Healthcare in the U.S. faces difficult challenges, including lack of access for patients, escalating costs and a tough system to navigate for consumers and health providers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts that by 2025 healthcare spending in the U.S. will increase from $3 trillion to $5 trillion. In addition, by 2030 there will be a 10,000 shortage of doctors in America – and that’s not counting the anticipated shortage of nurses and other medical staff.
Even setting up an appointment, the most basic aspect of healthcare, can be challenging. Scheduling the appointment, driving to the doctor’s office, filling out paperwork, waiting in the waiting room to be seen – all can take up to a half day away from work, even if the appointment is less than ten minutes long.
Employers and healthcare providers are pairing up to solve these challenges. One solution that’s gaining in popularity is employer-sponsored on-site healthcare visits. These primary care clinics are located on the employer’s campus or nearby. This solution has been proven to reduce costs, increase access to healthcare, improve health outcomes and support a more productive workforce.
On-site healthcare clinics are a strategic asset designed to control the rising cost of health care and improve the organization. Many organizations are not only investing in on-site healthcare, but they’re increasing their investment. Research conducted by Towers Watson found that of the large employers that currently offer on-site healthcare, two-thirds have plans to expand them.
Here are four factors organizations should consider before making a decision to invest in an on-site healthcare program.
Employees of companies that offer on-site healthcare are able to save time driving to a medical appointment, which often takes 30 minutes or even longer in traffic. Clinics offer care for no or low cost, for a variety of health services. On-site clinics have been shown to deliver quality services to everyone on staff, including those who don’t have a primary care provider. For those who do have a primary physician, on-site clinics offer a complement, rather than a replacement, to their current provider.
Since an on-site clinic can be a sizable investment, it’s best to think of the return of investment in terms of a three to five year commitment. According to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a well designed, convenient healthcare program can have a $2 – $3 return on investment over a two to nine year timeframe.
On-site corporate healthcare services inspire a culture of wellness within the organization. On-site clinics communicate to employees that their employer cares about their health and wellbeing and are listening to their concerns. An on-site healthcare model encourages employers to commit to a health and wellness approach that includes incentives and education in order to help employees make informed decisions about their healthcare needs. In general, such programs give employees time to ask questions and discuss their concerns, benefitting from the personal approach which is often lacking in the rushed atmosphere of most healthcare appointments.
On-site healthcare services are a benefit that are attractive to many talented candidates. Successful organizations know that human talent is at the heart of any strong business. On-site or near-site healthcare clinics are a way to attract and retain some of the best talent in most industries. Many organizations today are struggling with recruiting and retaining top talent; incorporating on-site and near-site clinics will offer most organizations a competitive edge in the marketplace. Millennials especially tend to resonate with these types of benefits as they continue to seek innovative workplaces.
For employers considering an on-site or near-site healthcare program, start by establishing clear goals that address what the organization is hoping to achieve. Be realistic about the time it takes to see a return on investment and recognize that value may be seen in softer costs such as engagement or productivity as well as hard cost savings.
Click here to learn more about how Lanier Upshaw can help your business gain a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining top talent. By managing your risk effectively, Lanier Upshaw offers expertise and guidance in all aspects of employee benefits.