree, he moved to Orlando, Florida, where he trained as an emergency room nurse. James loved his chosen career, but early on noticed the impact of long, stressful hours on his colleagues, which was primarily due to hospital administrators always demanding more work for the same pay. Early on, he saw that greed had taken over the healthcare system, which had a detrimental impact on everyone involved.
He traveled around to a few different cities and found that burnout was everywhere- patients, families, and staff were suffering. In his travels, Mr. Carpenter was also fortunate to meet many talented individuals, people who went above and beyond without asking for anything in return. These people who challenged him and made him want more for himself pushed him to become a Nurse Practitioner. After ten years of working for a fractured health care system, one that thrives on its members’ illness, Nurse Practitioner James finally decided it was time for a drastic change.
During the COVID epidemic, James stumbled upon a new care model that would open his eyes to the possibility of a model that fostered health rather than burnout- Direct Primary Care. He would utilize this new model, but tailor memberships to fit the individual, leading to significantly reduced healthcare costs. The integration of medicine with technology ensures that patients have continuous access to their providers from wherever they may end up. James hopes to create a healthcare system where people no longer have to choose between buying dinner and receiving excellent health care. It is time to put humanity back in health care. Together, we can build a healthier, happier tomorrow.
James E Carpenter, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
Owner of The Health Carpenter
Vice President of Operations
Renaissance Primary Care
Mr. Hensley has most recently served as Director of Risk and Benefits for The School District of Osceola County and has led an effort to re-invent a large school insurance program that has been stagnant for almost 2 decades resulting in 20 years of consistent 5% cost increases. With a goal of redirecting cost downward using non-traditional solutions, Mr. Hensley has lead a team to develop improved on-site employee health services, direct contracting for multiple services, and utilizing transparent plan partners to implement cost containment while improving the quality of care provided to district employees and families.
In July 2015, Mr. Hensley joined the on-site clinic provider Carehere taking on the role of Client Relations Manager. Coming into this new position as a “raving fan” Rick served to assure that clients are receiving the full benefit of this healthcare partnership. In 2016, he took on the role of Senior Director of Operations in the Florida region leading the transition of services from a former partnership.
Mr. Hensley joined the management team for the City of Battle Creek in July of 2007 moving from Oklahoma City where he served in several capacities primarily related to Risk Management over the past 20 years. In addition to his management of a comprehensive risk management program covering 600 employees, 300 retirees and a total life count of 2200, Mr. Hensley was a key member of the Calhoun County Pathways to Health leadership team which has developed significant programs to improve health in Calhoun County and the Battle Creek area. Mr. Hensley was the “instigator” for the Calhoun County Challenge, a community wide initiative to improve health through an effort to lose 100,000 pounds.
Other highlights of his career include serving as the coordinator of FEMA’s individual and family grant program during rescue and recovery from the Oklahoma City bombing disaster. While supervising 16 social workers over 500 displaced or surviving Oklahomans were provided over $500,000 in assistance. Mr. Hensley was the Governor’s appointee to the Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry, the Speaker of the Oklahoma House’s appointee to the Oklahoma Workers Compensation Advisory Committee and served 7 years as an appointee to the Oklahoma City/County Board of Health.
Mr. Hensley received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. Mr. Hensley also holds the Associate of Risk Management from The Insurance Institute of America, the Senior Professional in Human Resources designation from the Society of Human Resources Management and the Advanced Safety Certification from The National Safety Council.
During Mr. Hensley’s career he has served in both public and private sector risk management in addition to serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Labor for the State of Oklahoma and Chief Deputy to Oklahoma County Commissioner, Jack Cornett. In each instance, Mr. Hensley has created successful programs which reduced the cost and impact of employee injuries and health care costs.
Mr. Hensley has also served the Risk and Safety Communities by serving as President of the Central Oklahoma Chapter of The Risk and Insurance Management Society, as Chairman of the board of directors of The Oklahoma Safety Council and as President for the Michigan Public Risk and Insurance Management Association.