Despite many business' creative efforts, health care costs have been on the rise in recent years, at least as far as company spending goes. The additional benefits some companies have to offer in the wake of President Obama's health care law have left organizations on the small- and medium-business side working to cut costs wherever and however they can.
For larger companies, however, one solution may be a bit more direct. Rather than spend money to pay claims when employees go to the doctor, why not just bring the doctor to work with them? On-site health care facilities are growing in popularity for some businesses, and they may be able to save companies money.
How does employer-managed health work?
If the notion of a company hosting its own health care facilities in house seems strange to you, you aren't alone. However, there are businesses and advocacy groups that are pushing for more companies to jump on board, touting the practice's many benefits.
These facilities don't necessarily have to be extensive, but they often provide at least basic primary care services and preventive measures like immunizations, all done on-site so that the company doesn't have to pay out insurance claims for basic or preventable procedures. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, nearly all of these types of facilities currently in existence offer these basic services - 99 percent provide immunizations and acute care, while 95 percent are equipped to manage blood draws.
Does it work?
It's easier to understand why a company would find an on-site health care facility appealing when you look at the potential financial benefits. The SHRM noted that 74 percent of companies with such facilities indicated that they want to increase productivity and lower health care costs, while 66 percent indicated that increasing employee access to medical care was a goal.
In addition, there are more direct savings associated with this initiative. Not only do the services cost less in-house than companies would pay through a third-party vendor or insurance company, but they can also help save additional money by reducing the amount of time that sick employees spend away from the office. With an on-site clinician and, in some cases, even a pharmacy, workers can receive proper treatment much more quickly.
Are there concerns?
There are some issues that such a practice raises that must be addressed. For example, advocacy group On Site Clinics indicated that companies with a strong union presence may experience difficulty with integration. In instances where employers are facing such a challenge, working with PEO companies can hold the answer.