Local News

SAS Institute Says Free Health Care Builds Better Company

Posted February 14, 2003 6:00 a.m. EST

— In tough budget times, it is not uncommon for companies cut back employee health benefits. One local company is expanding their health program to offer free medical care.

Sally Kadle works at the

SAS Institute

and said she gets a physical every year because she does not have to go far to get one.

SAS has an onsite health center, which is free for all employees and their immediate family.

"This is the best benefit, in my opinion, that SAS has to offer," said Kadle.

Employees have the option to use an outside provider, but about 90 percent of employees use the health center.

The clinic is staffed like a primary care facility. There are 55 staff members including three physicians, 11 nurse practitioners and two nutritionists.

"We see anything that you would see in any family practice. They see us when they have minor acute illnesses, like respiratory infections, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia," said Gale Adcock, a nurse practitioner and manager of SAS health services.

Adcock said the program is more cost effective for SAS and cheaper than traditional insurance programs, and it saves time.

"They come to see us and for a routine, minor acute care visit, round trip, to their office to us and back, is about 30 minutes. That time saved is money and that translates into productivity," she said.

Many employees have said the program is convenient.

"If you take care of your employees and treat them well then they'll do great things for you," said Adcock.