WAUKESHA - City
Administrator Ed Henschel said the Common Council would likely have
made a decision on a municipal health clinic shared by the city,
Waukesha County and the Waukesha School District next week. But now
that’s not the case, because city officials want more information
about another option from ProHealth Care.
Requests for Proposal (RFPs) from several companies including
ProHealth Care, the county had selected North Carolina-based
Healthstat to operate the proposed shared clinic at the former
Department of Public Health building adjacent to the Waukesha County
Courthouse, 515 W. Moreland Blvd.
The clinic is
projected to save about $1.1 million in health care costs for the
city over a five-year period.
At the last
council meeting, however, the top brass at ProHealth Care presented
an alternative “distribution model” to the Common Council and
suggested that a proposed shared clinic for employees of Waukesha
County, the city of Waukesha and the Waukesha School District would
be a bad idea.
before the Waukesha Common Council because we were told that city
officials were interested in hearing about options beyond an on-site
clinic,” said ProHealth Care spokeswoman Sandra Peterson.
Mayor Jeff Scrima
asked for ProHealth Care’s presentation to be added to the council
He said on Monday
that the city would be “open-minded and prudent” to fully hear out
what ProHealth Care is offering before making any final decisions.
In a recent email
to all city employees, Scrima said the county is trying to “force
this new government health clinic through, in order to save
themselves money on the backs of city and school district
employees,” possibly sacrificing quality and employee choice for
and County Board Supervisor Kathleen Cummings has also urged
reviewing any ProHealth Care option before making a final decision.
Shawn Reilly, who is challenging Scrima for the mayoral seat in the
April 1 election, slammed Scrima in a Monday press release, calling
his role in the process a “last-minute health care hijacking.”
Reilly said Scrima
has “once again (thrown) a last-minute monkey wrench into a project
the city has worked on for more than a year, risking a guaranteed
$1.1 million in city savings.”
Henschel said he
had sat down with city, county and school district representatives
and gone through the intergovernmental agreement page-by-page,
making significant changes. So the agreement would likely have been
ready for council review at the next meeting, had the desire for
more detail regarding ProHealth Care’s option not arisen.
Scrima’s timing, and pointed out that Scrima signed a resolution in
July 2013 in support of the further evaluation and development of a
shared on-site clinic.
“Why did he wait
until the meeting before (an agreement was to be considered) to
express those concerns?” said Reilly, who supports the shared
clinic. “The county and school district have had the rug pulled out
from under their feet. Scrima is creating chaos, confusion and
indecision in City Hall.”
Henschel weigh in
Asked about the
timing, Scrima said he and Henschel had been talking to ProHealth
about the proposal for months. He also noted that no decision had
been made yet.
“The simple truth
is that the city has not decided yet to make our employees use the
county’s government health clinic because we ... and our employees
who will be directly affected don’t have all the information on the
county’s clinic,” Scrima said.
ProHleath Care said in their presentation last week ... they clearly
offered an alternative solution which would meet or exceed the
proposed county clinic savings to the city.”
Henschel said that
very statement from ProHealth Care officials made him wary.
credibility, in my mind, at Tuesday night’s council meeting was
drawn into question when their CFO said they’d match or exceed any
savings the city would get from HealthStat without knowing the
numbers at that point,” Henschel said. “That’s not the way the
public sector works.”
Henschel was also
quick to point out that employee participation in the clinic would
He said it’s not
clear when the city will evaluate ProHealth Care’s proposal, because
it has not yet received such a proposal.
“We have told city
officials that if they wish to explore an agreement for health care
services that would be far more comprehensive than a single,
one-doctor clinic, we would be happy to have that conversation. We
have not provided a specific proposal to the city, and the city has
not requested one,” said Peterson.