If it’s On-site, It’s Alright
During this period of health care reform, most employers are looking at ways to control health care costs while still maintaining a healthy workforce and providing excellent medical services to their employees. One of the ways to accomplish this goal is by having an on-site clinic or one that’s nearby.
A survey conducted by the National Association of Worksite Health Centers (NAWHC) revealed that 95% of the companies surveyed said they met their goals -- at least partially -- of increasing employee satisfaction and productivity with an on-site clinic. When you consider such a high percentage was achieved, it makes having an on-site clinic a no-brainer; right? Especially when that same survey also found that more than 80% reported that access to care was improved by their clinic and increased participation in worksite health programs was increased by 75%. Even more amazing is that nearly 70% said the clinic improved their health and 64% said reduced medical costs were achieved.
How can such huge percentages be possible with such a seemingly easy solution? The answer is in the way employees use the clinic. In an article on Employee Benefit News titled What’s the Value of Onsite Clinics?, researchers at the NAWHC discovered that, rather than going to the emergency room (which can be expensive) for something that’s not an emergency, employees went to their employer’s on-site clinic. This was also a great time saver for employees in that they didn’t have to take as much time off work for a minor, unscheduled medical issue. Furthermore, it appears that on-site clinics are a better way to get employees to use and benefit from preventive health care and management programs for certain health conditions. As such, the clinic can be a terrific central focal point for where work-related health programs are hosted.
Most on-site clinics provide basic services such as minor care, preventive screenings, and wellness programs. A few also provide behavioral health services and more than 30% can even handle primary care. According to the NAWHC, the latter service is expected to grow. Another statistic that’s predicted to increase is the number of employers that have on-site or nearby clinics.
That’s because these clinics are being examined by employers of all sizes. It’s not just large employers who can benefit from them. In fact, the NAWHC survey found that the number of employers that manage the clinic themselves is more than 35% and they utilize nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide medical services.
Health care reform has caused employers to take a second look at having an on-site clinic and it appears that these employers like what they’re finding. Clinics can be an invaluable resource that provides great ROI in curtailing health care costs, reducing employee absenteeism, and creating heightened satisfaction among employees.