Case Study

Onsite Employer Clinics Allow Self-Funded Texas Company to Engage 100% of Employees with Primary Care and Take Control of Healthcare Costs

Hamilton Health Box’s unique approach is perfect for small to mid-size companies with unique needs at various locations. For Hardie’s Fresh Foods, this meant meeting employees where the need is greatest, translating into record 100% engagement with primary care services that keep employees well and drive down healthcare costs.


Read on or download the PDF to save this content for later:


Hardie's logo


For more than 80 years and three generations, Texas-based Hardie’s Fresh Foods has been a premier fresh food distributor to hospitals, markets, and restaurants in the Southwest. Through the decades, Hardie’s steadfast and heartfelt commitment to its employees has always been apparent—perhaps never more so than during the past few years. With its workers struggling with costs for and access to preventive healthcare, the company was facing several challenges. 

  • As a small, family-run business, Hardie’s was having a difficult time finding affordable health coverage for its employees, who are mostly contract or hourly workers. Health insurance was simply too expensive for many of them.  
  • In 2016, Hardie’s transitioned to a self-insured health plan hoping to tailor their offerings to the needs of their workers. “But we found that many of our employees were still not visiting the doctor, even if they had enrolled in our plans,” says Melinda Munoz, Hardie’s Human Resources director. “The co-pays alone felt like too much of a cost burden for them.”  

  • As a food distributor, Hardie’s business operates around the clock, with warehouse workers and drivers across separate locations in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Because of their irregular schedules, employees weren’t seeking treatment during their off-hours or taking time away from work.

As a result, some of our employees developed serious health issues that could have been prevented. In fact, we had several employees pass away from cancer, which was extremely difficult for a smaller company like ours where we feel like we’re all family. If they had sought care earlier, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

Jennifer Hardie Austin
former Vice President of Benefits


Hardie’s began hearing about Hamilton Health Box from similar Texas-based companies. They were immediately interested in their onsite “microclinics” and 24/7 telemedicine that delivers preventive and chronic care services. In fact, when Hardie’s was recruiting workers from one of those businesses—which was closing a division—the interviewees’ biggest concern was whether Hardie’s offered onsite clinics like their former employer did.  

The more they looked into Hamilton Health Box’s solutions, Hardie’s realized that it could provide a convenient way for employees to access healthcare services while also lowering claims costs. Especially for self-insured companies like Hardie’s, onsite healthcare services typically result in lower and more predictable total cost of care, greater employee productivity and decreased absenteeism. Most importantly, onsite care would provide a convenient way to help Hardie’s employees better manage their health. 

Lower total cost of care

Lower total cost of care

Greater employee productivity

Greater employee productivity

Decreased absenteeism

Decreased absenteeism

After arranging clinic services for an initial six-month contract for the Dallas location, Hardie’s was fully on board. The company later asked to enter into a three-year contract and added the Houston and Austin Hardie’s locations. Furthermore, Hardie’s decided to give clinic access to all employees—not just those on the health plan.

We really wanted to make it easier for employees to take better care of themselves. It’s difficult for them to pull any amount of money from their paychecks, so we wanted all of our employees to have and use the benefits provided by an onsite clinic.

Jennifer Hardie Austin
former Vice President of Benefits


Hardie's locations in Texas

Each of Hardie’s locations—Dallas, Austin, and Houston—was quite different from one another. The flexibility of the Hamilton Health Box approach allowed them to create and implement three different models to meet each location’s unique needs. For example, Hardie’s Dallas facility is located on two floors, with corporate offices situated on the second floor. “We felt it was important to house the clinic on the second floor so that employees, especially in the warehouse, would have easy access to it,” says Austin. “The best spot in terms of location was my office, so I moved to a new one. In a matter of weeks, Hamilton came in and turned it into an actual doctor’s office.” 

