Workplace clinics open in St. Louis to combat costs



Employees and their families who enter Centene Corp's new health clinic in downtown Clayton. MO, encounter a decorative rock fountain in the waiting area and a medical assistant behind the reception desk. The muted décor, in soft hues of green, brown and orange, provides patients a spa-like setting. Three client "care suites" -- extra-large, well-appointed rooms with hardwood floors -- allow plenty of elbow room for the clinic's doctor and nurse practitioner. And it's all free: For Centene's employees and their dependents, a trip to see the in-house doctor or nurse practitioner doesn't go through an employee's health insurance plan. Centene's health center, which opened Jan. 4, is among the first workplace clinics of its kind in the St. Louis area, reflecting an increasingly popular trend in the way larger U.S. companies are trying to cap rising healthcare costs. A few other local companies, including Monsanto Co., offer comparable services.


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