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Old 11-08-2006, 06:50 AM   #1
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Default Toyota's health cost cure: A clinic at the plant site

Toyota's health cost cure: A clinic at the plant site

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...TO01/611080398



Quote:
Toyota's health cost cure: A clinic at the plant site

With tab of $11,000 per U.S. worker, automaker will invest $9M in San Antonia facility

Detroit's automakers are not the only ones grappling with soaring health-care costs. They are becoming an issue for Toyota Motor Corp., as well, as the Japanese giant expands its U.S. manufacturing operations and work force.

"Our health care costs have doubled over the past five years," to more than $11,000 a year per U.S. plant worker, said Ford Brewer, assistant general manager for health and wellness at Toyota's North American manufacturing headquarters.

In designing its newest plant, in San Antonio, Toyota is trying to tackle the problem by building a clinic at the factory to provide a wider array of treatments and services than a typical factory medical office.

The workers at the San Antonio pickup plant can have their eyes checked and their teeth repaired at the $9 million clinic, which also offers pediatric services, laboratory tests and physical therapy.

"This is a major step beyond what we've done before," Brewer said.

The move, however, is consistent with Toyota's bedrock principle of kaizen, or continuous improvement.

"Typically we reduce costs by improving quality," Brewer said. "That's the same thing we're doing here."

By offering better primary care and preventive medicine, Toyota expects to rein in its health-care expenses.

Companies that have adopted this approach tend to spend more for primary care and drugs, but that increase is more than offset by a drop in costly hospitalization and specialty care expenses, Toyota said.

The San Antonio clinic is the first of its kind at Toyota, said plant manager Hidehiko "T.J." Tajima.

"It's for employees, their families and for suppliers. If it's successful, we'll spread the concept to other plants."

Toyota will employ 2,000 workers at the truck plant by spring, while suppliers on the site will employ 2,100.

Toyota will gauge the success of the clinic by monitoring employees' health-care indicators, such as smoking-cessation rates and blood-pressure levels, and by tracking expenses.

"From a cost control standpoint, it certainly makes sense," said Ronald Harbour, president of Troy-based Harbour Consulting Inc., which specializes in manufacturing.

U.S. automakers are deeply frustrated by the rapid increases in health-care costs. In addition, "they feel they have very little control over the cost and over how effectively the money is spent. This is one answer," Harbour said.

An on-site clinic also is likely to reduce the absenteeism rate.

While a clinic a few minutes from the assembly line may seem convenient to many workers, others may worry about their privacy, some auto industry experts say.

Ford Motor Co. operated a clinic at the Rouge plant in the 1950s that offered basic health-care and dental services. "There used to be a bed ward where employees were kept overnight," said William Heckman, executive physician at Ford Motor Co.

"The trend has been to move away from doing personal care, to focusing on occupational injuries, as employees got better health-care coverage," he said.

Ford believes most employees prefer to go to their own doctor.

Honda Motor Co. also encourages employees to choose their doctors, although it has two wellness centers at plants in Ohio offering physical therapy, massages, and exercise and nutrition classes to encourage workers to stay healthy and fit.

Toyota would not require San Antonio workers to go to the on-site clinic, but it encourages them to do so by charging higher co-pays and deductibles for workers who choose to go elsewhere.

"Is that like Big Brother providing my health-care? We had to deal with similar concerns with our pharmacies a couple of years ago," Brewer said.

When Toyota installed pharmacies at U.S. plants to lower its drug costs, some employees expressed concerns about their privacy.

But now more than 80 percent of the drugs purchased by employees are bought from the plant pharmacies or the mail-order service, Brewer said.

A spokesman for the United Auto Workers union declined to comment specifically on Toyota's program.

"The primary concern of our members is that the interest of the patient always comes first in any health care delivery system," said UAW spokesman Roger Kerson. The UAW believes that a comprehensive national health insurance program, as Japan and other industrialized countries have, is the answer to the U.S. health care crisis.

While Toyota is intent on holding down health-care costs, company officials say the system also will benefit employees.

"We want to provide high-quality care," said John Runge, manager of human resources for the Texas plant.

