“Healthcare is one of the most complicated things we deal with in normal life, and people often need help to understand it… Our PyxisCare Personal Health Nurse can help you understand your bill, a diagnosis, or strategies for living a healthier life. She is here to help you.”
-Steve Novakovich, Garrett Metal Detectors CEO
With a background in mechanical engineering, aerospace, and oil and gas, Steve Novakovich might not have predicted the area that has consumed much of his attention since he was named Chief Executive Officer of Garrett Metal Detectors in 2018: Healthcare.
Shortly before Novakovich arrived at the Garland-based manufacturer of hobby detectors and security equipment, Garrett management converted to a self-insured healthcare model as a way to reign in escalating insurance premium increases. The company employs about 300 people, with most in technical and manufacturing roles.
This summer, Garrett took the next step toward total employee care. The company teamed with PyxisCare Management to implement a Strategic Health Plan Management Program. Garrett has opened an on-site office for a PyxisCare Personal Health Nurse. She meets directly with Garrett employees to help them connect with a primary care provider, understand diagnoses, bills, and other medical records, and to better manage their own health.
“We are blessed to have loyal employees, many of whom have been with our company for many years,” Novakovich said. “A couple of years ago, healthcare costs were growing out of control. We had some employees with chronic medical conditions that were driving expenses through the roof. It really woke us up and showed us that we could no longer rely on the standard model.”
Mindy Jones, PyxisCare founder and managing principal, said Strategic Health Plan Management is the next frontier for any business that recognizes the potential of containing and potentially reducing healthcare costs through an engaged workforce.
“Our nurses and administrators have for years been advising clients on how to maximize healthcare benefit usage, reduce costs, and most importantly, improve health,” Jones said. “Now, we’re pairing strategic leadership advising with the work of our talented and compassionate nurses as on-site partners to our corporate clients.”
Novakovich said Garrett initially was surprised to learn that many employees did not have a primary care provider whom they saw for annual physicals and routine check-ups.
“A lack of primary care has long-term consequences. Employees who are not receiving ongoing primary care will be less well, which drives costs higher through a greater need for acute healthcare and interventional medicine. We now encourage our employees to have a physical every year and to really understand and manage their own health,” he said.
PyxisCare was able to place a Vietnamese-speaking team member in the Personal Health Nurse role, which Novakovich said has been especially effective because Vietnamese is the first or second language for a large number of Garrett employees. The cultural and language connection has been a significant bonus, he said.
“Healthcare is one of the most complicated things we deal with in normal life, and people often need help to understand it,” Novakovich added. “The way we explained the Strategic Health Plan Management Program to our employees is that it is a new benefit for them. Our PyxisCare Personal Health Nurse can help you understand your bill, a diagnosis, or strategies for living a healthier life. She is here to help you.”