Employers who provide worksite health care as an employee benefit often do so in anticipation of realizing certain returns for their investment. They may look toward improved employee health, reduced absenteeism, increased retention, or better recruitment results. Sometimes they can put those returns into numbers but not always. Employers vary on their interpretation of the return on investment (ROI) they see from their on-site and near-site clinics.
A Mercer survey conducted in 2015 found that employers are continuing to offer worksite clinics in increasing numbers, Affordable Care Act (ACA) uncertainties aside. When asked about their ROI on these clinics, the majority of the employers responding cited the clinic as being a success. However, very few were able to pinpoint specific numbers or data to measure their ROI.
Of those employers participating in the survey, only 41% had actual ROI data. However, “63% say it has successfully reduced lost work days, and 58% say it has been successful in helping members control chronic conditions.” Absenteeism and presenteeism are important factors for employers in considering the return they see on their investments.
Presenteeism occurs when employees show up for work feeling ill and then do not perform their jobs up to standards and/or infect their co-workers when they are contagious. On-site and near-site clinics offer the convenience for employees to access preventative care, immunizations, well visits, and treatment for such illnesses. Employers recognize the value in having healthy, productive employees.
Employers also realize that employee utilization of their on-site or near-site clinics is one of their best ROI measures. In the Mercer survey, participating employers reported that “45% of employees, on average, used the clinic in 2014.” To encourage employees to take advantage of the clinic services, the majority of employers who have hourly employees (61%), “do not require them to clock out of work for visits to the clinic.”