Employers embracing onsite health centers

Employers embracing onsite health centers

ER Health CentersCompanies with onsite or near-site health centers must like them, because many have plans to expand them.

Towers Watson surveyed representatives of 120 large corporations that already have such centers, and found that 38 percent plan to add capacity to those centers over the next two years. Among their plans: onsite pharmacy services, expanded wellness programming and life coaching.

The findings are in Towers Watson’s 2015 Employer-Sponsored Health Care Centers Survey.

Towers Watson asked respondents why they offered onsite or near-site services, and received these responses:

  • To increase productivity: 75 percent;
  • To reduce health care costs: 74 percent;
  • To improve convenient employee access to health care services: 66 percent.

What are the most common services offered?

  • Immunizations: 99 percent;
  • Care for acute conditions such as upper respiratory and urinary tract infections: 99 percent;
  • Blood draws: 95 percent.

How do they staff their centers?

  • Outsourcing to vendors: 64 percent;
  • Self-operated 23 percent;
  • Local or regional provider groups or health systems: 18 percent.

The survey also showed an increasing interest in telemedicine, with 35 percent already offering the services and another 12 percent planning to add them within two years.

“For employers with a critical mass of employees in one or more locations, onsite and near-site health centers can be an integral component of a high-performance health care program,” said Dr. Bruce Hochstadt, senior consultant at Towers Watson. “Encouraged by their experience to date, many employers with these centers believe providing convenient access to health services increases employee productivity by reducing time away from work. What’s more, many are ready to increase their investment.”