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Employer-Sponsored Medical Worksite Clinics on the Rise

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A third (33%) of U.S. employers with 5,000 or more employees offer general medical worksite clinics in 2017, up from 24% in 2012.

This is according to the Mercer Survey on Worksite Medical Clinics 2018, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Worksite Health Centers (NAWHC), a non-profit trade association for employers who sponsor worksite clinics.

Worksite clinics focused on occupational health are still slightly more prevalent (38%), but not growing as fast as those offering general medical services. While 16% of organizations with 500-4,999 employees currently provide a general medical clinic, another 8% said they will add one by 2019.

“More and more employers are finding measurable value in providing high quality healthcare and patient experience via worksite clinics,” said David Keyt, Worksite Clinics Consulting Group Leader at Mercer. “Given the high rates of employee satisfaction and utilization, I think we will continue to see growth in offerings of clinics and expansion of the health services that clinics provide.”

Using a worksite medical clinic as a primary care provider and even as a “medical home” is another growth trend that aligns with many employers’ strategy of leveraging Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and other network approaches. A patient-centered medical home is a health-care delivery model whereby patients (often very high risk or chronically ill) have their care coordinated by a primary care physician, a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant.

More than a third (35%) of survey respondents with general medical clinics said their clinic serves as a patient-centered medical home, up from 26% in 2015. In addition, two-thirds (67%) allow employees to select the worksite clinic as their primary care provider, compared to 49% of respondents in 2015.

“Employers are becoming more directly involved in shaping the health care market and improving their employees’ health,” said Carly Deer, NAWHC Board Chair and Senior Benefits Leader at Target Corporation. “Properly structured onsite medical facilities can create a foundation of primary care and associated services that can assist moving care upstream, which can help improve outcomes, manage cost and increase productivity.”

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