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The growth of employer site clinics

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More employers are offering the benefit of on-site health clinics to their employees, as a recruiting tool and as a way to help improve employees’ healthcare access. One of the more recent surveys, conducted by Mercer, found that “in 2014, 29% of employers with more than 5,000 employees offered a work-site clinic that offered general medical services, up from 24% the previous year.” The trend is predicted to continue.

Employers are finding that on-site health clinics are enticing benefits for potential employees, especially millennials. Forbes reports that 34% of millennials see healthcare as the most important benefit in the workplace. The millennial worker, born between the early 1980s and the turn of the 21st century, has grown up in an environment of access and immediate gratification. The lure of an on-site health clinic speaks to this age group because of its convenience as well as the cost savings involved.

Convenience is a major factor in the growth of employer on-site clinics. Employees spend less time “going to the doctor” when the provider is located within the company’s physical site. That typically encourages them to visit the physician more often, for preventative care and for the treatment of illnesses or injuries. As a result, their absenteeism is reduced and their healthcare outcomes are improved.

Millennials are also a digital group and appreciate the electronic health records (EHRs) being used by many employer on-site clinics. With the added ability for patient-physician communication and coordination between multiple providers, the EHR tool adds to the benefits seen in an on-site clinic.

The number of employer on-site clinics is growing as a benefit to employees in terms of cost and convenience and to the employer in terms of healthier employees. With the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in flux, healthcare costs and coverage are the primary concerns of many employees and potential employees. Employers see the on-site clinic as a way to recruit those potential employees and to keep their current employees healthier and more productive.