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ROI vs VOI: Which is better for worksite employer clinics?

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Most employers are concerned about financial returns on their investments. If they purchase new equipment, for example, they want to know when that new equipment will begin to pay for itself and then reap rewards in terms of additional profit. The same is true for the healthcare options companies offer their employers.

Employers want to know if investing in a worksite clinic will produce significant financial returns on investment (ROI). There is also a more intangible measurement used when discussing employee wellness and that is the measurement of the value on investment (VOI).

Often, ROI on employee healthcare is difficult to measure. A recent Mercer study found that only 41% of those participating had solid numbers to show their specific ROI data. However, 63% of those responding to the survey stated that they were realizing reduced lost work days, which is a specific number related to their worksite clinic ROI.

When reviewing their VOI, employers take into consideration less measurable information such as “employee morale, decreased use of sick days, increased productivity, positivity and talent retention.” These are certainly important factors when evaluating the success of a worksite clinic, particularly as it impacts the employer’s investment, but they are factors that cannot readily be calculated on a financial spreadsheet.

Which is a better measurement for an employer’s worksite clinic? It truly depends on whether the employer is more interested in having its employees reach health-related goals, becoming healthier overall, or whether the employer is focused more on the actual returns on its financial investment, in terms of productivity numbers or reduced healthcare costs.

Employees who are able to access healthcare through a worksite clinic will probably take advantage of those services in some form or another. Many employers go beyond the simple vaccinations and well checks to offer lifestyle management and additional wellness options. The employer must determine whether measuring VOI or ROI is more important to them, in terms of determining the success of those programs.