How to Save Your Employees 50% on Primary Care Costs
Through self-funding and implementing a shared-site clinic that uses direct primary care, Tena Hoag, CFO of Advanced Laser, helped her organization save approximately 10% on their total health care costs in 2019. They used those savings to reduce prescription drug prices and create their clinic’s mental health service offering – further improving her employees’ access to high-value health care.
With direct primary care, patients pay a low, set fee to access the clinic near their workplace – which not only saves them money, but also improves their access to high-quality care.
“Direct primary care is the cornerstone piece of both good health and reduced cost,” Tena said.
Today, for every dollar Advanced Laser spends on their clinic, employees receive two dollars of care – over a 2:1 return on investment. When compared with the costs of other providers in the area, Advanced Laser’s employees are saving over 50% on health costs by using the shared-site clinic.
Desirable Services Create Employee “Buy-In”
Tena has been able to get her workforce, top-to-bottom, engaged in their by expanding their access to high-quality care using no- and low-cost services through the shared-site clinic, which offers: biometric screening programs, a smoking cessation program, mental and physical therapy services, and a prescription drug benefit plan.
In tandem with the clinic’s offerings, Advanced Laser utilizes an optional high-deductible health plan for employees, which Tena has made as affordable as possible within the federal rules for high-deductible health plans. Additionally, employees are offered a PPO through Advanced Laser.
Employees can get routine health maintenance, preventative prescription services, insulin, and other associated diabetic medical expenses at the clinic free of charge. The clinic also serves as the company’s redesigned EAP, so the first four sessions of mental health services are free for all employees and covered dependents.
The clinic has ensured Advanced Laser’s workforce remains compliant in their health care journey.
The Benefits of a Shared-Site Clinic
“The difference in care at our clinic is the development of relationships between the provider, the patient, and the patient's family,” she said. “It's not simply a checkoff list of symptoms, but rather looking for the root cause – one that doesn't necessarily require expensive medications or referral to a specialist. And when our employees have positive experiences at the clinic, they tend to tell other employees.”
That increased interest and the clinic’s widespread adoption created a new challenge for Advanced Laser – servicing employees in a timely fashion.
“Our clinic utilization has been high enough that we've had to increase its hours of operation not once, but twice, since its inception.”
Typing Together Employer & Employee Incentives
Tena’s employees are reaping the rewards of high-value health care; since the clinic’s inception, medical claims paid on their plan went from $200 per member, per month to $160.
“In terms of hard dollars, the clinic generates $4,000 to $7,000 per month in savings, but because most of our folks are on a high-deductible plan, they never reach those deductibles, so those savings are passed immediately into their hands,” said Tena. “It makes me smile every time I think about how they can spend that cash on their families instead of on overpriced health care.”
Tena Hoag received a Health Transformation Award from The Alliance on October 1, 2020 for significantly improving her employees’ access to high-value health care and transforming the way health care is delivered in her community. The Alliance created a case study capturing Tena’s journey in more detail to help other employers emulate her success.
About the author:
Melina Kambitsi, Ph.D. |SVP, Business Development and Strategic Marketing at The Alliance
Dr. Kambitsi joined The Alliance in 2017 and leads the teams responsible for business development, client development, and strategic marketing. Dr. Kambitsi came from Network Health in Milwaukee and Menasha, Wis. where she was chief sales and strategy officer. Earlier she was SVP of sales at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Honolulu, Hawaii and VP of sales, marketing, and product development at Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.