Onsite care clinics, if designed and managed appropriately, have the potential to reap major benefits for employers.
Here are three of the most attractive benefits that draw employers to this onsite health strategy:
1.) Onsite Care Clinics Contain Costs
Containing direct medical costs is a primary goal of most organizations that maintain onsite care clinics. The Towers Watson 2012 Onsite Health Center Survey found that this was the No. 2 reason cited by employers surveyed who have established onsite care clinics.
In the short-term, onsite clinics give employers the ability to exert greater control over often avoidable costs — including things such as:
- Visits to specialists
- Non-generic prescriptions
- Emergency room visits
- Avoidable hospitalizations
In the long term, many employers hope to improve the health of their employee populations and change behaviors through screening, identifying health conditions earlier, and helping employees manage chronic conditions on an ongoing basis. This results in a significantly lower treatment costs.
Beyond influencing individual costs, onsite care clinics allow the employer to reduce cost per service by negotiating with the health providers they select.
2.) Onsite Care Clinics Boost Productivity
The Towers Watson 2012 Onsite Health Center Survey found that productivity was a goal for 62% of companies surveyed — making it the No. 1 benefit desired from this approach.
Onsite care clinics also are seen as a means to boost productivity by allowing employees to more easily fit treatment into their schedules, eliminating the need for many medical visits to offsite facilities. Improved access to convenient care also can:
- Reduce absenteeism
- Prevent disability claims
- Mitigate work-related injuries
3.) Onsite Care Clinics are an Attractive Benefit
Onsite care clinics also can be a positive benefit used to attract and retain quality employees. Onsite clinics are a benefit that employees tend to highly value and discuss with their friends and peers, generating word-of-mouth buzz and bolstering your company’s brand as an employer of choice.
What to Be Wary Of
While there are many positives in onsite care to consider, employers must be aware of potential risks. Chief concerns include:
- Additional liability associated with managing personal health information (PHI)
- Privacy concerns that employees may raise
- Risk that may arise from the potential for medical malpractice
To insulate the company from this liability, it is important to establish the appropriate processes and procedures for managing patient health records as well as structure the clinic in a way that ensures the care provider accepts responsibility for any malpractice allegations.