November 18, 2019
In an environment of high-deductible health plans, constraints on access to care, and the tightening of company budgets on healthcare spending, on-site health clinics have become a viable way to ensure that a company’s most valuable assets – their employees – are getting the preventative and ongoing health care that they need, while controlling costs for both the employee and company.
What is an On-Site Clinic?
You might be thinking, what is an on-site clinic? An on-site clinic is a customizable health clinic offered right at your worksite that is designed to deliver health and wellness services to your employees. And, because the clinics are most often located right in the heart of the company’s space, they make getting care quick and convenient, reducing time away from work and family. Another win-win.
The “Why” Behind an On-Site Clinic
The on-site health model grew from the need to reduce on-the-job injuries, especially in industries like manufacturing and distribution where accidents are more common and can have a big impact on a company’s budget and overall productivity. Not only can these incidents be costly, but when an injured worker is not on the job, another employee often must fill in, learn the role, and take time away from his or her day-to-day work. Productivity may dip and additional accidents can occur. Some injuries, depending on their severity, must be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which could mean fines and penalties – or even shutdowns.
How Are Companies Benefiting From On-Site Clinics?
By adding an on-site clinic, companies can help to reduce their workers' compensation costs. Additionally, many injuries can be properly treated on site at the clinic to help workers get back to the job faster or be sent for appropriate follow-up care, if needed.
Case Study: Decrease in Insurance Costs
In just three years after implementing an on-site clinic with MedExpress, one large retail distribution center saw OSHA-recordable injury rates decrease by 89 percent and the number of lost work days due to employee injuries decrease 83 percent. These decreases led to 60 percent cost savings in their workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
In addition to treating injuries, on-site clinics allow the medical providers who work on site to educate employees on safety issues, ergonomics, and stretching to help prevent future accidents and injuries before they happen. The presence of the on-site clinic and its providers, the availability of immediate care, and the reinforcement of safety through customized health and wellness programs is just one example of the power of an on-site health clinic.
Case Study: Decrease in ER Visits
When healthcare costs began to climb due to an increase in emergency room (ER) and specialist visits for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure, on-site clinics became a potential solution for a large healthcare organization. By providing convenient access to care right in the workplace and offering educational programs to identify, prevent, and manage chronic conditions, this organization was able to reduce their ER visits by 12 percent and hospital admissions for chronic conditions by 39 percent. This led to a decrease in overall healthcare costs of 12 percent per member, per month. But most importantly, employees were healthier and able to better enjoy their lives both at and outside of work.
Setting Goals For Your On-Site Clinics
Companies often have specific goals in mind when considering what on-site services to offer, such as improving access to health care for their employees, helping to lower the company’s healthcare costs over time, or even as a benefit to attract and retain employees1. An on-site clinic’s service offerings can range from work-related injury care, urgent care for illness, or even a complete health center with fitness facilities, primary care, and behavioral health services. Some employers also choose to offer access for the selected health offerings to an employee's family, too.
Business leaders often work with their health insurer and the MedExpress on-site clinic team to look at the types of health issues that lead to ER and specialist visits to develop the right health programs to help their employees improve their health. For example, if diabetes is a common condition within a workforce, one of the goals may focus on the importance of exercise and nutrition through on-site education, activities, and health challenges. Not only are the programs developed to fit a business' specific needs, but measureable goals are established, such as reducing hospital ER visits. If these goals aren’t being met, the programs will be reevaluated and modified for success.
And that’s the power of an on-site health clinic: to be customizable and flexible with the ultimate goal of improving health and wellbeing by engaging employees where they spend a large portion of their day – at work. An on-site clinic can help to build a positive culture that attracts and retains valued employees, while simultaneously helping a company to lower their overall healthcare costs.
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1 KLAS: Worksite Health Services 2018: A First Look at Firms’ Performance. Updated February 8, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2019.