According to a recent survey conducted by the National Business Group on Health, over half of all large U.S. employers (54%) offered onsite or near site health centers in 2018, and that number is expected to increase to two-thirds by 2020. Similarly, nearly all large employers (96%) now offer telehealth services in states where it is allowed, and a growing number of employers are offering incentives for employees who enroll in chronic condition management programs or who seek more efficient care.
Overall, employers are focusing on the employee experience, providing more concierge-style healthcare services to help employees become better consumers of health, and are looking at innovative ways to deliver quality healthcare at a lower cost:
“Employers are recognizing that traditional cost control techniques alone aren’t able to reduce costs to the point where they are no longer a drain on the bottom line,” said Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “While employers continue to address costs through health care management and plan design efforts, they are also ramping up efforts to positively affect the supply side of the health care system by pursuing health care payment and delivery reform initiatives.”
The trend toward onsite care isn’t likely to slow down any time soon—employers who invested in onsite clinics are now beginning to see the true benefits of this decision. Not only are the number of onsite care centers expected to grow, but large employers are expected to realize even greater benefits as they continue to invest in more comprehensive onsite healthcare solutions that include services such as Patient Advocacy and connected second opinion networks that reduce the price tag for complex and costly diagnoses.
Top 3 Benefits of Onsite Care Clinics
Of course, cost is the main driver for employers who are considering onsite healthcare. SHRM reports that, for large employers, the total cost of providing medical and pharmacy benefits will rise 5 percent for the sixth consecutive year, with total cost of healthcare averaging $14,800 per employee in 2019. But improving your bottom line isn’t the only benefit of investing in onsite care—in addition to helping employers contain costs:
1. Onsite Clinics Increase Productivity
Onsite care clinics can boost productivity in both the short-term and the long-term. In the short-term, onsite access to care can reduce missed work days by providing an easy way for employees to fit medical care into their work schedules. All that time traveling to doctor’s appointments and sitting in waiting rooms can really add up.
In the long-term, clinics can empower employees to better manage their own health and intervene before certain health conditions become critical, reducing absenteeism related to chronic conditions and hospital stays. In order to boost productivity, businesses should invest in more comprehensive onsite healthcare solutions. Look for a vendor who offers services such as chronic condition management, ongoing care plans, Patient Advocacy, and access to innovative second opinion networks. Combining these types of services with immediate acute care will have the most impact on the employer’s total cost of healthcare and maximize their potential for return on investment.
2. Onsite Clinics Help You Recruit and Retain Employees
The competition for talent and the labor shortage is real and continues to be a major factor across every industry—and the cost of employee turnover is high. According to one study from SHRM, the cost of replacing an employee is typically between 6 and 9 months of that employee’s salary. And that’s before accounting for hidden costs such as the added stress that an absence places on remaining employees.
One way to fight back against this growing problem is to develop robust retention strategies. Happier, healthier employees are less likely to seek employment elsewhere—and numerous studies demonstrate that up to 80% of employees would choose better healthcare benefits over a pay raise. The statistics are clear. If you want to recruit and retain top employees, invest in their health. Onsite clinics give employers a simple, low-cost way to offer their employees high-quality care.
3. Onsite Clinics Provide Convenient Access to High-Quality Care
Have you ever thought about how much it costs your employees to visit their primary care physician? Not the cost of the visit itself—but the cost of seeking the care in the first place, even if the visit is covered.
The American Journal of Managed Care estimates that, on average, it takes 121 minutes every time a patient seeks medical care, including 37 minutes of travel time and 87 minutes in the doctor’s office. For the typical employee, that time represents $43 of lost wages, and of that two hours, an alarmingly small percentage of time is actually spent in the presence of the physician.
When you look at the numbers, it’s no wonder that the vast majority of American workers neglect primary care. Regular doctor’s visits and access to the appropriate primary care are essential for good health. Underusing primary care services often results in employees allowing their chronic conditions to go unmanaged, missing critical preventive care, and using emergency rooms for services that could have been handled by their primary care physician.
Onsite clinics can reverse this trend and place primary care physicians back at the heart of healthcare. Not only does an onsite care center drastically reduce travel and wait time for your employees, but the clinical team serves far fewer patients. This allows them to spend the necessary time with each patient, schedule procedures more quickly, and develop appropriate care plans that can have a profound impact on your employees’ health and your bottom line.
These three benefits of onsite care work together to improve your bottom line and help you foster a healthier workplace. In addition, if you choose an onsite healthcare vendor with fixed-fee pricing, you will create greater predictability in your annual budget.
How Do I Ensure Patient Confidentiality?
The biggest concern most employers have when establishing an onsite clinic at your workplace is the risk and liability associated with handling employees’ personal health information (PHI). For this reason, most large employers choose to partner with an onsite clinic vendor with a proven process for securing patient data. By outsourcing that process to an expert, you reduce the liability of managing highly-sensitive patient information.
Partnering with a trusted onsite clinic vendor has the added advantage of helping you maintain a clear distinction between your workplace and your employees’ health provider. Initially, even with an outside vendor, many employees can feel reluctant to use an onsite clinic due to privacy concerns. An outside vendor is better positioned to overcome this obstacle and improve patient engagement, providing more convenient access while building a trusting relationship of care with patients.
The Proactive MD Onsite Care Model
Our model is built on the premise that it’s difficult to truly impact the total cost of healthcare through onsite clinics alone. Onsite clinics are a good start. They serve as a useful hub for collecting patient health data and beginning to build ongoing relationships of care. However, transformative change won’t occur unless vendors provide Care Beyond the WallsTM including patient advocacy services, chronic disease management, and complex and catastrophic diagnoses services to address high-cost claimants.
Our complete onsite healthcare solution includes Patient Advocacy, second opinion networks, and ongoing data and reporting in order to drive down your healthcare costs. Contact Us to learn more about how Proactive MD is changing healthcare for good.