The number of onsite health clinics is on the rise. Twenty-nine percent of employers with 5,000-plus employees have an onsite clinic, according to one survey. A second report found that 38 percent of large employers with existing onsite clinics planned to add additional facilities within two years.
Providing primary and preventive care onsite is not just convenient for employees; with proper management, the clinics can also represent significant cost savings for employers. To ensure your clinic is a cost-saving investment in the health of your workforce and not an expense threatening the bottom line, ask these questions of your onsite clinic vendors.
It’s often vendors, not employers, who own and control the data collected in onsite health clinics. Without control of the data, it’s impossible to gauge how well the clinic is performing or to make needed adjustments to increase its success. The vendor should be the vehicle for collecting and syncing data and suggestions actionable insights but, as the employer, you should have full access to and ownership of the data collected in the clinic.
Onsite clinics treat a range of conditions from workplace injuries and minor illnesses to chronic diseases. The clinic staff can close gaps in care by reaching out to employees with abnormal lab values to avoid future catastrophic claims, communicating healthcare costs to reduce unnecessary ER utilization and creating plans to manage chronic conditions, resulting in significant cost savings.
It is critical that employers play an important role in recruiting for their on-site clinic staff. Your vendor should manage this process and hire staff with your culture in mind.
Care in the clinic can be wide-ranging, from rashes that appear on-the-job to managing long-term chronic conditions. Smart clinic management depends on the ability to engage the right people at the right time.
Each population is different, and a one-size-fits all strategy won’t meet the needs of a dynamic population. Ensure that your vendor relies on real-time data from your population to prescribe outreach strategies that make sense for your workforce.
These data-backed initiatives can have a real impact on health and cost. For example, reaching employees with abnormal lab values to avoid future catastrophic claims, or deploying a diabetes management initiative to reduce the risk of unmanaged disease.
The right technology can significantly improve patient care. A successful vendor’s technology suite should include software for online appointments; electronic health records to track patient information; and ways to integrate drug and lab data and claims.
The care employees receive in an onsite clinic should be seamless with the rest of their healthcare interactions. To achieve this, clinicians should have an integrated health record that connects to other providers and self-reported member information. Clinics should also be prepared to participate in care coordination when needed, making sure to make referrals to in-network providers and healthcare centers.
Operating an onsite medical clinic is more than an altruistic decision. Your vendor must be tracking the impact on the clinic on the bottom line, including metrics on cost savings; closing gaps in care (and providing better value-based care) for high-cost groups such as employees with chronic illnesses; and employee engagement as measurements of return on investment.
Partnering with a vendor to operate an onsite medical clinic can provide significant benefits to your employees and the bottom line as long as you are asking the right questions.
Take the next step in your clinic research: Get instant access to checklists, discussion questions and sample reports in a three-step clinic planning guide for employers and benefits advisors.