The Osceola County School District’s employee health center, which opened in March 2016, is now being managed by RosenCare, a health care arm owned and operated by Harris Rosen, Florida’s largest independent hotelier and founder of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, a major player in the local hotel industry, especially on International Drive.
In an innovative public-private partnership not seen in Central Florida until now, the two entities have merged and held a grand re-opening Wednesday.
The center serves Osceola County School District employees and dependents who have enrolled in the county’s healthcare plan with primary care services, plus physical therapy, medical nutrition therapy, occupational health, on-site prescription dispensing, and on-site x-rays and EKGs.
It first opened three years ago, but the School District could only watched as health care costs skyrocketed, and the district’s only option was to raise premiums, pricing some staff right out of the plan.
Osceola School Board Chair Clarence Thacker said he’s very excited about what this move will do for the district’s thousands of employees.
“It’s about taking care of our employees with high quality at the best cost, and curbing the cost of health care. Their track record with care to their employees is unparalleled.
“We’ve been running at an excess annually over our budget, and it wasn’t sustainable,” said Thacker, who noted the district’s total health care costs have increased by a third since he took office in 2014. “We’ve re-opened and re-branded with the intention of helping our employees with an improved experience. It looks and feels a little different, and I have great faith in this group.”
Seeking help, the district approached RosenCare to help reduce the burden on employees while improving their care and outcomes.
To be real, it was Rosen to the rescue. He said he heard about the district’s teachers struggling financially and wanted to be that help.
“It wasn’t something we sought out, the people visited with our staff, who loved what they’re doing here,” Rosen said. “We do have an interest in managing the program, we’ve been doing it for 28 years, we focus laser-like on one thing: keeping our associates healthy. Health care isn’t terribly complicated if you reduce your costs by keeping people healthy. You encourage things that encourage health; fitness, weight loss, exercising regularly, not smoking and such.”
Doing so, he said, helps keeps the cost per covered employee is half the national average.
“The savings are quite extraordinary. Over the 28 years we’ve saved over $400 million,” he said. “We’re going to focus on people by keeping it simple.”
Among the benefits, RosenCare offers free generic prescriptions.