Driving Employee Engagement with the Network Health Centers
With a 25-acre campus and a large portion of employees who don’t use a computer or email while on the job, communicating the new Marathon Health benefits initially proved to be challenging. It took an omnichannel approach to spread the word about the new employee health services.
“We promoted the Marathon services on TV screens in our breakrooms, we sent mailers to their homes, and we had a Marathon Health representative speak at employee meetings,” Doug says. However, employee-to-employee referrals provided the most effective method for increasing engagement with the health centers. “Employee recommendations are extremely important. We’ve had some employees who’ve utilized Marathon and become advocates. They talk it up and tell their friends, and we’ve certainly encouraged our employees to do it.”
Franklin International also rolled out an incentive program to reward employees for engaging with health services. Workers can earn up to $500 — and spouses an additional $500 — for completing various wellness activities throughout the year.
In order to earn the first $100, employees need to complete a biometric screening and annual physical. The screening and physical can detect many of the leading chronic conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. “If we can get employees taken care of and connect them with health and wellness services, we have a good chance of preventing critical illness,” Doug says.
Of the employees diagnosed with a high-risk condition, 52% now actively engage with Marathon Health services, while 35% have made positive progress on high-risk factors. These health improvements don’t just help employees live happier, healthier lives, they also provide significant savings for employers. For instance, costs for employees with Type 2 diabetes average $16,750 annually, which is about 2.3 times higher than the medical expenses of a person without diabetes.
No-Cost Medications Improve Outcomes and Compliance
Franklin International employees can also access hundreds of common prescriptions for conditions like hypertension, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and allergies at no cost if they obtain the medications at a Marathon Health Center.
“We made sure to keep the messaging simple,” Doug says. “Rather than saying it’s inexpensive but you get all these benefits, we said, ‘You know what? Let’s make the message simple and easy. ‘If you go to Marathon, it’s free.’”
Expensive prescription costs can prevent patients from taking needed medication, often for serious conditions. One study found that 30% of respondents skipped taking medication due to costs. Dispensing medications with no copay not only ensures Franklin International employees can obtain medications, it also improves compliance and equity as some employees face travel and mobility barriers that make it difficult to visit a pharmacy.
Network Employee Health Centers Enjoy Glowing Reviews
Now over a year into their partnership with Marathon Health, nearly one-third of employees engage with health center services, and the benefit enjoys a world-class NPS score of 93.
Employees give the benefit high marks for more time with their provider, same-and next-day appointment availability, minimal wait times, low costs, and convenience. The benefit also provides a key tool for attracting and retaining talent in a tough job market.
“Marathon Health was a great match for us, especially in this time where we’re trying to compete with other employers and differentiate ourselves in various ways,” Doug says. “Being able to say we offer free primary care is both a simple message and a message that people care about, because I think most employees think healthcare is somewhere between too expensive and unaffordable.”
While Franklin International initially rolled out the benefit for employees who didn’t have a primary care physician, Doug says the convenience and high-quality care has moved some employees to trade in their existing physician for Marathon Health: “We’ve had a great number of employees who had a primary care physician try Marathon Health, either because they weren’t thrilled with their doctor or because they were attracted by the price and convenience. While they weren’t our target audience, many of these employees have been strong users and proponents of Marathon Health.”