“As healthcare costs continue to increase year-over-year, employers are looking for ways to better track and manage the utilization of healthcare resources. Increasingly this means bringing healthcare clinics in-house — or at least on the premises.” More large companies opening on-site clinics for employees, MedCityNews
Benefit Strategy Design: Solving an Impossible Task
Consistently rising costs in healthcare make crafting a benefit strategy a yearly challenge for employers. On average, large organizations can expect to spend 15% more on their benefits plan each year. What if employers have been asking the wrong questions? And what if it is possible to spend less by spending more?
A 2017 employer survey by healthcare consulting group Mercer found that, of companies with more than 5,000 employees, a third offer workplace medical clinics. That number increased from 24% in 2012.
Why are so many employers, including companies like Apple and Amazon making the switch? Let’s take a look.
Why On-Site Clinics Make Sense
Healthcare costs have eclipsed inflation for decades, leaving employers scrambling to cut costs without demolishing their benefits. Cost-shifting is one option, but it’s not a long-term solution.
On-site clinics offer employers that solution. By providing high-quality, low-cost, easily accessible care to employees, employers can have both: positive health outcomes and reduced costs.
When primary care is offered close by, employees don’t have to balance the inconvenience of leaving work with the necessity of receiving medical care. Health problems are addressed immediately instead of deteriorating to the point of an expensive ER or urgent care visit. On-site clinics also excel at managing chronic illnesses and high-risk populations, especially when they offer additional services like health coaching.
Is Your Company Big Enough For An On-Site Clinic?
Full-service on-site clinics necessitate an employee population large enough to support a full-time primary care provider. For most organizations, that means a minimum of 500-700 employees. But, for smaller companies, there are still options.
Basic On-Site Clinic
A trimmed down on-site clinic that employs a full-time nurse practitioner can offer supplemental primary care to your employees, as well as services like health screenings, flu shots, and immunizations. The upfront costs of a basic clinic are lower, but opportunities for improved outcomes, engagement, or ROI when compared to a full-service clinic are limited.
In some cases, smaller employers may have the opportunity to partner with enough other organizations to support a full-service near-site clinic. This solution does give employees access to the complete suite of services offered in a full on-site clinic. When multiple employers share full on-site clinics, it's harder to customize services to serve the needs of your employees, which could result in lower engagement.
Vera Whole Health is the first on-site clinic vendor in the country to earn a Certificate of Validation from the Validation Institute. Learn what validation means and how to better evaluate on-site clinics in our white paper: Validated Results And Proven Outcomes.