Employers Are Key to Improving Healthcare

Posted: Updated:

It's no longer news that American healthcare is broken. In the U.S., we spend more than $3 trillion a year on healthcare - more than any other developed nation - yet we are in overall poorer health than similarly developed countries. But dealing with healthcare's myriad issues isn't the only challenge facing business owners and employers. They're also grappling with how to attract and retain a shrinking supply of employees.

Sixty-eight percent of employers say they face difficulties recruiting for the right talent, according to recent research by the Society of Human Resource Management. And when it comes to effective recruiting, employer-sponsored healthcare benefits play a tremendous role: 91 percent of employees rate healthcare benefits as an important aspect of their job.

One approach that addresses both problems is employer-sponsored onsite or near-site healthcare. Indiana is fortunate—as are my patients—to be home to one of the nation’s leading providers of this kind of service: OurHealth. As a nurse practitioner with OurHealth, I’ve seen firsthand how this solution is working at our clinics in central and northwest Indiana and can work anywhere in America.

I’m very encouraged to see more employers leading the charge to simplify healthcare for their employees and create better wellness outcomes. And they have valid reasons to do so: Onsite and near-site clinics reduce care-delivery costs, simplify access to care, and create healthier outcomes—all of which contribute to decreased overall healthcare spending for employers.

Let’s face it: If you work, you spend more time on the job than you spend with your family. So, when healthcare is in close proximity to where you work, it’s less costly and more convenient. According to a recent study by the American Nursing Association, the cost of a visit to an onsite clinic is less than the same visit would be to an off-site clinic. This is attributed to lower operational costs at a worksite clinic than at other clinics.

Worksite clinics also save time and increase employee productivity. With traditional primary care, you make an appointment that’s days or weeks in advance. On the day of your appointment, you could take up to half a day off to travel to the doctor’s office, wait in a waiting room, and travel back. When you have a dedicated doctor or healthcare provider at your work or nearby, you can seek care more quickly, taking less time away from the job.

Simplifying and increasing access to healthcare for employees also produces better results. Nationwide, 28 percent of men and 17 percent of women don’t have a personal doctor, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. For health issues large and small, an established, healthy relationship with a doctor or healthcare provider has been shown to significantly improve health outcomes.

I’ve noticed this in my time practicing at OurHealth: Because onsite healthcare is typically not a fee-for-service model, doctors and providers like me can spend more time with their patients. Our standard appointment times are 20 and 40 minutes, versus the 13- to 16-minute slots that most doctors report as their average. More time with patients means I have more time to talk, ask, and most importantly listen—and I frequently hear additional details that bolster my diagnosis and treatment plan.

These longer appointment times also create trust and understanding, and they’re one reason why I believe that the preventive care from onsite clinics creates lower overall healthcare costs by preventing the development of conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. When patients have access to care that helps them proactively manage these chronic conditions, including medication consultations, holistic assessments of a patient’s behavioral habits, and other preventive measures, patients are more engaged and more likely to improve their overall health.

Employers today have a choice: They can continue to focus on traditional healthcare benefits and continue to see costs rise without corresponding benefits to health improvements, savings, or talent recruitment and retention, or they can explore new ways of delivering benefits that improve savings, health outcomes, and employee morale. For my money—and experience—the smart move is on the latter.

  • Perspectives

    • Seven Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Writing

      "I hate to write!" While that phrase is music to my ears, because it ensures my income will persist, it also saddens me. Far too many people dislike writing, largely because they’re intimidated by the process of knitting words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Nearly everyone needs to write from time to time, and the ability to assemble words in a coherent way can impact your success. Whether you have to write reports, proposals, memos, or even emails...
    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Hoosier Companies Among 'Most Admired'

      Two Indiana companies are included in Fortune's 2019 list of the "World's Most Admired Companies." The list was determined by a survey of nearly 4,000 executives, directors and analysts who rated companies in their own industries based on criteria such as investment value, quality of management and ability to attract talent.

    • Books & Brews Acquires Flat12 Bierwerks

      Indianapolis-based Books & Brews has announced its acquisition of Flat12 Bierwerks, also based in Indy. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, however Books & Brews says it will continue to operate Flat12 under the same brand name. The acquisition is a continuation of an existing partnership between the two entities. Books & Brews says Flat12 has been a brewery partner for the past two years, brewing all of B&B's flagship and seasonal beers.

    • Hoosier Companies Among 'Best and Brightest'

      Two Indiana companies are among more than 500 selected by the National Association for Business Resources as the 2018 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation. The winners were chosen by an independent research firm from more than 2,400 nominations.

    • Indiana Liquor Group to Buy Save-On Liquor Chain

      Indiana Liquor Group LLC will work with the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission this week for final approval of its purchase of Save-On Liquor stores. Our partners at The Herald Bulletin report Phillip E. Miller agreed to sell the 31-location package store chain to ILG last month. 

    • Cook: Location, Funding Among Eleven Park Questions

      Several ambitious economic development projects are already taking center stage this year, particularly in central Indiana. Indianapolis-based KSM Location Advisors Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and President Katie Culp say efforts like Eleven Park, which would include a new stadium for the Indy Eleven soccer team, and a potential casino in downtown Indianapolis are among the key projects being talked about. On the (i) on Economic Development segment on Inside INdiana Business...