“A 2011 survey of large employers by consulting firm Benfield Research found that a third already hosted work-site-based clinics at one or more location, and 7% said they planned to within the next 18 months.”  – Emily Berry (no relation ), amednews.com

The trend toward worksite clinics has dramatically climbed in recent years as employers seek mechanisms for managing growing healthcare costs.  It seems that everyone is getting into this space: startups, hospital systems, retail pharmacy chains etc.  Clearly, providing alternative channels for care is a priority for employers and their employees.  What is driving this trend?  Ultimately cost but these clinics present a number of models for addressing various challenges.

The following list highlights a few concepts described by Jonathan Spero of InHouse Physicians (http://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/worksite-clinics-the-next-generation.html):

  • At Risk Model – worksite clinic vendors have compensation tied to cost savings.
  • Gaps in Care Model – high-risk members are invited to visit the clinic and enroll in on-site programs designed to ensure quality care and improved outcomes.
  • Patient Centered Medical Home – The worksite clinician can act as a coordinator of care for patients ensuring quality, cost effective, evidence based medicine is delivered.
  • Clinical Engineering – Worksite vendors have a unique opportunity to identify high cost procedures and hospitalizations and negotiate case rates directly with providers and hospitals with built in quality performance guarantees.
  • Wellness – The clinic offers year round, on-site, integrated wellness programs that cannot only drive participation, but are very effective in modifying healthy lifestyle behaviors amongst members

In most of these cases, the worksite clinics are offering prepackaged medications to their patients.  Pharmaceutical dispensing at the worksite clinic completes the care process by enabling easy access to a critical piece of the patient’s therapy.  Typically, these clinics are purchasing their medications from a wholesaler like Northwind Pharmaceuticals and therefore are able to pass the cost savings on to the employer.

Medication dispensing, coupled with the right medication tracking system, enables the worksite clinic to play the role of the pharmacy while cutting out the overhead of the pharmacy.  Safety and efficacy are not compromised and a significant portion of overall prescriptions can be captured with a fairly narrow formulary.

We’ll continue to see this trend on the rise, perhaps even accelerate as the health care law heads to full implementation.


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