The next generation of on-site and near-site clinics

The idea of the workplace clinic has been around since the 1800s. On-site healthcare clinics have evolved quite a bit since then, of course, and are now offering expanded services such as fitness centers and life management programs. What’s next for these employer healthcare clinics? The next generation of on-site and near-site clinics promises to “drive significant reductions in healthcare costs for employers,” according to Corporate Wellness Magazine.

Eight key concepts around the next generation of on-site and near-site clinics, as described in Corporate Wellness Magazine, include:

  • At Risk Model. The risk in this model is on the healthcare provider. Clinic vendors who are willing to take some risk on their compensation may realize greater results in the end as the employer saves money on healthcare costs.
  • Gaps in Care Analysis. Analytic software, such as electronic health records (EHRs), tracks patient data and identifies higher risk employees. Employers can then “invite” those individuals to make full use of the healthcare clinic services, including programs “designed to ensure quality care and improved outcomes.”
  • Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). In the PCMH concept, the on-site or near-site healthcare provider acts “as a coordinator of care ensuring quality, cost effective, evidence-based medicine is delivered.”
  • Clinical Engineering. Negotiating costs directly with providers shifts the price scenario which results in savings for employers and members. Direct negotiation also results in improved patient outcomes.
  • Price Transparency and Patient Advocacy. When costs are negotiated and known at the time of a primary care physician’s referral, the on-site or near-site provider helps the patient make better decisions on cost-saving options for diagnostic of clinical procedures.
  • Predictive Modeling. Healthcare clinic vendors provide predictive cost data to employers for their use in determining future benefit levels.
  • Telemedicine. Convenience and access are key factors in the employee’s effective use of the on-site or near-site clinic. However, there are situations in which even the on-site clinic is not convenient. Telemedicine enables those employees to receive the medical evaluation and treatment they need.
  • Wellness. On-site and near-site providers are being “cross-trained as certified health coaches and up to 15% of the visits to the clinic are being utilized as purely health coaching sessions.”