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BOCES teaching teachers about health care

BOCES officials have been working on this program over the past year, said Jones. Domenici said they wanted to have all the legal entities in place and a clear vision of what they wanted.

With everything being done on a 12-month cycle in the public sector, Jones said, they were trying to keep ahead of that and looking for more long-term solutions instead of quick fixes.

"It's about the much longer term gains within a better management system," he said. "This is an investment in a way to manage differently."

There are some problems working in the public sector, Piazza said, since their program might be working on a different timeline then some of the health-care vendors. She said they are trying to develop a better game plan with the vendors so they can know where BOCES' budget should be and what the rates are so they can produce a better budget.

"There's another avenue we're trying to pursue, and that is aligning our schedules and calendars to get to better and more accurate forecasting," Piazza said.

Jones said they hope to also bring the unions to the discussion, along with the districts and health-care vendors. The best way for that to happen is using best practice health insurance committees. This would allow labor unions and district management to discuss what the issues are, as well as how the health-care system works.

Domenici said the program will also help districts look into things they don't need that are generally included in medical packages.

"In there, they'll stack it with everything they can think of because it makes an added value," he said. "What they're doing is educating them and saying, 'You'll never use this, no one in your system is using this and so why are you paying for that benefit,' and tailoring the medical packages so they fit the base you're trying to support."

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