Chronic health conditions are currently one of the largest threats to the health of Americans today. Based on 2012 national statistics from the CDC, approximately half of Americans were suffering from some form of chronic health condition such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer or diabetes.  Two especially dangerous chronic diseases – heart disease and cancer – account for approximately 48% of all deaths nationwide.  Although chronic conditions are unavoidable in some cases due to genetics or other non-preventable factors, a growing majority of these instances are preventable and linked to unhealthy behaviors that greatly increase the risk of their onset. But the general population isn’t the only group affected by these conditions; employers are feeling it too.
The Partnership for Chronic Disease reports that approximately 86% of full-time workers in the U.S. are above normal weight or have at least one chronic condition.  For the employers who provide company-sponsored healthcare and health benefits for full-time employees, this prevalence is causing a significant loss in productivity, and ultimately, profits.
Absenteeism related to overweight, obesity and chronic conditions costs companies more than $153 billion per year in lost productivity.  In order to offset these losses, employers typically resort to health and wellness initiatives to lower insurance claims and absenteeism through preventative care goals and education. However, according to a study by national human resources consulting firm Sibsons, 40% of wellness programs are considered ineffective .
Ineffective health and wellness programs can still influence enough change to save companies money, but there exists a greater potential to offset productivity losses and increase these savings. Increasing engagement and reducing the number of employees who opt-out of these initiatives should be the main focus of these programs, but encouraging or incentivizing participation is not guaranteed to produce results for either of these goals.
One possible solution? The use of onsite clinics.
An effective onsite clinic solves two major problems: Creating health accountability and enforcing health accountability. Staffing onsite clinics with health coaches, nutritionists, wellness professionals and primary care physicians can serve as a physical representation of your health and wellness initiatives, and allows for personalized goals and goal tracking, effective relationships between coaches and participants through in-person or telephonic coaching, and primary care relationships that foster the creation of a foundation of effective preventative care measures.
With onsite clinics and regular health screenings as part of a company’s wellness strategy, employees can better understand their current state of health and understand their risk for developing life-threatening chronic conditions. In addition, onsite clinics can help make primary care, health screenings and chronic disease management more affordable if the services are subsidized or offered at no cost, which helps eliminate the obstacles or excuses that get in the way of receiving timely medical attention.
Onsite clinics have also been shown to increase company productivity simply by cutting travel and waiting room times. According to a survey of the National Association of Worksite Health Centers, nearly 70% of surveyed companies with onsite clinics reduced time lost by employees going to see outside health services.
Onsite clinics can be a significant investment, but the added employee health accountability, potential for improved productivity and overall cost savings has the potential to not only pay for itself, but also translate into long-term cost savings that can significantly reduce insurance and healthcare costs. Taking the time to assess the current state of health within a company’s employee population is an effective first step in determining whether the implementation of an onsite clinic has this potential.
At Verve Health, our onsite clinics help your organization maximize the effectiveness of company-wide health and wellness initiatives. We don’t just encourage participation and engagement – we provide a compelling reason to make it happen. Our one-of-a-kind integrative approach solves health and wellness issues from within by empowering employees to take control of their well-being. By using innovative philosophies, integrative medicine, advanced technology and one-on-one accountability, we create responsible employees who take a proactive approach to their individual health and contribute to a greater culture of real health. The result is a more productive and energetic workforce, one that leads to economic and health-related benefits for employers and program participants alike.