In a recent conference discussing successes of various on-site clinics for some rather large Companies it became very clear there is a disconnect between vendors who promote clinics with a “wellness” component versus the approach Spectrum Health Systems takes.
There are many compelling reasons for companies to consider on-site clinics as a way to contain healthcare costs, but many of these savings are nearly automatic due to the fact an average visit to a Primary Care physician is $120 versus a clinic at $60. Unfortunately, many companies see these savings and are under the belief that this is somehow related to their wellness initiative. A closer look at their own data shows this assumption to be inaccurate.
In case study after case study, companies were reporting on-site clinic use for triage or emergency types of visits at 90%, leaving only 10% of their visits for any type of proactive wellness coaching. At Spectrum Health Systems, we have taken a different approach. We continue to view each piece separately in order to provide companies with both a short and long-term cost containment strategy. Our SHS on-site clinic visits are hovering right around a 50/50 split between triage and wellness and it is not a random occurrence. The difference is in the approach of our health coordinators and nurse practitioners who are actively engaging the employee population and using health screening results to identify and engage those most at risk. In addition, our teams are reaching out to these individual’s primary care physicians to coordinate ongoing support efforts.
While some might assume physicians would be opposed to this type of involvement from our teams, we have typically found just the opposite. They welcome the help and mutual interest in maintaining their patient’s health.