Why a Shared-Site Clinic Can Help Reduce Your Health Spending
by Melina Kambitsi Ph.D. | SVP, Business Development & Strategic Marketing
Health care is confusing and expensive, but by utilizing an on-site or shared-site clinic to deliver Advanced Primary Care, an organization can provide its employees with easy-to-access care while reducing their overall spend.
In fact, The Alliance advocates so strongly for this model of health care that we are establishing our own shared-site clinics – available even to employers that are not members of The Alliance!
But first, let’s define the clinic models and how each might benefit your organization.
Shared-Site and On-Site Clinics
- Shared-Site Clinics are located at a community site and are available for use by employees and families from multiple employers. This is a popular option for smaller employers because costs are shared by all employers who are part of the clinic.
How Are Clinics Funded and Staffed?
- On-Site Clinics are located at a single employer’s worksite for use primarily by their employees only. This model provides employers with maximum control over the benefits their clinic offers. When employers want to offer Advanced Primary Care to dependents as well, they may consider a near-site clinic, located near the employer’s work-site but not on the premises.
Some employers contract with a health care system to establish a clinic. Why? It’s built, staffed, and subsidized by the health system. This allows an employer to provide their workforce with accessible care with little effort and less financial risk.
Another way to access a clinic is by contracting with an independent vendor. This may require more up-front costs because the employer is responsible for implementation costs. However, this model provides a greater long-term impact on an employer’s health care spend due to the independence it offers.
Because the employer has more control over the clinic, they can use their claims data to focus on cost-saving measures specific to their industry or employee population. Additionally, any care that is referred outside the clinic can go to the highest value provider and isn’t restricted to a specific health system.
What Are the Benefits?
- Easier Access for Patients. Because clinics are usually near their home or worksite, it’s more convenient for employees.
- Deeper, Trusting Patient-Provider Relationships. Physicians spend significantly more time with their patients, which creates a more fluid flow of information, allowing the physician to make smarter recommendations and referrals.
- Addresses Root Causes to Health Problems. Rather than simply addressing symptoms, there’s a larger focus on preventative care. Over time, this reduces emergency care costs for the employer.
- Fewer Referrals and Expensive Tests. Because physicians spend more time with their patients and more time on preventative care, the need for costly specialty care decreases. And when a referral is necessary, patients are guided to seek high-value care.
- Better affordability. In traditional health care, the employer’s health care costs increase as their employees increase their health care utilization. In a clinic setting, providers pay for care on a per-member, per-month basis, so employers aren’t burdened with higher costs for excessive health care utilization.
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- Higher Employee Satisfaction. Employers can experience reduced absenteeism, increased retention rates, and become an employer of choice in their area due to the fact they offer cost-friendly, easy-to-access primary care in the form of an on-site or near-site clinic.