Lenexa adding full-time nurse, part-time physical therapist to healthcare plan for city staff

Lenexa City Hall.

Lenexa is planning to add access to a full-time registered nurse and part-time physical therapist to its healthcare plan for city staff.

The agreement allows Cerner Health Connections Inc. to add the services of the two healthcare positions at the LiveWell Health Center. All full- and part-time Lenexa city employees and dependents who are covered by the city’s medical plan have access to the LiveWell Health Center.

Cerner Health Connections operates the health center under a three-year agreement approved by the city Council in December 2017, which runs from Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2020.

City staff noted that utilization of the LiveWell Health Center “has always been strong,” with visits being up up over 20% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same time in 2018. The Health Center is staffed by physician or mid-level provider and medical assistant, both at 40 hours per week. Because the medical assistant must leave the front desk unoccupied to assist with patients, city staff recommended hiring a full-time registered nurse.

A nurse could triage patients and provide clinical advice, health coaching, care coordination and case management, according to a city memo. Plus, the Health Center can now be open an extra hour per day and eliminate about $17,000 in annual costs of extra staffing.

A part-time physical therapist could also help to prevent future medical and workers’ compensations claims and offer treatment of existing conditions in a more convenient location and setting, which will result in cost savings to members and the plan, according to the memo.

A full-time registered nurse is estimated to cost $123,300 annually, and a part-time, 24-hour-per-week physical therapist is estimated to cost $112,610 annually. City staff estimates the staffing changes will result in a net savings of $25,200 annually.

Both positions would begin Nov. 1. These fees are paid from the city of Lenexa’s Health Care Fund.

The Lenexa city council on Aug. 20 unanimously approved the addition to the city’s healthcare agreement. There was no discussion or public comment.