As health care costs soar, organizations across the country are trying out new models for care. Local 54, a labor union for casino and hospitality workers in Atlantic City, officially opened the doors of a new health clinic for members on Tuesday.

 

Without specifying how much money the facility might save, Local 54 union president Bob McDevitt said workers and their families — about 20,000 people --- will be able to visit the clinic without having to shell out a co-pay.

"We want to incentivize the workers to come here because we'll be able to provide that good quality health care at a reasonable cost, as opposed to putting ourselves out into the tender mercies of the health care market," he said.

The center will focus on primary care and include a pharmacy; it may add cardiology services in the future. Currently, there are about 20 staff members.

"Before we didn't have anything, we just cast our members out to the different primary care doctors and practices in the region. Now we have our own primary care docs," McDevitt said. "So we're really making a one-stop shopping for members of our union."

Lisa Hoffman, a representative of Unite Here Health could not provide an estimate of the cost of the clinic, but noted that the union spends about $100 million each year on health care costs in Atlantic City.

The health center is the third of its type in the nation, following those in New York City and Las Vegas.