The clinic's physicians will not be remunerated on the basis of how many patients they see -- a payment method that encourages doctors to see as many patients as possible.

Whereas studies show doctors spend around seven minutes on average with patients in the United States, the San Antonio clinic will allot 20 minutes for a visit with a doctor.

"If a doctor spends 20 minutes with a patient, he's likely to know more. There's a major focus on prevention," Brewer said.

The clinic, which will be operated by CHD Meridian Health Care, will initially employ two full-time doctors and one part-time, but expects to increase that to as many as seven doctors when the plant is fully staffed.
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:49 AM   #2
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Sounds like somewhat of a sound idea for controlling costs of healthcare as well as making the company more responsible for the health of their employees. They can control costs but if the care becomes expensive to the employees or is second-rate care, the company has no one to blame but themselves.
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:16 AM   #3
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My company is doing the analysis / set up of the pharmacy plan with them, Mr. Brewer was in the office 2 weeks ago's going over the plans.
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:24 AM   #4
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I hope this pans out, american industry needs a way forward...
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:36 AM   #5
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My company has a registered Nurse here in the building during normal office hours...it's great...just need to call up and setup a apt and go see her.

For normal issues...cough, fever, aches...she is able to examine you and even prescribe drugs.

Saves me the trip of going to a doctor unless it is a real emergency.
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCshopper View Post
Saves me the trip of going to a doctor unless it is a real emergency.
This should be available for parents as well. Kid got the sniffles? Wonder if you need to take the time off, carry him to the doctor, find out it's nothing, then go back to work? With this available you just bring him straight to the company doc, have him checked out.....then take him to school if everything is OK. Drastically decreasing the insurance costs, and hopefully getting mom/dad back to work faster.
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid_Roo View Post
I hope this pans out, american industry needs a way forward...
Yea, it's called Universal Healthcare.

It is increasingly becoming a liability to maintain workers in the US when the company has to pay such a big price. The US is expensive enough to manufacture things in, the last reason we need to lose more jobs is because of our antiquated system of healthcare.

More companies are doing what Toyota is proposing but it is still just a bandaid solution to a much bigger problem - a problem that only an entity as big as the government can solve by universally covering everyone.
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:35 AM   #8
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The idea of universal healthcare is appealing but not without flaws. We have the most advanced healthcare in the world in this country. And I have to say part of it is because of the drive to be the best. If every citizen can just walk into any clinic anywhere, then our hospitals will be overrun. The standard of care will drop, as massive numbers of people recieving health care will overload our hospitals.

MD anderson is probably the worlds leader in cancer research. If they were a govenment funded agency, then like everything else run by the government it would be reduced in efficiency and it would cease to be the MD anderson it is today.

I do not have a solution to healthcare. I just dont. Every plan I hear I see holes in it, but I dont have a better idea. It comes down to a simple question. Is it possible for each and every person in the US to get premium healthcare? I am not sure. When everybody is obligated to recieve healthcare, then the overall quality has to be reduced. Same with the "no child left behind" program. When every kid has to learn at the same pace of the dumbest kid in school, then all the kids suffer.

This topic is tough. I can only hope somebody smarter than I tackle it.

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Old 11-09-2006, 09:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Same with the "no child left behind" program. When every kid has to learn at the same pace of the dumbest kid in school, then all the kids suffer.
SCRAPPYDO
I like that sentiment...
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
If every citizen can just walk into any clinic anywhere, then our hospitals will be overrun. The standard of care will drop, as massive numbers of people recieving health care will overload our hospitals.
Yeah! Poor people should just go out in the forest and die when they get sick! We don't want their kind in the hospitals, screwing things up.

Your health should only be good if you're contributing net economic gain to the system. Unless you're the unemployed, shopaholic wife of a rich businessman, then your health can be good too.

That's the capitalist way!
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:03 AM   #11
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Familymeds to Operate an On-Site Pharmacy at Toyota's New Truck Plant in
San Antonio, Texas

Press Release:
Quote:
Familymeds Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: FMRX), a specialty pharmacy and medical specialty product provider, today announced that it has signed a contract with Toyota (NYSE:TM) to operate a Worksite Pharmacy(SM) at Toyota's new truck plant in San Antonio, Texas. Familymeds' on-site pharmacy will open January 2, 2007 to exclusively service Toyota team members, participating on-site suppliers and their dependants.

