Network Health Centers
With a dispersed workforce, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, needed a solution to connect employees more easily with high-quality healthcare services. In 2019, the County partnered with Marathon Health to provide comprehensive primary care, behavioral health support, chronic condition management and wellness services through Marathon Health’s Network of six Charlotte-based health centers.
As a result of the partnership, employees and their covered family members pay little to no fee to visit the Network health centers, which offer preventive screenings, regular checkups, sick visits, health coaching sessions and more.
Now three years into the partnership, engagement with health center services continues to climb while employee health improves.
Network Employee Health Centers Boost Access to Care
With six options to choose from, employees enjoy the convenience of visiting a health center both close to work and home, often within a 10-minute drive.
“Since we have such a large employee population spread across Mecklenburg County, it makes sense to have a Network of centers versus just having one onsite location. It provides a lot of access for our employees,” says Mecklenburg County’s Senior Benefits Consultant Aldrea Tembo.
Beyond the added convenience to employees, Network health centers help employers quickly ramp up, as they require no build-out or implementation costs. Network centers also ensure convenient access outside typical business hours via expanded hours on evenings and weekends.
“Marathon Health offers convenient, high-quality health care Monday through Saturday,” Tembo says. “It’s a huge bonus because it keeps employees and their dependents from having to rely on urgent care and emergency rooms for care during times when their primary care providers are not open or do not have appointments available. With Marathon Health, employees can be seen the same day or the next day, even on weekends, thus saving both the employee and Mecklenburg County money. Marathon Health can also transfer their medical records to their primary care physician or pediatrician to ensure continuity of care.”
Incentives Drive Employee Engagement with Charlotte Area Network Health Centers
Engagement plays a key role in helping employees understand their health center options and ultimately schedule a visit. So far in 2022, over 60% of employees engaged with a Marathon Health center. “We are intentional with our engagement efforts. We start talking about Marathon Health from the moment a new employee comes on board,” Tembo says.
Mecklenburg County’s engagement strategy includes a multi-channel approach of email campaigns, wellness ambassadors, and coordinating with Marathon Health representatives to speak at staff meetings. However, she says the County’s annual wellness incentive campaign is the most powerful tool to get the word out about Marathon Health services.
Employees who complete Mecklenburg County’s annual wellness incentive program receive a $1,000 insurance premium reduction. It requires employees to take a health risk assessment in the Marathon Health portal and complete a biometric screening. “You can use Marathon Health or your primary care provider, but most employees utilize Marathon Health because it’s easy to schedule and there is a high availability of appointments which makes completing their biometric screening a breeze,” Tembo says.
Employees who fall below specific levels on their biometric screenings can still earn the incentive by completing a health coaching appointment or mental wellness checkup with a Marathon Health behavioral health specialist. During their 2022 incentive campaign, 75% of Mecklenburg County employees with at least one biometric risk factor made measurable improvements. Tembo says a record number of employees also participated in the program.
“I am proud of our record-breaking results this year. Our collaboration with Marathon Health’s incentives team and our client advocate on our communication strategy resulted in a 48% increase in the number of employees that took advantage of the incentive program from 2021 to 2022,” Tembo says.
County Employees Get Healthy with Network Health Centers and Give High Satisfaction Score
To date, 99% of surveyed Mecklenburg County employees rate their experience with Marathon Health as excellent or good. Similarly, the County’s Marathon Health benefits enjoy a best-in-class Net Promoter Score of 90. “The providers are just amazing. I’ve never had a personal negative experience nor heard a negative comment from an employee since I’ve worked here,” Tembo says.
She notes employees give high marks for a multitude of reasons, but says it’s primarily the affordability and patient experience. “Another thing Marathon Health does really well is their referral program,” Tembo adds. “Many employees are getting the help that they need because of this program. Referrals from Marathon Health are typically completed at a faster rate than those coming from a traditional provider’s office. This could be credited to the referral team staying engaged with employees every step of the way.”
Beyond the raving reviews, Tembo says she loves seeing employees make life-changing improvements and find new interest in leading healthy lifestyles. So far in 2022, multiple Mecklenburg County employees won the “Healthy Like Me” challenge, Marathon Health’s program that celebrates employees who achieve significant, life-altering improvements to their health.
Two of the recent winners shared their stories about taking control of their diabetes:
- “I was able to get my A1c down from 11 to 5.7. I have maintained a healthier lifestyle. I’ve been able to stop taking many of the medications for diabetes, and I’m living healthier for myself and my family. I’ve lost 65 pounds, and I’m continuing to lose weight.”— Employee James Wright (Read the full story!)
- “I was able to lose 30 pounds and lower my A1c. Improving my health gave me the motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not only has my physical appearance changed, but I’m more agile, have more energy and I’m not out of breath all the time.” — Employee LaShaunda Abili (Read the full story!)
Marathon Health also provides support to the County’s representatives who work behind the scenes to improve services and employee experience. The company provides marketing support, an incentives team, and a client advocate, which promotes services and engages an employee population and their dependents. Tembo says Marathon Health offers a total support package that’s a win-win for the County and its employees.