More and more companies are returning to an old idea for keeping employees healthy and well—but with a new twist. According to a survey conducted by Benfield Research for the National Association of Worksite Health Centers, 33 percent of companies hosted a health clinic for employees on their work premises in 2011, and an additional 7 percent planned to do so in the next 12 to 18 months. But these clinics offer a much broader set of services than the occupational health and safety services traditionally offered.
Many of today's on-site clinics have expanded their scope to address the longer-term effects that chronic illnesses and poor health have on employee productivity and health care costs. This focus on keeping employees well includes preventive care and disease-management care for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Recognizing that caring for ill spouses and children can also tax an employee's time, many companies open their clinics to family members.
The top five providers of on-site health services, in terms of number of U.S. locations, support more than 1,000 clinics across the country. While these clinics can bring significant savings to companies, particularly employers with self-funded health care plans, the startup costs can be significant as well, running from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than a million. Local hospitals and other health care providers, eager to hold on to their stake in the community, have also entered the market. For smaller companies with fewer employees, contracting directly with a health system may be the better option.
Workforce Management, January 2013, p. 12-13 Subscribe Now!