Ed Mercadante, R.Ph., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Familymeds, stated, "We are extremely pleased and excited to work with
Toyota and to be a part of its new, world-class facility in San Antonio.
Toyota's corporate culture emphasizes employee health and wellness, and
innovative approaches to benefits are a priority throughout the
international organization. This new partnership, coupled with the ongoing
success of our Worksite Pharmacy initiative, underscores our commitment to
value for major employers like Toyota as well as Familymeds and our
shareholders."

Familymeds operates and locates Worksite Pharmacies for large employers
seeking to control overall healthcare costs and employee prescription drug
benefit expenditures while maintaining high employee satisfaction through
improved accessibility and convenience. Familymeds' Worksite Pharmacies are
full service pharmacies that operate at an employer's work site and serve
only the host company's employees, retirees, and their dependents.

Under the contract with Toyota, Familymeds will operate a full service
pharmacy at the site of Toyota's newly constructed plant in San Antonio.
The plant, which is scheduled to begin operations next week, will employ
approximately 2,000 Toyota personnel.

"We are thrilled to contract with a leading company like Toyota for our
third Worksite Pharmacy," said Rees Pinney, Senior Vice President of
Employer Sponsored Pharmacy for Familymeds. "We view this as a major
milestone achievement that exemplifies our targeted strategy for growth. We
believe our proven model will provide significant savings for Toyota while
offering an enhanced healthcare experience for team members at the new
Texas facility."

The Toyota Worksite Pharmacy in San Antonio will offer prescription
medications, home medical equipment and supplies, and a selection of
over-the- counter medications, vitamins and nutritional supplements. The
pharmacy will be located adjacent to other health care providers, including
primary care and fitness, in the Toyota Family Health Center.

Familymeds currently operates a Worksite Pharmacy in the employee
center of the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut and at The
Scotts Company LLC headquarters in Marysville, Ohio. Combined, these
employer sponsored locations have more than 30,000 employees and dependents as potential patients.

About Familymeds Group, Inc.

Familymeds Group, Inc. is a pharmacy and medical specialty product
provider formed by the merger on November 12, 2004 of DrugMax, Inc. and
Familymeds Group, Inc. Familymeds works closely with doctors, patients,
managed care providers, medical centers and employers to improve patient
outcomes while delivering low cost and effective healthcare solutions. The
Company is focused on building an integrated specialty drug platform
through its pharmacy and specialty pharmaceutical operations. Familymeds
operates 85 locations, including 7 franchised locations, in 14 states under
the Familymeds Pharmacy and Arrow Pharmacy & Nutrition Center brand names.

The Company also operates Worksite Pharmacy(SM), which provides solutions
for major employer groups, as well as specialty pharmaceutical distribution
directly to physicians and other healthcare providers. The Familymeds
platform is designed to provide services for the treatment of acute and
complex health diseases including chronic medical conditions such as
cancer, diabetes and pain management. The Company often serves defined
population groups on an exclusive, closed panel basis to maintain costs and
improve patient outcomes. Familymeds offers a comprehensive selection of
brand name and generic pharmaceuticals, non-prescription healthcare-related
products, and diagnostic supplies to its patients, physicians, clinics,
long-term care and assisted living centers. More information can be found
at http://www.familymedsgroup.com. The Company's online product offering
can be found at http://www.familymeds.com.

Safe Harbor Provisions

Certain oral statements made by management from time to time and
certain statements contained in press releases and periodic reports issued
by Familymeds Group, Inc., including those contained herein, that are not
historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements
involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from
those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are statements regarding the intent, belief or
current expectations, estimates or projections of the Company, its
directors or its officers about the Company and the industry in which it
operates, and include among other items, statements regarding its ability
to regain compliance with Nasdaq's listing standards and its business and
growth strategies. Although Familymeds Group, Inc. believes that its
expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance
that the anticipated results will occur. When used in this report, the
words "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks,"
"estimates," and similar expressions are generally intended to identify
forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause the actual
results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements
include, among other items, management's ability to successfully implement
its business and growth strategies, including its ability to raise
additional capital. Familymeds Group, Inc. disclaims any intention or
obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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Old 11-09-2006, 12:48 PM   #12
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Toyota Puts CHD Meridian Healthcare in the Driver's Seat to Manage New Workplace Health Center

Press Release:
Quote:
CHD Meridian
Healthcare, an I-trax, Inc. company (Amex: DMX) and the leader in health
and productivity management, announced today that it has been selected by
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) to provide workplace healthcare
services for the company's new San Antonio plant scheduled to open in
November 2006.


