By Randy McClain
Add NTN Driveshaft to the growing list of employers trying to improve the health of workers by bringing more elaborate medical and wellness services closer to their doorstep.
On Monday, auto parts maker NTN will open a satellite health clinic at 4010 W. Goeller Blvd., Suite A, less than a mile west of Interstate 65. The idea is to provide low- or no-cost primary care and basic prescriptions to the company’s nearly 1,400 employees and their families.
Barry Parkhurst, vice president for administration at NTN Driveshaft, said the manufacturer currently has a small, on-site health clinic for employees only at its Walesboro plant, but the new 2,100-square-foot site will offer more.
The newly leased clinic at Goeller and Jonathan Moore Pike initially will provide primary care, wellness screenings and other services 25 hours per week spread over four days. Indiana University Health has agreed to provide doctors, nurse practitioners and medical assistants as needed to handle the patient load.
“We’ve had a small clinic at Walesboro for eight or nine years, with a doctor working part time and nurses. But this is a larger, off-site clinic that can be used for primary care and wellness by employees, their spouses and children,” Parkhurst said.
The Walesboro clinic will remain open to treat minor illnesses of employees, and IU Health will begin staffing it as well.
Parkhurst estimated that NTN’s existing medical clinic inside its plant might see a dozen employees a day. He expects the new, more spacious clinic to treat as many as 40 patients per day initially.
The new clinic — called the NTN Health & Wellness Center — has been outfitted with four fully equipped exam rooms and a waiting area. It is located in the Woodcrest Plaza office/retail area across from Tipton Lakes Athletic Club.
The company has been making plans to open the site since July. Employees and family members will get their first look at the new location at an open house from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday.
NTN said the new clinic will be open to any employees and their families who have signed up for the company’s self-
insured health plans. Doctors’ visits, other basic services and a patient’s first prescription filled at the wellness center will all come at no extra cost for the patient.
Parkhurst said the company wants to stress wellness initiatives with its employees and their family members. He said the manufacturer expects to save money over the long run by absorbing some of the cost of basic, primary health care upfront.
NTN Driveshaft will pay IU Health a fee for its services, but patients won’t have to pay for office visits at the clinic. If a medical problem is more complicated, patients will be referred to other specialists, and regular insurance coverage with deductibles, co-pays and other expenses will kick in, he said.
The company hopes employees and their families use the new clinic to such an extent that hours eventually are expanded to 40 hours per week.
“We put the new clinic off-site to be closer to family members and to give them easier parking and access. At the Walesboro plant, there’s a security guard, and it’s not so close to town,” Parkhurst said.
He declined to provide lease terms or divulge how much NTN Driveshaft spent refurbishing the new clinic.
“We want to encourage the wellness side and provide stop-smoking services or screen for diabetes, that sort of thing,” Parkhurst said. “We want to help patients do what’s right.”
Employees and family members also will have the ability to make their own appointments online, he said, with a goal of reducing waiting times for treatment.