Purdue trustees approve new on-site health center

May 11, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Board of Trustees on Friday (May 11) approved CHS Health Services Inc. to operate a health center for faculty and staff on the West Lafayette campus. CHS, based in Reston, Va., is one of 11 companies that bid for the service.

The center, to be located in Purdue West, is expected to open late in the fall semester. It will provide services such as primary and acute care for employees and dependents covered by a Purdue medical plan, health promotion and wellness coaching, chronic condition management, and lab services. The three-year contract is valued up to $14.7 million.

The center was one of the recommendations made by the university's Blue Ribbon Healthcare Committee. The committee was charged with recommending strategies for managing the university's health-care budget while continuing to provide affordable quality health care for employees and their families.

Purdue will pay CHS for the center expenses from medical plan premium contributions made by employees and the university. It is anticipated that the cost of the center will be offset by costs avoided for services that would have been provided elsewhere, plus cost containment resulting from the center's enhanced care management and a focus on health and wellness.

"We anticipate that this will be revenue neutral at first," said Luis Lewin, vice president for human resources. "We don't anticipate that Purdue faculty and staff will pay extra overall. Quite the contrary, we expect this should reduce our medical claims over the long term, helping us hold down the cost of health-care premiums."

Clients will not pay for lab work, chronic condition management and wellness coaching. A small co-pay will be charged for primary and acute care. A previously discussed on-site pharmacy is not planned at this time.

In other business, the trustees also approved a contract with Elsevier Inc., a company that provides digital access to scholarly journals. Purdue Libraries' yearlong negotiations with Elsevier led to an agreement by which the company will continue to provide 885 titles but will hold the annual increase to less than previously had been offered. In addition, reduced-rate access will be available to all other 802 Elsevier titles. Purdue's commitment will range from $2.5 million to $2.9 million per year over the five years of the contract.

The board also approved a three-year $13.78 million contract with Peabody COALSALES LLC of St. Louis, for an estimated 80,000 tons of coal a year for Purdue's circulating fluidized-bed boiler. Such boilers burn pulverized coal suspended in a bed of circulating air. The process burns coal more cleanly and efficiently and enables the use of cheaper, high-sulfur coal, which is plentiful in Indiana. The coal will be mined at Farmersburg in Vigo County, Ind. Rebidding and renegotiation resulted in a cost avoidance of $412,800.

Writer: Jeanne Norberg, 765-494-2084, jnorberg@purdue.edu

Source: Luis Lewin, 765-494-7395, luislewin@purdue.edu

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