We know this: on- or near-site clinics provide better care for employees and reduced costs for employers. But how?
The answer: with full-time providers and health coaches; a full range of primary, preventive, occupational, and urgent care services; and highly effective engagement techniques. Together, these on-site clinic solutions combine to create a powerful remedy for employers seeking relief from rising healthcare costs.
Here's a closer look at how each individual component contributes to a better approach to healthcare.
Full-time, on-site providers
Full-time providers reduce costs (and improve patient care) for four primary reasons:
- A full-time provider maximizes the number of patients that can be seen and the amount of time spent with each patient.
- Dedicated providers get to know the unique needs of your employees and therefore provide higher quality care.
- When providers spend more time with patients, they’re able to address the root (lifestyle, psychosocial) causes of most physical health issues. Solving root causes is an additional means to lower costs and the number of specialist visits in the future.
- Care teams are able to coordinate patient care outside the clinic via high quality, low-cost referrals and follow-up visits. Think supply chain management for all downstream care.
These four components lead to immediate drops in the number of claims and reduced long-term care costs made possible by a healthier population.
Scope of services
Full investment clinics offer more services. The most comprehensive on- or near-site clinics provide the following:
- Primary Care: Services like annual physical exams, sick care, disease management — everything you would expect from your primary care provider.
- Preventive Care: Preventive care that centers around evaluating health risks and developing proactive plans to address them before they become problems.
- Urgent Care: When someone needs minor stitches, has an asthma attack, or an infection, they can come in for help right away (and avoid a costly ER visit).
- Occupational Health: Workplace related injuries, CDL evaluations, and drug testing can all be handled inside the clinic.
These four classes of care, combined with a generic drug dispensary, make an on- or near-site clinic a one-stop shop for most employees. Once they experience such comprehensive and thorough care, employees reduce use of traditional insurance or other fractured healthcare services (because they don’t need them).
Participation through an engagement program
An on- or near-site clinic population health management program operates using a per participant cost. Each employee who joins adds an incremental cost, but this cost is more than compensated for when they stop using traditional insurance. Because of this, it’s essential to get as many employees participating as possible.
Three ideas to achieve high engagement:
- Offer a monetary incentive to employees who complete a series of clinic visits, from provider wellness exams to biometric screenings. The quality of these visits can change the way your employees view their healthcare journeys and use the clinic in the future.
- Create a council where employees from every corner of your organization become clinic champions. Arm them with aggregated utilization data and empower them with the budget to create campaigns and make an impact on the healthcare culture in your organization.
- Give the clinic vendor access to employee communication channels where they can offer services, create health awareness, and create outreach strategies. Your employees need the chance to see the clinic as a valuable resource within their benefit plan.
On-site health coaches
Providers make diagnoses, prescribe medications, and give patients advice. A certified health coach facilitates the behavior change process and empowers patients to set and achieve their own goals by addressing the root psychosocial causes of most physical conditions. Both are essential to effective preventive health.
When health coaches aren't integrated into the clinic environment, it drastically reduces their effectiveness. They aren’t integrated into the care team, do not collaborate on patient care plans, and become just another fractured part of the employee’s healthcare.
Because preventive care and behavior change are cornerstones of reducing long-term healthcare costs, higher follow-through on the recommendations of a health coach can mean big savings for a large organization.
Comprehensive care management
When a patient establishes care at a clinic, they benefit from a team that can manage all of their care. This immediately reduces costs in three ways:
- When the clinic team manages the patient’s care, things run efficiently and smoothly when they help coordinate any additional care a patient needs outside of the clinic.
- In a comprehensive care environment, providers have enough time to discover the root causes of issues before referring out to specialists.
- The providers at the clinic can refer patients to the most effective specialists when a specialist is needed.
How it adds up
It can be difficult to understand where cost savings will come from in a full investment on- or near-site primary care model. Together all of these clinical solutions add up to big savings, and better health:
- Full-time, on-site providers
- Broad scope of services
- Proactive engagement programs to maximize participation
- On-site health coaches
- Comprehensive care management
Want to learn more about the value of on-site clinics for employers and employees? Check out our eBook: Employer's Guide to Healthcare.