Popularity of Worksite Health and Medical Clinics

04/05/2013

According to The National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, worksite health and medical clinics are another way that large U.S. employers are battling the costs associated with the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The study, released in November 2012, cited the following prevalence of onsite clinics for large employer groups:

  • 37% of employers with 5,000 or more employees reported they offer occupational and/or primary care services through an on-site clinic
  • Whereas, it was only 32% in 2010
  • 15% of large employers are considering installing a clinic within the next two years

On-site clinics were slightly less popular with midsize employers

  • Of employers with more than 500 employees, approximately 30% said they currently offer on-site clinical services
  • 9% of the same employer group said they may begin offering on-site occupational health services
  • 15% said they are considering offering primary health care services by 2014

In a follow-up survey, 131 employers were asked what the motivation was in offering on-site clinical services:

  • 82% of firms listed reducing lost employee productivity as a primary motivator for installing a worksite clinic
  • 75% said controlling overall health care costs was a top motivating factor in their clinical offerings
  • 73% indicated managing employees’ health risks and chronic conditions as a primary program driver
  • Half of employers polled also said that they see the clinics as a way to attract and retain talent

Worksite clinics allow employers to ensure health care provider access for their employees, the study noted. “Where worksite clinics once focused on occupational health, employers are increasingly using them to provide a wide array of primary care services.”

Although 87% of employers polled rated their programs as generally successful, more than two-thirds of them have not been able to measure their clinics’ financial return-on-investment. However, a majority of employers that have measured the net value of their clinical services said they have experienced an investment return rate of 1.5 or better.