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School offers on-the-job health care

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR) - A new clinic has opened its doors inside Rhinelander High School. The new Aspirus clinic won't serve students.but it will serve school district employees and their families. The clinic can provide basic primary care. A visit costs just ten dollars.

Rhinelander Schools Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says clinic access will be good for employee health, as well as save the district money. "If employees are paying attention to their health and working to stay healthy - treating things when they're small and new, as opposed to waiting to when things get more serious, that's better for our insurance premiums."

If the school district saves money, so do the taxpayers. Jacobi says last year, premiums went down after the district provided health assessments and consultations to its employees. That saved enough to pay for the clinic renovations. "We're working on being as fiscally responsible as we can. Finding ways that ultimately will save our taxpayers money."

Aspirus regional clinic director Robb Fabich says it's a growing trend for organizations to provide health care directly to their employees. Aspirus already runs a similar in-house clinic at a Wausau insurance business. "This is beginning to become a very popular model for companies to control their health care costs. So we're ramping up and gearing up to do that."

The new clinic is open 12 hours a week - with morning and evening hours to accommodate staff schedules. Right now it's only open to those enrolled in district health insurance, but expansion of the program could include the rest of the employees.

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