Ringing in the New Year means ringing in resolutions – and those resolutions tend to focus on personal health and wellness. As your employees turn the calendar, they recommit to better health. Whether they aim to quit smoking, start exercising or improve their diet, your workforce is working toward positive, personal change. Your business has an opportunity to support them in that effort, while benefiting your bottom line.

Where Do You Begin?

Your company may have already taken the first steps by implementing a wellness program. According to benefits consultant Mercer, 30% of companies are now providing onsite health services to enhance the impact of their wellness program and reduce medical costs by improving access to care. Here are a few things to think about as your business considers this next step:

1. Does your organization already have a health strategy in place?

Your company might be a fit for onsite healthcare if your existing wellness program focuses on strong employee participation, incentives around physical activity or preventative screenings.

2. What are your organization’s goals? 

If your company is growing – and if recruiting and retaining top talent is vital to that growth – onsite healthcare is a good long-term strategy. There may be quick payoffs, but most agree that the true value is realized over a 3-5 year horizon.

CHG Healthcare directly attributes their rise to #3 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For to the addition of their onsite health center. The Marathon Health centers are part of an attraction and retention strategy that have become a popular and valued benefit among employees.” – David Ridley, Marathon Health Account Manager of CHG.

3. What is the location, size, and demographic of your population?  

A centralized workforce is ideal for an onsite health center. Typically, organizations with more than 500 employees can justify a full-time staffing model. Organizations with smaller employee groups might consider a part-time or shared-services model to scale their investment. Near-site models — where a single health center serves multiple employee groups — work well for employers such as cities and school districts.

For example, the Escambia County School District is home to more than 50 schools covering 876 square miles in and around Pensacola, Florida. Recognizing the school district’s varying geography and demographics, Marathon Health and ECSD built a strong communications program catered to the needs of both millennial and baby boomer employees. The program led to improved employee engagement at the onsite health center resulting in district-wide healthcare cost savings. Since opening their health center in June 2014, the school district has seen a total net savings of $25.9 million, a 6:1 return on investment.

“Our healthcare spend trending rate is down 12 percent since opening the health center, which is unbelievable. I attribute a good part of that to what we’re doing with engagement.” – ECSD Risk Management Director Kevin Windham

Additionally, employee populations with a high prevalence of known risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, or high stress are especially well-positioned to reap the benefits of onsite health.

4. Which medical services are beneficial to your workforce?

Do you already provide occupational health, biometric screenings, patient navigation services, or health incentive programs? These services could be enhanced with the addition of an onsite health center, and consolidated by a single vendor for a more seamless and personalized experience for the employee. Providing onsite primary care in geographic areas where it is otherwise difficult to access is particularly valuable, and true population health management (rather than just acute care) is where the investment really pays off.

5. Is your organization self-insured and looking for ways to stabilize the upward trend of medical costs? 

Self-insured companies have the most to gain with a proactive healthcare strategy. An onsite health center can have a significant impact on medical claims by reducing urgent care and specialist visits through treatment of undiagnosed conditions. Beyond avoiding future claims, redirecting acute and preventative care to an onsite provider means those costs become more predictable for your company.

6. Can your organization make an investment in health? 

Key metrics to evaluate the financial opportunity for onsite healthcare include your organization’s current plan performance, emergency room and urgent care usage, specialty care and hospital stay rates, as well as primary care utilization.  In their proposal, onsite vendors should be able to show a positive return on investment with the inclusion of these metrics as well as the predicted use rates. Presentation of costs for an onsite health center typically includes a one-time implementation fee and either an annual or per-member-per-month operation fee.

Did you find yourself answering “yes” to several of these questions? Well, you may be prepared to take the next step in exploring onsite healthcare benefits for your workforce.


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