Rush Health and Oswego Community Unit School District 308, in Oswego, Illinois, announced they have entered into an innovative partnership to improve the access and affordability of health care for its employees without increasing costs to the District and local taxpayers. According to U.S. News and World Report, this innovative agreement will help District 308 compete for and retain top talent, enhance employee wellness, and provide access to Rush University System for Health, which includes the second-ranked hospital in Illinois.

Under the agreement, Rush Health, the health network of Rush Copley Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center and hundreds of independent physicians, will provide District 308’s self-funded health plan with discounted rates for services across its network, which will allow District 308 to cover deductibles and co-pays for employees. The partnership also enhances District 308 employees’ access to Rush’s specialists and its cutting-edge telemedicine services.

“SD 308 is proud to be at the forefront of this new and exciting partnership that brings together a public school district and healthcare system, working together to offer comprehensive healthcare services to our workforce,” says Oswego SD 308 Superintendent of Schools Dr John Sparlin. “We hope that this program will make access to care easier for our staff, removing cost barriers and refocusing concentration on receiving the healthcare they and their families need, when and where it is most appropriate.” SD 308 employees enrolled in the District’s Preferred Provider Organization or Health Care Account benefit package who receive care from Rush Health providers will be reimbursed for most out-of-pocket expenses, like co-pays and deductibles commonly incurred for treatments.

“We are pleased to see that the District has engaged with a trusted healthcare system to expand benefits of affordable healthcare services for our members and their families,” said Co-President Elizabeth Palatine of the Oswego Education Association. “This additional program is a great benefit to our members.”

Employees will still have the freedom to see the provider of their choice and are not required to take advantage of the program. Claims will continue to be processed as before, minimizing any administrative disruption for employees, the District or the providers who care for them.

With Rush Copley Medical Center just a few miles from Oswego, Rush Health was a natural partner for SD 308.

“Rush Health has one of the strongest networks of quality providers in northern Illinois, anchored locally by Rush Copley Medical Center. Innovative agreements like this are the future in connecting employees to the best care in a cost-effective way,” said Anthony Del Rio, President of Rush Health.

This new program was developed at the direction of SD 308 leadership and in partnership with benefits consultants at Lockton Companies, which works with employers nationally to find unique solutions to the growing challenges of providing comprehensive benefits in economically difficult times.

“Healthcare, in an organization as large as ours, is a significant expenditure that requires thoughtful and innovative approaches to maintain value for our employees without increasing costs,” said Superintendent Dr Sparlin. “We worked collaboratively with Lockton and Rush Health and found what we believe is a win-win for our employees and the residents of the District.”

“Rush Copley and SD 308 share a commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve,” said Rush Copley president and CEO John Diederich. “This is a natural affiliation that will go beyond improved health care outcomes for District staff. It serves as an example of the public-private partnerships that are key to the kind of innovations we seek.”

“Access to an integrated network of care, including wellness services, care management, and speciality care is shown to drive much better healthcare outcomes for patients,” said Del Rio. “Rush is nationally recognized as one of the top providers in the nation, and, indeed the world, and we look forward to working closely with SD 308 to improve the health and wellbeing of its team, which, in turn, benefits the students and residents of the community.”

This program became available to District employees starting May 3, 2021.

About SD 308 Oswego

Community Unit School District 308 serves nearly 18,000 students in preschool through grade 12 and is the seventh-largest public school district in Illinois. The district serves all of Oswego and parts of Aurora, Joliet, Montgomery, Plainfield and Yorkville with 23 schools, an Early Education Center, Transition Center, and an alternative education program. SD 308 is the largest employer in Kendall County. The district’s mission states: In partnership with our families and communities, Oswego Community Unit School District 308 will educate all students to reach their highest potential.

About Rush Health

Rush University System for Health (RUSH) comprises Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as an extensive providers network and numerous outpatient care facilities. Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois, is a 210-bed hospital that serves the greater Fox Valley area with more than 500 physicians and 2,500 clinical and professional staff members.

Rush Health is a clinically integrated network of physicians and hospitals working together to improve health through high quality, efficient health services covering the spectrum of patient care from wellness, prevention and health promotion, to disease management and complex care management.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.

Rajeev Biswas
Author

A journalist who has been grilling Health, Technology and Politics beat for years. He has compelling experience in Digital media and currently shelling out his expertise with Sportz Business Magazine as a Senior Sub Editor

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