Employees may hesitate to take time out of their day to visit a doctor when they’re not feeling well, dragging down their productivity.
But if they have the opportunity to see a physician at the workplace, on demand, everyone benefits, says Craig Bloom, the regional director of strategic operations of the Florida region at Tenet Healthcare Corporation.
“If it’s just a matter of taking a few steps from their workspace to the clinic to see a physician, they’re much more likely to do it,” says Bloom. “By providing on-site health services, you can expect increased productivity and employee satisfaction, and it’s an additional tool that you can use to create a better workplace.”
Tenet has created such a health clinic at BankAtlantic Headquarters, and its CEO, Jarett Levan, says that doing so made sense for his 500 employees in the company’s corporate office.
“The most important thing is keeping employees healthy and happy, and this is an innovative way to do that,” Levan says.
Smart Business spoke with Levan and Bloom about how hosting an on-site clinic can boost morale, increase productivity and help keep your employees healthy.
How can a company determine if an on-site health clinic is a good option?
Bloom: Company size typically drives the need for an on-site clinic. If a company determines that on-site health services would be of value, it should then ensure that it has adequate space to house a clinic. Once space is allocated by the company, Tenet can staff the clinic with a qualified physician.
In addition, most companies may determine that an on-site health clinic could increase employee satisfaction and productivity. It’s an investment in human capital; it’s something extra a company can do to make the organization a better and healthier place to work.
Levan: If the most important thing is to keep your employees healthy and happy, this is an effective way to achieve these goals. We were able to utilize a small, functional space for our clinic that allows the physician to provide the necessary health services with privacy. And once employees visit the clinic and realize that they can get in to see the doctor right away, they are sold.
What services does an on-site clinic offer?
Levan: The clinic services are comparable to those provided by any external primary care practice. With the clinic, our employees have immediate access to routine physicals, vaccinations, screenings, treatment of acute and chronic diseases and conditions, and many other essential primary care services.
Bloom: The clinic provides a wide range of preventive and treatment services, meeting many employees’ basic primary care needs. Health risk assessments and screenings may help employees prevent or detect diseases and conditions early, which may lead to more effective treatments and improved health outcomes.
While the clinic doesn’t provide imaging or invasive procedures, the physician can refer the employee within the Tenet network, which includes 10 acute care hospitals with outpatient and inpatient services, diagnostic testing capabilities and numerous other related health care services.
Are on-site clinics for employees only?
Bloom: The availability of each company’s clinic services will differ, as each company must remain compliant with its unique policies and procedures. Some organizations offer clinic services to family members as well, but others limit the services to only employees. This decision may rely on building/clinic access, space and employee demand for clinic services.
Who pays for the services?
Bloom: In this Tenet model, BankAtlantic employees pay the clinic the same co-pay that they would at an external doctor’s office and the clinic bills the insurance company. We also offer companies the option of paying a per-member fee, which allows the employer to offer clinic services to employees at no cost.
What are the benefits of an on-site clinic?
Levan: Time is a precious commodity, and this is a convenience for our employees. If they have a health issue, rather than taking time off to see an off-site physician and sitting in a waiting room, they can schedule an appointment for the on-site clinic, spend 10 minutes with the doctor, and be back at work. Or, they can just stop in and see the doctor if he’s available, and still have time left over for lunch.
If people are going to take time off, I’d rather this time be spent with their families, not sitting in a doctor’s waiting room.
Bloom: When employees feel ill, they sometimes think, ‘Maybe I’ll go to the doctor if work permits or if my doctor can see me today.’ Accessing convenient health care can be a challenge, especially with mounting work responsibilities and limited physician appointment availability. An on-site health clinic may reduce these barriers and increase the likelihood that employees will seek the health care they need in a time-efficient manner.
The clinic provides tremendous value when you look at market conditions. Employers must contain costs associated with employee health and benefits. Some insurers are raising their rates to employers; some employers are raising rates to employees. But here’s a value add where employers can provide employees with the opportunity to conveniently access preventive health and wellness services. This thereby increases productivity, creates employee satisfaction and, for the employer, it’s an initiative that encourages a better and healthier workplace.
Looking forward, I project that employers will experience the additional benefit of a healthier workplace as a result of easy access to health care.
Craig Bloom is the regional director of strategic operations of the Florida region of Tenet Healthcare Corporation. For more information on Tenet Healthcare, contact Shelly Weiss Friedberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jarett Levan is the CEO of BankAtlantic. For more information on BankAtlantic, contact Sharon Lyn at CorpComm@BankAtlanticBancorp.com