Each year the Tennessee Municipal League awards cities for their excellence, outstanding programs, improvements or departmental accomplishments. This year The City of Chattanooga was recognized for their effectiveness and innovation in reducing health costs through their WellAdvantage Program. The WellAdvantage Program is the name the City of Chattanooga has used to brand their entire wellness offering.
A key part of the WellAdvantage Program is the WellAdvantage Employee Pharmacy that opened in late 2008. Under the program, employees and dependents can get 30-day supplies of generics for $2 and 90-day supplies for $5. Brand name and specialty drugs are also available at the full-service pharmacy. Patients can still use approximately 60,000 other retail pharmacies, but copays are much lower at the on-site WellAdvantage Employee Pharmacy.
Other offerings of the WellAdvantage Program include a fitness center and clinic that delivers primary care and serves the City’s occupational health needs. The pharmacy program will save the city an estimated $8.5M over the next five years in ingredient costs alone. That does not contemplate additional costs that may be realized from improved wellness and therapeutic substitution – natural byproducts of having a dedicated pharmacist engaged with an employee population.