At Hardie’s Austin location, which has only 80 workers, Hamilton Health Box established 24/7 telehealth services—which all three locations have access to. Once per month, Hamilton Health Box sends a mobile clinic to provide well checks, chronic condition monitoring, and any services Hardie’s employees there might need. Hardie’s third onsite clinic in Houston is its largest, which Hardie’s Austin says is a “beautiful space that Hamilton was able to get up and rolling quickly.” The ease of implementation meant that Hardie’s was able to see swift results.

Hamilton Health Box relied on its excellent staffing record to provide Hardie’s employees with highly qualified and well-trained onsite clinicians. To encourage worker engagement, Hamilton Health Box met with Hardie’s benefits and human resources staff to review successful strategies and protocols. 

Hamilton Health Box shares our philosophy of putting our employees’ well-being first. They go above and beyond to make sure that our employees have the best possible access to the services they need at a reasonable cost to us.

Jennifer Hardie Austin
former Vice President of Benefits

Given the scheduling challenges facing many of Hardie’s employees, Hamilton Health Box also implemented a prescription program to make obtaining needed medications much easier. Regular, monthly prescriptions—say, those for controlling blood pressure or cholesterol—are sent directly to the clinic. The onsite nurse then delivers those medications to the employees, eliminating the need for a trip to the pharmacy. Furthermore, if specialist services or medications are needed, clinic staff will coordinate those to ensure specialists are in-network or that the prescription is filled with less-costly generic medications.  

“This is so helpful for our workers,” says Austin. “Hamilton Health Box doesn’t have to do that for us. But they share our philosophy of putting our employees’ well-being first. They go above and beyond to make sure that our employees have the best possible access to the services they need at a reasonable cost to us.”  


telehealth services at Hardie’s Austin location, which all three locationshave access to.


of workers at the Houston and Dallas locations have visited their clinics at least once in the past 12 months.


With the implementation of onsite clinics, Hardie’s is experiencing numerous upsides to its healthcare costs. And what the company views as the best outcome is the way its employees have welcomed this new benefit. 

Among the improvements Hardie’s has seen are: 

  • Better management of chronic conditions. One of the significant benefits Hardie’s has experienced through its onsite clinics is the increase in preventive and chronic care delivered to workers. For example, at the Houston location, ten employees have been newly diagnosed with diabetes; of those, eight are currently enrolled in hemoglobin A1C monitoring. Twenty Houston employees have been newly diagnosed with high blood pressure; of those, 13 are being monitored. Staying on top of these chronic conditions will prevent them from escalating into life-threatening—and costly ER visits.  

  • Impressive primary care engagement rates. Hardie’s is thrilled with the level of engagement and enthusiasm for its onsite clinics. In fact, 100 percent of workers at the Houston and Dallas locations have visited their clinics at least once in the past 12 months. “Before we had onsite clinics, many employees did not want to take time off work or were just nervous and didn’t think they needed a doctor,” says Hardie’s Munoz. Onsite clinics not only facilitate the delivery of preventive care services, but they also make it easier for workers to seek treatment for acute issues, such as an earache or sore throat, that they may previously have sought care for in a more costly setting, such as an urgent care center or an ER.  

  • Improved employee satisfaction and retention. In Hardie’s line of business, turnover is quite common. However, the company believes their onsite clinics are a differentiator in the market. Hardie’s Austin says that employees constantly rave about the convenience of the company’s onsite clinics and, in particular, the fact they have daily access to a clinician for anything they might need. Employees also appreciate having one dedicated clinician at their disposal. 

That consistency has allowed them to develop comfortable relationships with our provider rather than seeing someone different every time they visit urgent care. It also makes long-term health monitoring more effective.

Jennifer Hardie Austin
former Vice President of Benefits


Hardie’s Austin and Munoz both agree that the most important part of their effort is communication: making sure that workers are aware of the clinic and know how to use it.

Our employees are like family. We have always tried to come up with ideas on how we can show appreciation for them. After 80 years in business, we believe that our onsite clinics are number one on that list.

Melinda Munoz
Human Resources Director