Proactive MD believes in the long term ROI and financial impact that an onsite clinic can deliver for a company wanting to implement direct primary care. In fact, we tie financial guarantees to all our onsite clinic contracts and promise that your overall healthcare cost will go down.
But at the heart of what we do is our signature Care Without Compromise™ promise. By offering employers a complete solution that addresses the complex needs of each patient (your employees), we’re able to impact healthcare costs at the source.
So with this in mind, what are some additional benefits of healthy employees? And how does creating a healthier workplace impact employers?
4 Benefits to creating and supporting a healthy workplace for Employees
A healthy workplace should be the goal of employers not only for the ROI, but also for the emotional, physical, and mental benefits for employees. Creating healthy workplaces is not a top-down approach that just benefits the final insurance costs for employers. Happy, healthy employees are also more productive and less likely to miss work days.
Here are four significant benefits that can result from healthier employees in the workplace:
1. Wellness Programs and Healthy Employees Impact Overall Morale
Have you ever thought of the larger impact that your company has on the families of employees that work for you—and the community as a whole? Your company may have its own set of core values, vision, and mission. If your organization is like most, those values include caring for those who support your organization. The good news is, a healthier workplace can make an impact across your entire community. Employees do not work in silos, and fostering a healthier environment at work can translate to a greater impact at home.
The World Health Organization notes that: “In addition to person-focused interventions, workforce health promotion initiatives have moved toward a more comprehensive approach, which acknowledges the combined influence of personal, environmental, organizational, community and societal factors on employee well-being.”
But really, what does that mean for employers?
Put another way, we recognize that there are many factors that impact a healthy workforce, and identifying the physical is important while recognizing the other outside impacts as well. A Harvard School of Health article sums this up nicely: “Integrated means tying together a number of factors that affect workers, including emotional, social, mental, physical, financial, and intellectual health. The different dimensions come together, and, all of a sudden, worker health and wellbeing starts to show up as the main driver as why [employees] want to work for the company.”
Let’s go over an example:
A 60-year-old male works for a large manufacturing facility. He is dedicated and knowledgeable but often has to call in for PTO and leave early or change shifts with other employees in order to care for his child with complex medical needs. When meeting with a Proactive MD primary care doctor he exhibits stress about his job, stress about caring for his child, and stress about paying for the child’s medical needs. The Proactive MD physician has the man meet with the onsite Patient Advocate.
The Patient Advocate realizes that the family is not taking full advantage of state and federal resources for at-home care for children with disabilities and that they (and therefore the employer) are paying full price for one of the child’s prescriptions when a doctor-approved generic prescription is available at less cost. The Patient Advocate helps to coordinate with the family to apply for state and federal tax and grant funds for at-home disability care as well as working with the child’s primary care doctor to change to the generic prescription and therefore save the family monthly cost.
This all impacts the man’s home life—but in the long run, his attitude, improved stress levels, and ability to go to work and concentrate on work all benefit the employer as well.
2. Increased Productivity for Employees
A healthier workforce can lead to increased productivity. Sounds simple, but think of the benefits that accrue when an employee doesn’t come to work sick—and, therefore, doesn’t cause a chain reaction of four other people calling out sick with the flu.
According to SHRM, “A clear link exists between managing health care and absenteeism and keeping productivity high. If employees are not at work—or are at work but not feeling their best—productivity suffers.”
For all you numbers lovers:
According to one study, “Employees who participated in a wellness program and successfully improved their health care or lifestyle showed significant improvements in lost work time. These employees saved an average of $353 per person per year. This reflects about 10.3 hours in additional productive time annually, compared with similar, but non participating employees.”
Or think of employee absenteeism and its impact on productivity. According to the American Journal of Managed Care, on average, it takes 121 minutes each time a person seeks medical care. This time includes an estimated 37 minutes of travel time, as well as 87 minutes at the doctor’s office or clinic. In comparison, having a Proactive MD direct primary care onsite Health & Wellness clinic allows for almost no time for travel (walk to the onsite clinic), almost no time in a waiting area (if at all, the average of 4 minutes), and about 30 minutes with a physician.
3. Employee Talent Acquisition
The job market is tight. We rejoice in this (and sometimes grumble over lack of workers). However, this makes it all the more important that you keep your valuable employee resources and avoid turnover. It’s becoming clear that the tight workforce means that employers aren’t just competing for customers, they are competing for talent.
Allowing employees access to sufficient benefits can help keep employees satisfied. In fact, Forbes reported that in a 2016 Aflac Workforce Report it was found that 60% of employees would take a job with lower pay but better benefits, while 16% said they had left a job or turned down a job in the prior 12 months due to the benefits offered.
And this trend is not just for 2016, the annual Inc 2018 “Best Places to Work” survey found that of the 285 companies nominated for the best workplace list, 13 of those offered onsite health care (and three offered onsite childcare!)
In a tight marketplace, employees are looking for more than high salaries or a “great culture.” Employees recognize the value of a healthy workplace and healthcare benefits for their long term wellbeing. Employers should create ways to foster this, both by health benefits (we are biased towards direct primary care and onsite health clinics), wellness initiatives and even personal education opportunities such as finance and investment classes. The trend of offering employees benefits outside of financial payouts will continue to grow, and employers will need to pay attention in order to remain competitive.
4. Reduced Healthcare and Insurance Costs for the Employer
And finally, we will end on the benefit of a healthy employee that touches on the company bottom line, or at least, the bottom line that everyone thinks of first: the reduced healthcare cost. We realize that the cost of healthcare is rising and believe that being good stewards of resources means HR and CFOs/CEOs should be taking financial impact into account when assessing options for healthcare.
So what are the employee health risks that are impacting employer cost?
In a Employee Benefit Advisor survey, 44.3% of employers say diabetes is among the top conditions impacting cost, followed by cancer and obesity.
Research shows that in general, 6% of a company’s health plan members spend 80% of plan dollars. Of that patient population, 20% of patients are misdiagnosed and 40% have wrong or suboptimal treatment plans (you can read more about our plans to impact complex medical care here).
What can be done to reduce the healthcare costs of such devastating diseases or conditions? How can we create a strong workforce that strives to remain healthy and creates wellness initiatives around this goal?
First, we should start with solid data, followed by individual care plans for each patient. In this way, each patient within an onsite clinic can have a customized care plan targeted towards their risk factors. Now magnify this impact across five years. Five years of catching and managing serious illnesses and chronic conditions early. The long-term cost savings of appropriate treatment plans add up when you create a healthy workplace that encourages appropriate care, wellness, and regular exams.
For example, a middle-aged woman recently did a self-exam and found a lump on her breast. She scheduled an appointment with our physician at her onsite clinic and was seen same-day. The physician agreed that the lump needed to be examined further, called for a mammogram, and was able to get her in that same week for an exam. The woman was diagnosed with breast cancer, but since it was caught early and she didn’t have to wait months for an appointment, she is on the path to recovery.
These kinds of stories are what Proactive MD strives for—and our goal when we encourage employees to create a healthy workplace.
Let’s talk about your business, your employees, your company’s long and short-term strategic goals. Chances are, we are already making a difference at a company similar to yours. We’ll tell you about it. And make a plan for you to join the growing network of Proactive MD-affiliated companies who are starting to make their own workplace wellness headlines.