Despite split votes, plans for Frisco employee health clinic prevail

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney voted to approve plans for a city employee clinic in the Dec. 7 City Council meeting. The mayor voted in a rare tiebreaker after council members were divided 3-3 on the topic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney voted to approve plans for a city employee clinic in the Dec. 7 City Council meeting. The mayor voted in a rare tiebreaker after council members were divided 3-3 on the topic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney voted to approve plans for a city employee clinic in the Dec. 7 City Council meeting. The mayor voted in a rare tiebreaker after council members were divided 3-3 on the topic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

City of Frisco employees and their families will soon be able to visit a doctor’s office paid for by the city.

Mayor Jeff Cheney voted to approve the clinic in the Dec. 7 City Council meeting. The mayor voted in a rare tiebreaker after council members were divided 3-3 on the topic. The service agreement with Premise Health was originally tabled Nov. 16 after City Manager George Purefoy spoke on his confidence in such a clinic.

The clinic, to be located at 7589 Preston Road, Stes. 300 and 400, is an added benefit to city employees, who already receive insurance sponsored by Frisco. Employees will not be required to use the clinic, which offers a $0 co-pay and both in-person and virtual visits.

According to the ordinance, the term of the agreement begins June 1. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a closure from noon to 1 p.m. Director of Human Resources Lauren Safranek said hours could potentially change.

The clinic has an implementation fee of $173,754, according to a city memo. For the first five years, salary and management fees total more than $6.28 million. For the first three years, the clinic is projected to be subsidized by funds from Frisco’s insurance reserve fund.


Safranek said by the second year of the clinic’s operation, money that the city already pays for insurance claims is expected to almost match operational costs at the clinic.

“By the time that you get into years three and four, we’re actually, hopefully, saving money ... on insurance costs that we feel that we’re moving from an environment that there is inflation and higher costs to a more cost-controlled environment with still very quality care,” Safranek said.

City staff shared results of a survey in the meeting, which collected responses from 684 of 1,239 city employees. A total of 89.75% of respondents said they were “very likely or somewhat likely” to use the clinic for “urgent or sick care needs.”

In addition, 64.57% said they were very likely or somewhat likely to use the clinic as their primary care provider. A total of 91.95% said they would consider an employee clinic “extremely valuable or somewhat valuable.”

The Frisco Fire Fighters Association also conducted a survey on the clinic. A total of 91.5% of respondents to that survey said they wanted to see the city invest in a clinic, and 86% said they would use the clinic.

“Our members went from a little bit of hesitancy to use this to they’re wanting it now,” association President Matthew Sapp said. “This has got a lot of benefits to us, not just from the ability to use it as a PCP, as urgent care ... but strictly from a firefighter-protection aspect for our physicals.”

Council Members Brian Livingston, Shona Huffman and Dan Stricklin voted against the clinic. Livingston said he took a fresh look at the plans and spoke with city leadership over them but said his "no" vote was not against city employees but against a plan he thinks could be better.

“I’m not quite there with the way we’re doing it right now: the hours, the location, the number of employees that we have that live out of [Frisco],” Livingston said. “I want to see a much more comprehensive insurance plan to keep our costs under control.”

Council Member Angelia Pelham, who expressed concerns over clinic usage Nov. 16, joined Council Members John Keating and Bill Woodard in voting for the clinic. Pelham said she had taken a step back to dig deeper into the plans since the last council meeting.

Ultimately, Pelham said the prospect of providing consistent and quality care for city staff and first responders led to her support. She said speaking with both the Frisco Fire and Police departments helped to solidify her decision.

“Let me be clear about this,” Pelham said. “Taking care of those who take care of us is of utmost importance to me.”
By Matt Payne
Matt Payne reports on Frisco City Hall and its committees, Collin County Commissioners and McKinney business. His experience includes serving as online content editor at Fort Worth Magazine and city editor at the Killeen Daily Herald. He is a 2017 graduate of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas in Denton.