The San Antonio healthcare center will be the eighth site at which CHD
Meridian Healthcare provides on-site healthcare services for Toyota. As the
leading provider of workplace health centers, CHD Meridian Healthcare will
staff the health center and manage its day-to-day activities.

The Toyota Family Health Center will offer preventative and primary
healthcare services, including family practice, internal medicine,
pediatrics, dental, optometry, rehabilitation/physical therapy, radiology,
lab services and occupational health services. Located in a
20,000-square-foot facility, the center will serve the more than 2,000 team
members and their dependants as well as many TMMTX suppliers.

CHD Meridian is also spearheading the implementation of additional
programs to ensure access for patients to high-quality healthcare services
in the community. To help drive this initiative, CHD Meridian identified
and contracted Wise Provider Networks, a Utah-based corporation, to develop
a network of specialized healthcare providers to support the Toyota Family
Health Center. Wise Provider Networks has enlisted more than 300
physicians, specialists and other care providers in the San Antonio area as
referral resources to the CHD Meridian Healthcare staff.

"CHD Meridian looked for us to help further enhance their rich
healthcare offering. We believe this system will provide an exceptional
level of healthcare for Toyota's team members," said Wise Provider
Networks' president, Allison Robbins. "This combination of on-site
resources, coupled with a wide and deep referral network, is an ideal
solution for Toyota."

"We are extremely honored to have this opportunity to expand our valued
relationship with Toyota to include our first Primary Care center with
them," said I-trax's chief executive officer, R. Dixon Thayer. "We believe
that delivering primary care and preventive services at the workplace
provides our clients with a powerful employee benefit that delivers
convenient access to high-quality healthcare for employees, retirees and
their families while providing cost savings for the individual as well as
the company."

About CHD Meridian Healthcare

CHD Meridian Healthcare, an I-trax company, is the leading provider of
integrated workplace health and productivity management solutions. Serving
nearly 100 clients at over 210 locations nationwide, CHD Meridian offers
on-site health centers, which deliver primary care, acute care corporate
health, occupational health and pharmacy care management services as well
as integrated disease management, wellness and lifestyle management
programs. CHD Meridian provides a comprehensive solution utilizing
telephonic and e-health tools to enhance the trusted relationship
established by its clinicians at the worksite. CHD Meridian is focused on
helping companies achieve employer of choice status, making the workplace
safe, improving the quality of care and the productivity of the workforce
while mitigating healthcare costs. Managing employer-sponsored health
centers for over 40 years, some of CHD Meridian Healthcare's clients
include: BMW, Blue Ridge Paper, Coors Brewing Company, Coushatta Casino
Resort, DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Deutsche Bank, Eastman Chemical,
Fieldale Farms, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Lowe's,
Toyota, UnumProvident and US Steel. For more information, visit
http://www.chdmeridian.com.
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
The idea of universal healthcare is appealing but not without flaws.
no argument there - nothing is without it's flaws... and our current system is showing more flaws each day.

Quote:
We have the most advanced healthcare in the world in this country.
Um, no we don't. Other countries have leapfrogged the US when it comes to healthcare - much of it has to do with the greed inherent within our current system where turning a profit trumps curing patients. Also don't discount the amount of lost ground in research that the US has suffered due to the idiotic ban on stemcell research started by W.

Quote:
If every citizen can just walk into any clinic anywhere, then our hospitals will be overrun. The standard of care will drop, as massive numbers of people recieving health care will overload our hospitals.
That is exactly what is happening NOW in Emergency rooms - people without insurance still need care - so because they can't afford to see a regular doctor when their illness was easily treated, now go seek treatment in the MUCH more expensive ER and usually when their sickness is much more severe. And we ALL pay for that with higher premiums. A pinch of prevention is worth of pound of cure.

