Calling in sick can be fun—especially when a Price Is Right marathon is on the Game Show channel, but as great as that is, some companies hope on-site medical care will reduce employee down time. A.R.E. Accessories LLC, an Ohio-based manufacturer of fiberglass and aluminum caps and covers for pickup trucks, opened an on-site clinic operated by Care ATC for its 600-plus employees last October.
"The hassle of seeking care under the traditional system inhibits many employees from going to the doctor until it's critical," A.R.E. Vice President Bill Schweizer says. "By making health care readily accessible in the workplace, we can catch illnesses at the earliest stages and monitor chronic issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol on an ongoing basis to delay or prevent major complications." Schweizer says the company is seeing returns on its investment. "We already have found the on-site clinic has reduced absenteeism and increased worker productivity," he says. "Early indications also point to a net reduction in our total health-care spending."
The concept of offering medical services at work is not new, but companies increasingly are moving away from the occupational health model that focuses on treating on-the-job injuries toward a model that focuses on preventive health care, says Tom Rogers, Care ATC director of business development. "The model is designed to give employers control and help them save money by improving the health of the entire organization," he adds. "Because the focus is on preventive care, health-care costs decrease as employees and their families experience fewer catastrophic health claims."
Don't be surprised if more companies follow suit, says Schweizer. "We expect to see a growing number of small and mid-sized employers nationwide adopt similar models as health-care costs continue to escalate."