Worksite clinics continue to be a key factor in employer health programs. A recent Mercer survey found that nearly 30% of employers with over 5000 employees offer an onsite or near-site health clinic for employees. Up from 24% in 2013, this result shows that more employers are embracing health clinics as a mechanism for controlling medical costs and driving overall employee health.
In clinics that provide general medical services, immunizations and screenings are the most common services offered. Urgent care is provided in 73% of clinics, preventive care exams in 71%, and chronic disease management in 63%. Pharmacy services are offered at 38% of clinics, and just over a fourth (26%) provide mental health or employee assistance program (EAP) counseling in their clinics. Worksite clinics are a convenient way for employees to undergo biometric screenings (offered at 77% of clinics), participate in face-to-face chronic condition coaching (60%) and take part in lifestyle management programs such as smoking cessation (59%) or weight management (56%). (Source: Mercer)
Why Employer Health Programs Embrace Onsite Clinics
A Towers Watson survey of employers found the following reasons for implementing onsite/near-site clinics:
- 75% to reduce lost time form work/increase productivity.
- 74% to reduce medical costs or health benefit spending.
- 66% to improve employee access to convenient health care.
- 48% to promote screening and preventive health services.
- 13% to provide a perk to attract employees.
As the trend continues to grow, employers are increasingly faced with the challenge of showing a return on investment for clinics. Nearly 85% of survey respondents perceive the clinic as a success with 63% saying that they have reduced lost work days. However, under half of respondents are able to provide ROI data. With the advent of claims and health analytics companies like Springbuk, the ROI trend is sure to shift as employers have better access to actionable data related to their claims and employee health outcomes.
Bright Future for Employer Health Clinics
The future continues to look bright for worksite clinics and their role in employer health programs as new analytics services like Springbuk are married with outcome intervention service like obesity management solution On Target Health. On Target health provides a targeted obesity management solution designed to help employees improve long term weight management habits that reduce weight related ailments. A growing pool of data validate their approach and give employers a measurable approach for reducing medical costs. As the wave of new tools and services continues, employers and employees stand to benefit from a market-driven focus on health and outcomes. The approach could serve as an overall model for population health management and the future looks bright for big leaps forward in overall health.
A recent employer health forum held in Indianapolis, Indiana reinforced some keys to success when pursuing the worksite health model:
- Executive support
- Clear objectives
- Measurable programs
- Wellness committees
- Pull versus push programs – employees seeking to engage in wellness offerings
- Education that includes spouses
- New employee on-boarding that encompasses health offerings
- Predictive modeling
The bottom line is that employers will continue to drive many of these innovations in population health management and broaden their role in impacting health and medical costs. Economics are driving many of the programs but the broader benefits are beginning to emerge as the employers see the impact to the whole person.