Cut extraneous expenses? Freeze new hires? Employers face no shortage of tough budgeting decisions – and healthcare expenditures are often at the top of that list.
As health insurance costs are expected to jump to a 10-year high of 8.4% in 2024, up from 5.4% in 2023, carriers will likely pass along those costs to employers, who will then have hard decisions to make about how to handle that rising expense. Furthermore, as a recent McKinsey report highlights, “A shift from fully insured to self-insured business will likely accelerate as recessionary pressures prompt employers to cut costs.” These shifts have more and more employers considering onsite healthcare as a way to be more proactive about containing healthcare costs —especially for companies with self-funded employer health insurance plans. With employer onsite clinics, companies have multiple options for increasing their employees’ access to crucial preventive care and, thus, mitigating the need for more costly procedures that can make healthcare expenses skyrocket.
Until recently, this option was affordable only for large employers, but today’s onsite clinic options utilize telehealth and can be tailored to meet the size of employer populations to keep implementation costs in check. Wondering how to evaluate the ROI of onsite healthcare? Here are five reasons to consider.
Reason No. 1: Reduced Healthcare Costs
Offering an onsite healthcare option, such as a primary care clinic that serves as a direct primary care provider for their employees, allows employers to provide vital preventive and early intervention healthcare services. By removing traditional barriers to primary care — convenient access, time away from work, and transportation issues — employers and employees engage as partners in their own well-being. These services potentially can reduce chronic illnesses or severe medical conditions among their workforces. And because preventive medicine typically costs less than treatment of advanced illnesses, employers might find that their overall healthcare costs decrease over time. For example, Hamilton Health Box has helped organizations achieve a 43% drop in ER and urgent care visits and a $132 decrease in Per Member Per Month (PMPM) total spend.
Reason No. 2: Improved Employee Productivity and Engagement
Having convenient access to healthcare services at their workplace means employees have no reason not to address health concerns quickly and efficiently. No drive to the doctor’s office or long waits to see a provider. No need to visit an urgent care center and potentially catch an illness from hours spent in a waiting room. Time saved by not traveling to an external site to receive care means fewer work disruptions for employees and improved productivity and engagement.
In addition, employees who can manage their healthcare with fewer barriers, such as via an onsite clinic, are more likely to address illnesses promptly – before they become more serious health concerns. This results in reduced absenteeism and presenteeism (when an employee is present at work but not as productive as usual due to health issues). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employee absenteeism costs employers $225.8 billion annually (or $1,685 per employee) in lost productivity. Reducing the time employees spend away from work due to illness, therefore, not only adds up to more convenience for employees, but it has a compelling cost component for employers, too.
Reason No. 3: Lower Turnover and Recruitment Costs
As employers face a persistently challenging job market, human resources departments are seeking creative ways to attract and retain employees. Benefits, including employer health insurance plans, have always been a key part of HR’s arsenal. Today’s job recruiters, however, are looking to get even more creative. Offering onsite healthcare has proven to be one effective HR strategy. Perks such as having a convenient onsite clinic for employees show potential new hires – and existing staff members – that their health and wellness are priorities. This, in turn, can bolster employee engagement and morale, which can reduce turnover. Lower turnover rates make for reduced recruitment and training costs, which positively affect an organization’s financial bottom line.
Reason No. 4: Customized Wellness Programs
Choosing to offer onsite healthcare gives employers the freedom to incorporate features such as wellness programs to address an array of healthcare needs, including nutrition, fitness, mental health, and stress management. Employers can also tie incentives to wellness initiatives, helping to target specific conditions unique to their population or consider including health coaching as part of their wellness programs.
Wellness programs are a win-win for employers and employees. These programs can result in healthier employees who are, therefore, more likely to be present, motivated, and focused on their work. These employees contribute an “employee positivity factor” to their work environments that result in a multitude of intangible benefits, such as improved customer experience, increased sales, and generation of innovative solutions to an employer’s business challenges. And, of course, there’s the cost savings from wellness programs. One study found that employee participation in a wellness program over a five-year period is associated with lower healthcare costs and decreased healthcare use.
Reason No. 5: Actionable Data and Analytics
When employers choose to set up a customized onsite clinic, such as those offered by Hamilton Health Box, data is used to determine the best mix of offerings for the employee base so that the employer gets the best return on investment. Once established, an onsite healthcare program can collect valuable, actionable data. This includes anonymized data about employee health and services used, which can be analyzed and leveraged to identify health trends, usage patterns, risk areas, or any other areas of concern. The information can help build on and adapt an employer’s onsite healthcare program so that it continues to meet the employer’s and employees’ needs with targeted health interventions and wellness initiatives.
Data also can help employers identify areas for cost saving. Hamilton Health Box, for example, presents valuable data during monthly touchpoints with its clients. Key insights shared include metrics about savings resulting from care received at the onsite clinic versus an ER or urgent care center and cost savings resulting from avoided lost employee productivity. Customers receive an ROI report every month to track these metrics.
What Does That Look Like? Learn About Customizing Onsite Care
There’s a lot for employers to consider when deciding if the investment in onsite clinic is a good move for your business. If you are interested in building an optimal onsite healthcare program, Hamilton Health Box can walk you through an analysis to define a service mix and care delivery model that are right for your employees’ specific needs.
We offer full and part-time service mixes, with a hybrid approach to care that blends the best of direct primary care paired with complementary telehealth services. Clinics typically feature primary care, chronic care management, urgent care, mental health, and other services, with essential services such as immunizations, lab work, and X-rays.
Ready to build your customized onsite healthcare program? To learn more about how Hamilton Health Box provides the kind of primary care that employers are seeking to deliver a strong ROI, schedule a 1:1 meeting with us.