4 Onsite Models That Can Improve Workforce Health and Positively Impact Productivity
Employers nationwide are confronting the many challenges of economic inflation, and the growing costs of medical care are high on the list.
Employer medical plan costs are expected to rise 5.6% per employee in 2023, according to the National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans from Mercer. As for workers’ compensation costs, NCCI released a report that estimates that medical costs, which make up the bulk of workers’ comp spend, will rise 2.5% to 3% this year.
With both workers’ comp and health care costs on the rise, many employers are exploring the onsite health care options as a way to help drive these expenditures down. Onsite programs can be tailored to fit the needs of employers of any size, and in any industry. By offering their employees convenient access to care, employers can have a positive impact on employee health and productivity. Additionally, in today’s competitive job market, employers are also offering onsite health care as a benefit which helps them attract and retain talent.
“Concentra takes a concierge approach to onsite program development,” said Mike Rhine, senior vice president and COO of onsites at Concentra. “A good onsite program should be designed to meet the specific needs of each employer and their employees and any other eligible dependents. This is only possible when there is collaboration between the employer and the provider when the focus is on improving health and wellness and optimizing productivity.”
4 Popular Onsite Models Employers Should Consider
1) Episodic Visits: One of the more basic onsite models, an episodic visits model could feature flu shot clinics, physical examinations for hiring events or other one-time services.
Occupational health professionals can staff events at an employer’s location and conduct select services.
“We’re performing services nationwide and results reported have been favorable. Employers appreciate the convenience and low cost, and employees appreciate how easy it is to obtain valuable services like flu shots, audiometry tests, health screenings, and more,” Rhine said.
2) Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist: With an athletic trainer or physical therapist onsite clinic, employers can bring a trained occupational health professional into the workplace to address ergonomic and musculoskeletal injury concerns.
Onsite athletic trainers and physical therapists can walk through an office and work directly with employees to correct improper postures or other behaviors that have the potential for injury. If employees experience discomfort, they can go to the onsite clinic for early intervention treatments and physical therapy to address the problem and help reduce the risk of a future claim.
“If somebody even starts to feel some soreness, they go see the athletic trainer or the trainer goes directly to their workstation to evaluate the possible cause of the discomfort,” Rhine said.
For employers with a high number of employees susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries, an onsite physical therapist or athletic trainer can conduct safety training which may help reduce the frequency and severity of injuries and lower associated claim costs.
“If you are dealing with high physical therapy claims costs you could be a great candidate for an onsite therapist that is set up to evaluate and treat your employees, post physician referral. We have seen ROIs as high as 2.5 on the model,” Rhine said.
3) Registered Nurse: Onsite registered nurses are able to triage workplace injuries, manage workers’ comp claims, conduct clinical assessments, and provide health counseling and education services.
In the past, registered nurse programs may have focused solely on workers’ comp injuries or illnesses, but now, Rhine says, he sees these programs expanding to offer more general health, injury prevention, and wellness services.
4) Clinician: Onsite programs can include the services of clinicians, including physicians and nurse practitioners. This model offers a broad range of health care and workers’ comp services to employees. Depending on the budget these onsite clinics could be a fully staffed medical centers up to and including diagnostic capabilities such as X-ray and ultrasound.
They do not have to start with a full offering. “We may have had a nurse practitioner on site that was at one point only treating work-related injuries,” Rhine said. “Now, some employers have expanded the program to allow employees to see that nurse practitioner for upper respiratory infections, colds, upset stomachs, headaches — conditions not necessarily related to workplace injuries — and why not? It’s a lot easier for people to come to the onsite clinic to get these services than to have to go after work into a community lab or another site.”
The next step would be for employers to offer their onsite clinic services to an employee’s family: “In a lot of situations, we have spouses or dependents using the onsite clinic before an actual employee does,” Rhine said.
“The more folks that come through the onsite clinic, the better that is for the company’s ROI. It creates more value to the employees and the dependents as a whole.”
This type of onsite clinic is particularly beneficial for younger employees and their families who may not have ready access to primary health care services.
“The younger the workforce, the less likely they are to utilize primary care providers in the community, so having an onsite available that is at the place of work and can provide urgent care and either some basic primary care services or wellness screenings can make a big difference,” Rhine said.
The Benefits of an Onsite Model
“The injury prevention and wellness benefits onsite occupational health professionals provide are innumerable. Employees who use these services tend to have fewer on-the-job injuries, and make proactive investments in their health, and are happier and more productive,” Rhine says.
During the pandemic, employees were more likely to skip preventive health services. Employer onsite clinics can help target those gaps to ensure employees remain healthy.
“We saw a huge lapse in necessary preventative screenings post-COVID,” Rhine said. “That’s why it’s important to use an onsite clinic where you can do your biometric screenings, preventative screenings, services of that nature, so you don’t have to worry about the individual going to the lab and the community when they get home from work.”
In addition, in today’s tight labor market, many employers are looking at onsite clinics as a benefit that can help attract and retain talent. Prospective employees may look at an onsite clinic and see an employer who actively invests in their health and wellness. “It’s become a big recruiting tool for employers,” Rhine said.
With so many different types of onsite models, employers can find the one that meets their needs — no matter their particular concerns or size.
Choosing the Right Onsites Partner
During its 45-year history, Concentra has spent more than 30 years working with clients to perfect its onsite model. Its trained occupational health professionals have staffed over 155 onsite clinics integrated with Concentra’s 540 medical centers nationwide.
“We have the ability to tailor the onsite model your specific needs, and the ability to extend hours or extend your reach via telemedicine,” Rhine said.
Concentra’s onsite clinics provide injury prevention, early intervention physical therapy and triage services, among other offerings, for employers with anywhere from 300 to 30,000 employees. The firm’s national telemedicine program operates in 46 states, 24 hours a day, so clients can always access the company’s services.
These programs can be tailored to an employer’s needs — whether that means episodic visits from the company’s mobile units, or a full-blown onsite clinic staffed with a medical professional who can conduct safety screenings and physical examinations and triage any workplace injuries.
With a sophisticated electronic medical records (EMR) system, Concentra is able to prove to its clients the return-on-investment and value-of-investment numbers for its programs. Employers and patients rate the company’s onsite services highly, giving it a 93% Net Promoter Score.
“Once you start treating, our EMR integrates into and develops and presents reports for us, and most onsite companies have an EMR that generates reports on utilization and outcomes, and that allows you to show that ROI,” Rhine said.
To learn more, visit: https://www.concentra.com/onsite-clinics/
This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Concentra. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.