Union County Saving Big On Health Care Costs With Direct Care

I’ve written before how direct primary care (DPC) networks help private self-insured employers like Amazon and Expedia save big on health care claims. Incorporating an additional benefit option for workers to have a doctor spend more time managing their health care needs in either an on-site or near-site clinic has proven to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, specialist referrals, and inpatient admissions.

Success can also be found in the public sector. In North Carolina, Union County is on par to save $1 million in health care claims under its first year contract with Paladina Health. According to HR Executive Mark Watson, the county is allegedly the first public self-insured employer in the Southeast to offer a direct care option for its workers in conjunction with a consumer-driven health plan.

That’s $1 million saved on just 37 percent of Union County’s 1,983 covered lives who seek preventative care from a board-certified physician at Paladina’s near-site clinic. The clinic is conveniently located near the sheriff’s office, Human Services, and other government buildings.

Imagine the savings that could accrue across the state if more counties set out to make direct care a reality for their employees and dependents. In a time where health care costs continue to rise faster than the rate of general inflation, it’s a smart move to make.

Katherine Restrepo / Director Of Healthcare Policy

Katherine Restrepo is the Director of Healthcare policy at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the John Locke Foundation, she interned at the Cato Institute under the di...