Historically, worksite health clinics were primarily utilized by Fortune 1000 companies. As the costs of healthcare continue to rise for employers and employees alike, however, onsite clinics are gaining more traction with the mid-sized companies. But why? There are obvious benefits for employees to have access to healthcare at the office, but what is the ROI of an onsite clinic for employers?
Short-term ROI: Cost containment
Though there are upfront costs associated with standing up a worksite health clinic, employers can see measurable results in the form of cost savings almost immediately. Onsite clinics reduce the need for employers to pay for remote healthcare benefits such as employee visits to outside physicians, while also providing a discount for laboratory and pharmacy services.
Furthermore, when employees have convenient, onsite access to healthcare, the result is a healthier workforce that is less likely to take a sick day. In 2012, employee absenteeism and reporting for work while sick cost employers $227 billion in lost productivity. And with New Jersey and California both set to vote on statewide legislation to make paid sick leave a required employee benefit, minimizing sick time taken due to illness through onsite access to treatment is even more critical.
Mid-term ROI: Identify gaps in care and value-based care
Currently 80 percent of healthcare costs are incurred by only 10 percent of plan participants. So the goal of a worksite health clinic’s mid-term ROI is to identify and close gaps in care associated with this “high cost group.” Many of those who fall into this high cost category are managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease, which accounts for 70 percent of healthcare costs overall.
An onsite clinic reduces employer spend on high cost plan participants by increasing employee engagement in their own care and delivering care – not only in the clinic, but also by redirecting care to value-based specialty providers in the community that have demonstrated the ability to offer patients superior outcomes at a lower cost. Remote disease management solutions aren’t as effective because they are, by definition, remote. With better care for chronic health challenges within reach, employees achieve better health outcomes, while also providing savings to employers, who will spend less in offsite healthcare solutions.
Long-term ROI: Employee engagement and wellness
An onsite clinic, when leveraged correctly, is an all-encompassing healthcare solution for employees, with online, integrated communications tools, health assessments, wellness programs, and health coaching services. In addition to delivering value-based care, the long-term ROI of a worksite health clinic is simple, but powerful – creating a workforce that is more engaged in their health.
Onsite clinics provide an opportunity for employees to make wellness a priority without having to uproot their daily schedules to accommodate doctor’s appointments and pharmacy visits. As a result, employers have a greater chance of having a workforce that engages in true behavior change, while also enjoying better healthcare outcomes.
It’s true that worksite health clinics help employers rein in their healthcare spending. But the real advantage of a company establishing a worksite health clinic is that it embodies the value-based healthcare strategy, where the best employee health outcomes are delivered at the lowest cost.