Companies are constantly seeking creative avenues to clamp down on employee health-care costs. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 56.8 percent of Americans received health care from their employers. Providing health insurance is very expensive business and many care unsure of what to do because of the uncertainty surrounding health care reform.
An interesting way that employers are hoping to provide a ‘beneficial’ service to their employees, which is also a cost-cutting measure, is by bringing health care directly to workplaces. One possible solution, for large employers specifically, is to offer clinics on site.
According to a 2013 survey by the National Business Group on Health, 44 percent of large employers have on-site clinics, and nine percent are thinking about adding them.
Many of these workplace clinics go beyond giving over-the-counter medicine, and provide services such as primary care or even chronic care management. Also, let’s not forget that on-site care is convenient for employees and can make them feel good about the workplace.
This strategy successfully saves the company money, especially if that company is a large employer that self-insures—meaning that employers pay claims costs out of pocket instead of paying premiums for a commercial plan. Large insurers tend to self-insure more than small ones because they can spread the financial risk across a broader employee population. They also manage health care costs directly and can keep a handle on the cost of supplies, drugs and medical services.
Today, consumers are bearing more health care costs than before. That’s why there’s a need for the health care industry to become more consumer-friendly. Big retailers such as Walgreens are getting into the health care space, both through on-site work clinics and stand-alone facilities.
Now that we’re in 2014, companies are bracing for the ripple effects of the Affordable Care Act and are willing to try all sorts of strategies. On-site clinics certainly wouldn’t work for every business, but in many cases, they represent a win-win in a chaotic industry.