January 11, 2016

Growing Trend of Health Clinics at Large Employers

A recent article on the Modern Healthcare website explores the increasing use of on-site health clinics by large employers (i.e., those with 5,000 or more employees) seeking to contain their health benefit costs. Almost 30% of such companies have health clinics on-site or nearby, up from 24% in 2013, according to survey data cited in the article.  The majority of companies with such clinics contract the work to a vendor.  While some clinics have physicians on staff, they are typically staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

The clinics provide primary and preventative care to employees, and in some cases, their families.  They also encourage exercise, and some have fitness facilities on-site. The goal is to keep workers healthy, thus “reducing absenteeism and cutting benefit costs.” 

While the article states that there’s not much data on whether these clinics actually reduce costs, 2/3 of large employers with such clinics plan to expand them.  Also, “many employers plan to continue investing in [these clinics] even though the cost will likely be included in calculating the Affordable Care Act's Cadillac tax on high-value health plans starting in 2018.”

But one health economist quoted in the article questioned the cost savings from such clinics, and noted that privacy concerns may prevent some employees from using these clinics.

For more information, see the full article.