An employer may offer on-site healthcare to its employees for a number of reasons. The on-site clinic is a benefit for employees and helps to entice potential job candidates. The employer generally also benefits from having available healthcare on-site, as employees who take advantage of the clinic services tend to be healthier and have lower absenteeism rates. An employer must look at a number of factors, to truly measure its return on investment (ROI) in the on-site health clinic.
ROI is measured in different ways, particularly in the healthcare field. In addition, the employer’s initial investment may take several years to produce significant results. However, employers generally are looking for financial outcomes when reviewing their ROI. They want to reduce the cost of the healthcare benefits they provide to their employees and see the on-site clinic as a way to ensure employees have convenient access to healthcare services.
In a 2015 survey conducted by Mercer, 85% of the employers who offered on-site clinics to their employees said it was a success. Respondents pointed to increased productivity and healthier employees as their measure. Of those employers who offer on-site clinics, “63% say it has successfully reduced lost work days, and 58% say it has been successful in helping members control chronic conditions.”
Despite these positive results, less than half of the survey respondents, 41%, were able to provide ROI data. “An ROI of 1.00 to 1.99 was most common (23% of respondents reported ROI in this range), and 13% percent reported an ROI of 2.00 or higher. Only 5% have an ROI of less than 1.00.”
There are a number of options for evaluating the impact the on-site clinic. Employee usage is a key factor. When employees take advantage of the basic services such as check-ups, preventive medicine, and immunizations, they tend to be healthier and more productive at work. When on-site physicians coordinate care with the employees’ primary care or specialty providers, treatment for more complex conditions is more effective.
The efficiency of healthcare services provided by the on-site clinic can be a factor in measuring ROI as well. When the clinic takes advantage of technology such as electronic health records (EHRs) in maintaining patient data, the employer is likely to realize cost savings in its healthcare spending and, more importantly, the on-site physicians will be able to provide higher quality healthcare to the employees.