On-site Clinics: Who Says Healthier Employees Have to Come at a Cost?

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Dr. Geraldine Darroca Dr. Geraldine Darroca

What if I told you there’s a meaningful way to positively impact employee health and wellness while simultaneously driving down the cost of healthcare? Sounds too good to be true, right? This actually is a reality for many employers who’ve taken advantage of opening on-site clinics in the workplace.

While capabilities and services vary by clinic, the premise stays the same. Employees benefit by having quick and convenient access to care without having to take time off of work. Employees can also be incentivized to lead healthier lifestyles, which can pay off with a more productive and engaged team.

For employers, the benefits are almost countless. With workplace clinics, employers can see lower turnover, reduced absenteeism, recruiting advantages and downward pressure on annual healthcare costs. 

At Indiana University Health, our Business Solutions team develops customized care solutions for on-site (and near-site) clinics to meet an employer’s needs. This ranges from providing basic occupational health services to a more comprehensive offering that incorporates x-ray, health coaching, lab services and prescription medicines. While offering primary care is a key focus, on-site clinics are also designed to treat chronic disease and acute illness.

Across IUI Health’s portfolio of clients, we’ve recently seen some pretty dramatic results:

     • One large employer’s clinic paved the way for a marked drop in employee hospital admissions.

     • Another saw health plan costs fall 10 percent over the course of two years after opening a clinic – during a time of rising national healthcare costs.

     • Another company discovered employees utilizing its onsite clinic had health plan costs of $489, compared to $2,100 for non-users.

IU Health now operates 19 workplace clinics for varied employers, from industrial companies to schools and municipalities. The clinics are designed to suit the client’s budget and available space, ranging in size from small walk-in spaces to multi-room layouts. The clinics also are typically linked, through health plans or other arrangements, to other health providers and services, so patients can be referred to imaging centers, pharmacies and hospitals to allow seamless care.

Beyond serving employees and employers with convenient access and low-cost alternatives to conventional care, on-site clinics also play a critical role in improving the health of the broader community. By offering specialized programs to help employees maintain healthy blood pressure, quit smoking, lose weight and lower their blood sugar, clinics are not only offering live-saving measures to individuals, but taking meaningful strides towards making Indiana a healthier state.

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