Quote:
If they were a govenment funded agency, then like everything else run by the government it would be reduced in efficiency and it would cease to be the MD anderson it is today.
Universal Healthcare has nothing to do with research or funding of such projects.

Look at the groups that oppose universal healthcare - insurnace groups - because they know that they have billions of dollars of profits to lose. Those same groups use scare tactics like "reduced quality" or "overloaded system". Someone is not going to go to the doctore just for the heck of it unless they are actually sick. Would you rather not have someone afford to see if that lump on their neck was just a rash or a cancerous tumor? Both can probably be cured 'fairly' easily when caught early enough - but if untreated one of those diagnoses can cost a ton of money and cost you your life.
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Old 11-09-2006, 02:40 PM   #14
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What place our health care comes in, is dependent on what metrics you use, and are incredibly. I think we have the most technically advanced health care, but a higher mortality rate. People come from Canada, rather than waiting on a list for certain procedures. But we also have significantly less access to certain procedures for lower income bracket groups.


The short of it as I see it; A nationalized healthcare system will required drastic changes in our current medical, and tax system. I'm not sure most of the population has actually thought about the consequences.
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Old 11-09-2006, 04:22 PM   #15
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You make really sound points HazDaz. None of which I can argue with. I do not say I have the answers. Here is what I have a problem with.

I do think that you should have to pay into the system to use it. Why should somebody who has no job, or has never had a job be allowed to recieve medical care that I am paying for. Does a person who makes 100k a year pay the same amount as a person making 30k a year. If that is the case, then fine, give it a try.

But if we are going to a govenment run agency it should be a flat fee for healthcare for all people. If I am going to have to pay 300/month in taxes to have it, then so should the next guy. If I am going to get the same treatment why should I pay more.

I grew up most of my life with no insurance. We could not afford it. Now that I have a degree and a decent job, I can. Hospitols are in the business of making money, not curing people. Its a business. They may have like the idea of treating everybody, since they will probably come out ahead.

I can understand what you say about insurance companies. They would stand to lose the most. And because of it, they will lobby to the end of time against the Universal Healthcare.

I also agree with Last Resort. It depends on the metrics you use. I would rather have cancer in the united states than anywhere else. I would rather get sick here than anywhere else.

If the metric is how many people in the US have health insurance, then yeah, we do not rank to high. I concur.

Like I said before, I dont have an answer to this problem. I just know that it does not make any sense, when the veterans of the military cant go to hospital, because their medical coverage has been canceled and illegal immagrants are having babies here left and right and its covered by John Q. Taxpayer.

If you have NO money, healthcare is free. If you have barely enough to survive, then the smallest thing will bankrupt you. Its like it does you no good to be anything but really rich, or really poor.

Here's hoping to one day be really rich!
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Old 11-09-2006, 04:39 PM   #16
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Your whole position makes no sense.

What you're advocating is insane... denying access to basic health care and services because of someone's earning or income potential... that's nuts.

You're right, man... the elderly, the mentally disabled, children... none of those people should have any access to health care! Let them die in the street!

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Old 11-09-2006, 06:19 PM   #17
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The US healthcare's rank plummeting is NOT based solely on the # of ensured people... good lord if it was it would be at the bottom of the list!

A recent article:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...59&postcount=1
U.S. Health-Care System Gets a "D"

Quote:
The U.S. health-care system is doing poorly by virtually every measure. That's the conclusion of a national report card on the U.S. health-care system, released Sept. 20. Although there are pockets of excellence, the report, commissioned by the non-profit and non-partisan Commonwealth Fund, gave the U.S. system low grades on outcomes, quality of care, access to care, and efficiency, compared to other industrialized nations or generally accepted standards of care. Bottom line: U.S. health care barely passes with an overall grade of 66 out of 100.
.... go read the rest of the article for more details>>>


(I am trying not to take this thread too Off-Topic from the usual car stuff, but this is a very important issue none the less)
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