Online travel company Expedia Inc. will offer its employees access to a new worksite clinic at its Bellevue, Washington-headquarters beginning in January 2013, the company reported.
The clinic is being constructed by Qliance Medical Management Inc., a Seattle-based health care firm that contracts with employers to provide primary care to employees and their dependents through its network of clinics. Employers pay Qliance a per-employee per-month fee ranging from $49 to $89 per month, depending on benefit plan members' ages.
Qliance will provide Expedia, which self-insures health benefits for approximately 2,000 employees in the Puget Sound area, a customized primary health care solution including women's health services, pediatric care, urgent care, wellness education, ongoing chronic disease management, selected on-site procedures and diagnostics and coordination of all outside specialists and hospital care, according to Dr. Erika Bliss, Qliance president and CEO.
The Expedia clinic also will be available to the public and other employers that would like to enroll their employees, Bliss said.
"Employers are struggling to control health care costs. But they don't have a lot of leverage in the community with primary care providers and the rest of the health care system to drive change. If employers can't control the system, (with an on-site clinic) they can at least control the care that is provided within the four walls of their company," Bliss said.
Bliss said that when employees have immediate and convenient access to primary care through the workplace, they are less likely to need specialist and emergency room care, thereby lowering employers' health care expenditures. Qliance has saved self-insured businesses up to 30 percent of the cost of primary care using the clinic model, she said.
The Expedia clinic will be the sixth opened by Qliance in Washington state. The company is looking to expand into at least two other states by the end of next year, according to Bliss.
Expedia declined to comment.