By Amanda Bohman
The Fairbanks North Star Borough paid $750 in fees to a health clinic due to employees who missed medical appointments through October 2019, according to a statement from the borough administration.
The borough will no longer be paying for missed appointments.
Instead, the employee will have to pay the $75 “no show” fee to the Coalition Health Center, a West Fairbanks clinic under contract to provide health care to borough employees who pay a flat fee of $10 per visit. The new policy begins Jan. 1.
“The Labor Management Committee discussed this fee and because it is the employee who made the appointment and then failed to honor that appointment, it seemed appropriate to put the accountability for the fee on the employee,” said a statement provided by Lanien Livingston, public information officer for the borough.
Employees enrolled in the Fairbanks North Star Borough Health Plan were notified of the change in a Nov. 20 letter that was posted on the borough website this week.
The letter asks employees to give 24 hours notice if they will miss an appointment to prevent the fee and to allow someone else to use the time slot.
“Too many patients were failing to show up for appointments, blocking appointment slots which could be used by other patients,” the statement from the borough administration read. “The CHC was experiencing no-shows over their entire book of business.”
Organizations other than the borough also contract with the clinic for health care. The no-show fee was instituted on Jan. 1, 2019, according to the borough administration
The borough is self-insured. The cost to provide employees with health care is $1,745 per employee per month, according to Sallie Stuvek, human resources director.
The Borough Assembly budgeted for 439 employees for fiscal year 2019-2020.
The Coalition Health Center offers primary care, preventive care and chronic condition management, according to its website. Employees pay $10 for both appointments and walk-in visits.
Missed appointment fees assessed by other medical providers are paid by the employee, according to the statement from the borough administration.
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.