The employer’s trusted resource for onsite health, fitness, pharmacy and wellness centers

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  • December 31, 2018 1:40 AM | Deleted user

    With health care costs on the rise, companies are finding savings by creating their own medical clinics for employees.

    By Jennifer Alsever, contributor

    A health clinic at HP

    FORTUNE -- Corporate America is going clinical. Some prominent companies have given up hope that Washington will do anything to curb health care costs and instead are taking matters into their own hands.

    This fall, Intel will open its own medical clinics on campuses in Hillsboro, Ore., and in Rio Rancho, N. M., hiring its own doctors and staff to care for the 9,043 employees who work there. The goal? Lower insurance costs, improved employee health and higher productivity. "I don't think anyone thinks that anything is going to happen with health reform and a lot of employers are rethinking their overall strategy," says Marne Bell, a senior consultant at Towers Watson, a New York HR consulting firm that has found a dramatic increase in interest in clinics this year.

    For years, workplace clinics consisted of handing out Band-Aids and treating workplace injuries. But as health care costs climb -- employers pay 36% more today than they did five years ago -- companies are betting on long-term cost savings with their own clinics staffed with physicians, nurses, even chiropractors, physical therapists and pharmacists.

    Earlier this year, Michelin North America built a medical clinic on its campus in Greenville, S.C., Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) opened one in Palo Alto, Calif., and drug maker Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) opened a clinic and pharmacy in Bridgewater, N.J. Intel (INTC) has already opened two other clinics in Arizona and another in Hillsboro, Ore.

    Intel executives say they want to make access to doctors easier for employees. With no drive time to appointments, no long waits and no rushed visits with physicians, workers are more likely to actually get to the doctor. And hopefully that can prevent more serious -- and costly -- diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

    "It's the right thing to do," says Tami Graham, Intel's director of global benefits design. "People have come in because it was convenient, and they're finding life-threatening issues they wouldn't have known about, and they're taking action."

    The clinics are no small investment. Each clinic cost Intel about $1 million to build and another $1.5 million to operate. The chipmaker managed to break even on those operating costs at its first two clinics in Arizona. "For every dollar you spend, you save $2 to $3 but it may take two to three years," says Bell at Towers Watson.

    Nearly a quarter of the 588 large companies surveyed by Towers Watson this year already have on-site medical clinics for both factory and office workers, and next year, another 12% of those corporations will open new clinics for employees. (Towers Watson doesn't have comparative data, but a decade ago, most companies used on campus clinics for workplace injuries. Only now are clinics shifting to be more focused, primary care doctor's offices, says Bell.)

    The powerhouse behind much of that construction is Walgreens (WAG). The drug store chain has a division called Take Care Health Systems that runs 360 on-site clinics, managing their staff and operations. That business makes up a small percentage of the company's $67.4 billion in annual revenues, but Take Care Health is seeing more companies move to offer primary care services at their health centers, says Peter Hotz, Walgreen's group vice president. "Our pipeline is up 60%," Hotz says.

    A similar uptick is playing out at Kansas City-based Cerner. The company makes software to manage medical records but expanded into the business of building and managing health care clinics after rising health care costs prompted Cerner (CERN) to build its own in-house clinic in 2006.

    "Once a year we would have one bad meeting about our health plans, and you would watch the price climb and deal with it as an employer," says Jeff Townsend, a Cerner vice president. Executives projected that providing health care for its then 6,500 employees would cost the company $100 million over 10 years.

    In 2006, Cerner built its own 13,500-square-foot clinic staffed with four full-time doctors and a team of nurses, chiropractors and pharmacists. Two years later, Cerner became such a believer in the concept that it jumped into the business of designing, building and running those clinics for other companies. Cerner now operates 30 medical clinics for corporate clients, including AT&T (T), Frito-Lay and Cisco (CSCO).

    At Cerner, employees make their appointments online, walk down the hall to the clinic, check in electronically and wait no more than a few minutes to see the doctor. Exam room décor includes couches and high-tech touches like smart blood pressure cuffs that transmit data to a screen mounted on the exam room wall -- touting some of Cerner's technologies. There's no co-pay, and a pharmacy is a few steps away.

    For Cerner, the added convenience translates into about $1.2 million in productivity savings among its 5,700 Kansas City workers. Annual insurance claims, too, climbed just 3% at Cerner last year, which is about half the national average.

    While many companies struggle to get employees into wellness programs, participation in Cerner's programs hit 96% last year. Biometric tests taken over the past three years also show 70% of employees have either improved or stayed steady when it comes to health risk factors as BMI, glucose and cholesterol levels. "We think employers are this country's best shot at innovating a new healthcare system," says Townsend.

