Tarpon Springs clashes with hospital over employee clinic
Leaders at the local branch of Florida Hospital clashed with city leaders last week over whether Tarpon Springs should include the hospital in its plan to build a health clinic for city employees.
The clinic, which would be built in partnership with Oldsmar and the Florida League of Cities, would be designed to provide better health care access for city employees, encourage preventive care and possibly save money on health premiums.
But leaders at Florida Hospital North Pinellas confronted city leaders Tuesday about what they considered to be a terrible oversight. As the city's biggest employer, they argued, doesn't the hospital deserve to be a part of the agreement?
"I'm just livid, I apologize, I was not intending to be this angry," Michael Kouskoutis, a hospital board member said during a Tuesday night commission meeting. "We have physicians, we have hospitals, we have surgical teams that are a benefit to this community. And given the chance, we would love to sit down about providing services for city employees. But you know what? No one asked, and that's shameful."
Paul Hoover, vice president of business development for Florida Hospital North Pinellas, told commissioners the hospital could likely provide better services than a clinic because it's open more hours and has more doctors.
But similar clinics around the state, including one in Tampa and one shared by Clearwater and Dunedin, have reaped thousands of dollars in savings for cities and have been popular with city employees and their families.
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