Selling an Onsite Clinic to Your Boss
You’ve completed the research, weighed the options, and considered the benefits. The advantages and benefits of an onsite clinic scale well with your company’s needs. You’re confident it will improve population health, rally company morale, and cut claims costs. Now, it’s time to convince senior management of the same thing.
The helpful checklist below will guide you through (1) identifying your stakeholders, (2) estimating budget, and (3) understanding what’s important to senior leadership. After all, a good idea is only a good one if there’s buy-in from the decision-makers.
Step 1: Who are Your Stakeholders?
This step may feel like an obvious one. In fact, you may have already interacted with these stakeholders when first broaching the opportunity of an onsite clinic program. But, it’s important to revisit this step with an eye toward what those stakeholders want out of an onsite clinic. If you’re speaking their language, they’re more likely attuned to what you have to say.
If you’re with a private employer, the final decision often lies with the CEO. However, know that boards of directors and other C-suite members can hold considerable sway in making company-wide decisions, and so getting an idea of how they think about benefits, healthcare, and even company morale can be a big step toward selling your idea.
If you’re with a public employer, the process might look a little different. You could have elected officials, human resource teams, insurance brokers, and union leadership to convince. Furthermore, the decision-making process can take longer within the public sphere when multiple entities like these are involved.
All the same, identifying who your primary stakeholders are is a key first step in selling the onsite clinic model.
Step 2: What’s Important to Your Stakeholders?
Once you have an idea of who your stakeholders are, it’s important to learn what’s important to them. What are their major company goals? What do they care about? How do they feel about the morale/atmosphere/culture of the company?
The great news is that an onsite clinic can provide the solution to a lot of different goals. Whether it’s wanting to cut medical costs, improve company morale, or encourage company-wide health and wellness, a well-run onsite clinic answers the call. But how you go about selling the clinic is dependent on what matters most to your superiors.
Here are some questions worth asking senior leadership when it comes time to discuss options:
- How do you feel about the overall healthiness of the company?
- Do you believe the company is a wellness-minded one?
- Are there ways to improve or restructure our health insurance offerings?
- What’s the sentiment toward healthy living amongst our employees?
- How can we best improve the health and wellness of our company as a whole?
Receiving insight from these questions can help to structure the ways you go about introducing the idea of an onsite clinic solution.
Step 3: What’s So Great About an Onsite Clinic?
If you’re so caught up in identifying your stakeholders and what they care most about, you might forget about what makes onsite clinics so beneficial in the first place! Remember that the value of an onsite clinic and its documented success across industries is often the best argument you have when it comes time for decision-making. Regardless of what your stakeholders care most about, you’ve got to know what you’re talking about when it comes to onsite clinic benefits.
Feel free to reference our previous articles on the benefits of onsite clinics and wellness programs. Below you’ll find a summary list of the biggest improvements that an onsite clinic can provide:
- A Positive ROI as healthcare spend and claims costs decrease
- Employer and employee savings on healthcare costs
- Improved population health, especially among high-risk employees
- Increased workplace productivity and reduced absenteeism
- A boost in company morale and the development of a wellness-minded culture
- A high retention rate and acquisition of new talent
You’ll want to tailor your key points to the needs and goals of your audience, but first things first: be ready and knowledgeable on the best aspects and benefits of the onsite clinic model.
Step 4: What’s Your Budget?
As is the case with any company-wide program, whether public or private, the topic of budget will inevitably arise. You’ll want to be one step ahead when it comes to budgetary talks, which means being knowledgeable about the going rates for onsite clinic models as well as what capital your organization has available for such a program.
A few tips to becoming a budget expert:
Look at the budgetary impact across line items. For example, spending more to provide onsite care typically means spending much less in urgent and emergency room care. You also might consider talking with other companies or organizations that already have an onsite clinic model in place. Ask them about annual costs, unexpected fees and allocation of funds.
Also, talk with leadership about what’s available in the budget. The right vendor can help you find ways to make your investment budget neutral, with a larger payoff down the road due to improved population health. It’s also a great idea to review how money is currently allocated and look for ways that an onsite clinic can dovetail with other planned budgetary changes.
Step 5: What are some potential pain points and obstacles?
Perhaps your organization has considered an onsite clinic program in the past and decided to wait. Or, senior leadership is expressing doubt over available funds. Maybe a labor union is concerned that healthcare will be less available to their members.
These are all realistic questions to consider, and it’s rare for a decision as substantial as an onsite clinic program to be met with no considerations or pauses from leadership. These sorts of queries and considerations are not only normal but necessary to share.
Consider running a feasibility study to gauge some potential obstacles that may arise. A feasibility study will include things like:
- A review of medical claims
- A review of workers’ compensation claims
- An interest survey sent to employees
- In-person evaluation meetings to gauge ‘organizational readiness’
While it’s normal for obstacles to arise, remember that an onsite vendor will be able to respond to those obstacles with client-specific solutions. And your role is often best served as the mediator between an organization’s pain points and the solutions provided by an onsite clinic vendor. Don’t fear these obstacles but be ready to address them.
Conclusion: It’s a Team Effort
The last piece of advice in getting (the idea of) an onsite clinic off the ground is to involve all stakeholders. Search out elected officials, executive level leaders, human resource departments, management & budget teams, insurance brokers, union leadership – all those who may be key stakeholders for your organization.
Once you’ve got everyone in the same ‘room’, solicit ideas and explore concerns. Know your environment. If you have a benefits consultant, involve them early in the decision-making process. They’re experts in the insurance field and can often help analyze returned RFPs.
The guide above will assist you in identifying your stakeholders, determining budget, and working alongside senior leadership in selecting the right onsite clinic vendor for your needs.