When an employer first considers implementing an onsite health and wellness program, it may initially be for one reason – to mitigate medical costs. Certainly, the right onsite provider can have a major impact on medical claim trends, but the real challenge is looking at the exponentially greater value of a healthier workforce across multiple lines: short-term disability, long-term disability, leave of absence, worker’s compensation, absenteeism, presenteeism and overall productivity.
When an onsite health and wellness program is managed with best practices, it influences all these measures, far outweighing the benefit of just the single medical cost line item. It’s time for employers to break out of their vertical silos and start measuring how far across their business interests an onsite health program can reach.
The Healthcare and Risk Management Overlap
Insurance brokers and the U.S. businesses they serve typically look at risk management completely separately from healthcare benefits. Healthcare is viewed under the Human Resources business unit, a vertical silo. Another vertical silo considers risk management issues under a risk manager or CFO, entirely apart from the employee benefits package. Risk management influences risk mitigation through safety processes and risk transfer by the purchase of insurance. Risk managers do not typically look to their healthcare benefits package to impact business continuity or projected productivity levels. Insurance brokers, in parallel, are licensed in separate areas of specialization. The silos remain intact.
Taking the Long View to Healthy Improvements
Let’s examine a hypothetical example based on common outcomes. The Healthstat health center you implemented has helped Bill lose weight. As a result, he is more mobile, breathes better and has lower blood pressure. He has an easier time getting up in the morning. He misses fewer days, is more productive on the job and doesn’t need to stop as often due to discomfort. He is at lower risk of injuring himself because of overexertion or poor balance. He comes to work as scheduled so his workload doesn’t have to be redistributed, which would cause stress on his co-workers, increased risk of injury, reduced product quality or missed deadlines. With regular healthcare visits that are convenient, affordable and on company time, Bill’s weight is kept under better control long term and he isn’t moving up the risk continuum quite so quickly as he ages. He believes you care about him, and he repays you with his loyalty. He has more mental energy on the job and he is a better problem solver.
Here’s one of the most important problems Bill has solved. While you were helping him control his weight, he has helped your business stay leaner as well. With less absenteeism and more predictability, you don’t need to increase your head count. The health center keeps your trained workers onsite, and allows your business to continue full speed ahead!