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Racetrack opens in-house clinic for employees

April 04, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - You're at work and you begin suffering from an excruciating headache or a bad case of the flu.

What do you do?

A trip to the emergency room might be in order. Or call the family doctor, who may not be able to see you right away.

If you are an employee of Charles Town Races & Slots, you can now go to an in-house clinic.

At 8 a.m. Monday, track officials opened their own medical clinic, where employees can go for help for minor medical problems.

An advantage of the clinic is it saves the track in health-care costs, said Marlon Pierce, a clinical director for a company who is setting up the service for the track.

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Going to the emergency room for a minor complication can be costly for an employer, Pierce said.

The advantages for employees is access and convenience, said Al Britton, the track's general manager.

It might take an employee weeks to get an appointment with a doctor, but workers can simply walk into the track's clinic to be seen, said Britton.

Track officials said they don't know of any other employer in the area that offers such a service and they predicted that major employers will begin to offer such clinics as a way to save on health-care costs.

"This is kind of the wave of the future," Pierce said.

The clinic is along Fifth Avenue in a building that used to house the track's human resources office. The track renovated the building and hired a company known as ProMed to equip the building and run the clinic, Britton said.

Britton said the track got the idea to offer the clinic from one of the track's sister properties in Tunica, Miss., which offers an in-house employee clinic.

The track already offers its employees a good health insurance plan, which includes vision and dental care, said Roger Ramey, vice president of public affairs for the track.

The clinic is being offered in addition to the health insurance, Ramey said.

Employees pay a $5 co-pay to be seen at the clinic, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, said Britton. Family members of employees also can receive care at the clinic, Britton said.

The clinic will be administered by a nurse practitioner and overseen by a local doctor, Britton said. The clinic offers typical medical services such as blood tests, dispensing of prescriptions, cholesterol screening and Pap tests, officials said.

Britton said another advantage of the clinic is that it will help to recruit and retain employees. The track is always looking for ways to emphasize to employees that they are the track's top priority, Britton said.

"This is one way of delivering on that value," Britton said.

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