Surge in investment in primary care and on-site employer health clinics

Surge in investment in primary care and on-site employer health clinics

Recognizing that primary care can play a significant role in reducing unnecessary tests, specialty provider visits, and even hospitalizations, private investors are increasingly supporting primary care practices as well as on-site employer health clinics. With healthcare costs increasing for both patient and provider, reducing those costs by providing quality primary care that is easily and conveniently accessed can make a significant difference for everyone involved.

On-site employer health clinics have shown steady growth since 2008. In the past five years, the number has increased from 24 percent of companies with more than 5,000 employees offering on-site clinics to 33 percent. More employers are realizing that employees who have access to on-site preventive care are healthier, more productive, and more apt to remain with the employer longer term.

Private investors, such as Carlyle Group LP, also recognize these facts and are putting “large sums” into workplace clinics, according to a recent article in BenefitsPRO, an employee benefits publication. Carlyle is investing approximately $220 million in One Medical. According to BenefitsPro, the company will use the funds to “more than double the number of clinics it operates, from 72 currently. The company operates in eight cities, and plans to expand to more locations as it seeks to sign up more employers.”

A group of investors is also boosting the financial resources of Paladina Health, an on-site employer clinic provider. Paladina also plans to use the money to expand its reach, including possibly providing care for Medicare patients, and build new clinics. The clinic provider currently has 53 employer clinics in 10 states.

Employers are realizing that on-site healthcare clinics benefit them as well as their employees. Particularly with rising healthcare costs, employees who are able to take advantage of the less expensive options of on-site healthcare are more apt to seek out preventive care. That, in turn, helps to lower the rate of absenteeism and presenteeism (showing up for work when feeling ill or contagious) for the employer. Investors are likewise recognizing these facts and are indeed putting “large sums” of money into this growing trend.