  • December 31, 2018 1:39 AM | Deleted user

    MBGH Annual Conference, May 5, 2011

    As we begin to address transformations and changes in our health delivery system, I wanted to briefly mention one major direction many employers are taking – establishing onsite health centers for their employees and dependents.

    For the last two years, MBGH, in cooperation with the LaPenna Group, has conducted an Onsite Clinic Roundtable for employer –sponsors of worksite clinics.

    During this time, we’ve conducted surveys of employers around the country who offer such services finding that there are four main drivers:

    • First, the need to increase productivity-  Our research finds when employees leave the worksite to obtain basic services and prescriptions their gone at least 3 hours and may not come back to work, whereby if the service are onsite, they’re gone perhaps 20 minutes and then back on the job
    • Second, the need to increase compliance and engagements - By having a trusted, convenient health center onsite, medication and treatment compliance increase dramatically and an onsite center can motivate and enhance completion of HRAs, conduct biometric screenings, and offer smoking and other health management services
    • Third, the need to reduce the cost of unnecessary and high cost services  - By making primary, specialty and ancillary services available at the worksite the employer lowers medical costs
    • Lastly, the need to ensure access to primary care - By having a variety of primary care professionals available at the site, often with little or no copays required, workers have easy access to address acute and preventive care needs.

    In light of these factors, MBGH is announcing today the formation of a new organization, the National Association of Worksite Health Centers for employer sponsors of worksite clinics, fitness and wellness centers.

    We will be inviting employers who currently have such facilities, as well as those who are interested in learning more about them, to participate as members. We will also invite those vendors and providers who make these services available to participate.

    Download this article HERE

  • December 31, 2018 1:37 AM | Deleted user

    NAWHC will focus on helping employers develop and expand on-site health care programs.

    CHICAGO – May 5, 2011 – The non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH), in cooperation with The La Penna Group, announced that it is forming the National Association of Worksite Health Centers (NAWHC), an employer-led organization focused on assisting public and private employers in getting the greatest return from on-site clinics, pharmacies and fitness and wellness centers.

    “This new national association will increase the exchange of information and experiences between employer-sponsors of worksite health facilities,” said Larry Boress, MBGH president and CEO. “NAWHC will also provide practical and objective information for those examining this approach as to how these facilities can be part of a total health care strategy that increases productivity, reduces costs and enhances engagement in health management programs.”

    According to a 2009 Mercer employer study, worksite facilities are growing in popularity. Mercer found 31 percent of large employers offer a medical clinic at or near their workplace. While most are using it for occupational health services, 11 percent of large employers provide a clinic for primary care services and ten percent of all employers surveyed are considering offering a primary care clinic this year. Recent MBGH employee focus group research also indicates that 62 percent of workers are interested in their company offering on-site medical clinics to better manage their health.

    “We’ve found that while many companies are successfully implementing on-site care, there is a need for an association that can provide an environment for the sharing of best practices and program ideas,” said Mike La Penna, principal, The La Penna Group, Inc.

    The association also plans to form a Medical Director Council of physician thought-leaders from employers, providers, consultants and vendors.

    “For many employers, worksite health centers are increasingly becoming a key strategy for not only providing medical care, but also optimizing the use of other health benefits to improve employee health and realize cost savings,” said Bruce Sherman, MD, consulting corporate medical director for the Whirlpool Corporation. “While the concept may be straightforward, the implementation is rather complex and this association will be a helpful resource.”

    Mr. La Penna also noted, “While the Board and the organization will primarily be governed by employer-sponsors of worksite centers, important roles will be defined for vendor participation and for organizations that can offer services to employers who are operating on-site health access programs. Our goal is to be inclusive and to involve anyone who can make a contribution to the patients who are being served through employer sponsored programs.”

    About The La Penna Group

    The La Penna Group, Inc. is a health care consulting group focused on program development and innovative solutions for both providers and consumers. For more than 20 years, its team has worked directly with employers to develop on-site health access and clinical services and its clients are considered to have some the most advanced programs in the nation. The La Penna Group frequently publishes on the subject of employer based health programming and worksite health clinics and sponsors an industry newsletter ( in addition to conducting regular research on program performance.

    About the Midwest Business Group on Health

    Celebrating more than 30 years of advancing value in health care and health benefits management, the non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) is one of the nation's leading business groups of private and public employers. MBGH's more than 100 members represent over 3 million lives, spending more than $3 billion on health care benefits annually. MBGH member benefits include educational workshops for health benefits management, networking opportunities, research, demonstration projects and community initiatives. MBGH is a founding member of the National Business Coalition on Health.

    Download this article HERE.

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