Marietta approves health clinic for employees

Council members Van Pearlberg and Grif Chalfant opposed the proposal but the final vote was 4-2.  Both said their constituents had concerns about the plan and financial numbers given by Care Here, the Brentwood, TN firm that will manage the clinic.

Council member Phil Goldstein, who voted for the clinic, said the proposal was well researched by the staff and the clinic will help keep the city's rising health insurance costs in line.

Acting Human Resources Director Shannon Barrett said the goal is to have the clinic up and running by Jan. 15. The next step is to find a building near the Marietta Square with about 1,200-square-feet for the medical office.

City manager Bill Bruton said the city, which is self insured, will save $300,000 the first year the clinic is open. The savings will come from lower overhead costs. Workers will still have the option of seeing their primary care doctor.

The city manager said the city will track expenses at the clinic and has a 60-day option to get out of the contract without a fee or penalty if the numbers don't show a savings.

The council postponed an earlier vote on the plan after local doctors expressed concerns about continuity and standard of care at the clinic. Chalfant asked the council to table the vote again, but the motion didn’t pass.