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Employers report benefits from on-site or near-site employee health clinics

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A majority of employers providing health care services through on-site or near-site clinics say those services helped them lower their overall medical costs and improve their employees' health, a new survey shows.

While fewer than half of employers polled in the National Association of Worksite Health Centers' 2014 Benchmarking Survey offered on-site or near-site clinical health services last year, most of those that did said their clinics were successful in meeting predetermined financial and health care-related objectives, according to a summary report of the survey results released Tuesday.

“Especially in light of health care reform, on-site clinics are increasingly being recognized by employers of all sizes as a valuable benefit to reduce costs and absenteeism, while serving as the hub to integrate all worksite programs, and increase employee health and satisfaction,” said Larry Boress, executive director of the NAWHC, a Chicago-based nonprofit trade organization.

Sixty-four percent of employers polled said services provided through on-site or near-site clinics — such as acute and preventive care, behavior and occupational health care, first aid and pharmacy services — reduced their overall medical costs, survey results show.

On-site and near-site health clinics were generally most effective at meeting employers' financial goals among large companies with between 1,000 and 10,000 full-time employees, which comprised roughly 44% of all employers offering clinical services to their employees.

In addition, 70% of employers providing on-site and near-site clinics said the clinics contributed to improvements in employees' overall health, while 75% said their employees had become more engaged in worksite health and wellness programs.

More than 95% of those employers also said the clinics had at least partially improved employee job satisfaction and productivity.