Employer sponsored clinics have become the latest trend in health care, and for good reason. “From an employer perspective, one reason we're seeing such a dramatic shift toward these clinics is that they deliver a really effective way for employers to lower their health care costs, but it's more than that,” says OurHealth President and Co-Founder Jeff Wells, M.D. “These clinics help them invest in the well-being of their employees.”

Healthy employees are not just happier people. They have also shown a measurable benefit to employers. “The connection between employee health and well-being, productivity and performance continues to grow, with emerging evidence showing that healthier employees are more engaged with their work and have lower turnover rates. In the long run, these outcomes also contribute to a company’s financial performance,” says Jessica Grossmeier, Ph.D., Vice President of Research for the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO).

In a study of the stock performance of 45 publicly-traded companies conducted by HERO, results showed that healthy companies outperformed the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index over the course of six years, appreciating 235 percent compared to 159 percent for the S&P 500.

Staying competitive

Employer-sponsored clinics aren't just about the bottom line, however. They can also be an important perk to offer prospective and valued employees. “These clinics manage health care costs, but more than ever, in this competitive labor market, companies want to be able to compete, and they want to appeal to the best talent—and keep it,” says Wells.

“‘Employees continue to find not only value, but that these clinics are better at meeting their needs and offer an improved way to realize their own wellness goals.’”

“Since the OurHealth clinic opened in OneAmerica tower, we've noticed that our associates are genuinely excited about wellness activities and options that simply weren't as accessible before. We have also seen our associates company-wide making health more of a priority. These are important changes for individuals that contribute to the overall health of the work environment,” shares Debby Routt, Vice President Human Resources for One America based in Indianapolis, IN.

These clinics offer benefits beyond convenience. “While initially the convenience is appealing, health care today is not designed in a consumer-friendly way,” says Wells. “Employees continue to find not only value, but that these clinics are better at meeting their needs and offer an improved way to realize their own wellness goals. We have stories of employees transitioning their health care to a clinic, treating their pre-existing diabetes, then picking fitness programs and other ways to improve their health. Convenience brings them in, but improved care keeps them coming back.”

Hands-on approach

Clinics like those run by OurHealth offer traditional wellness screening such as monitoring blood sugar and blood pressure levels, but also provide important lifestyle management and specialist referrals. “They can lose the weight, work with a coach to get fit or stop smoking, and get general primary care services,” says Wells. “They can get their annual physical or meet with a doctor about their primary care for a condition they have. Laboratory testing services are available, and many medications are on-site. We talk a lot about helping people navigate their health care needs, so we also provide referral guidance, such as where to go to get an X-ray or an MRI or even a cardiologist. Finding that care can be daunting, and people don't know where to go or what it will cost. Our clinic ensures they can get better quality as well as contain health care costs.”

Providing better care is the reason why Indianapolis-based OurHealth, which has clinics in Charlotte, NC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Nashville, and active expansion plans regionally, was created. “We founded the company on the recognition that health care in this country is really broken, and that we can do better,” says Wells. “We set out to radically transform the health care experience with better primary care, then build on that to guide people to better health, improved happiness, and better value for the money they are spending.”