As health care costs for employers and employees have continued to grow, HR has struggled to find effective cost-containment solutions. While many employers have simply tried to shift costs and responsibility to employees, other employers have been looking for innovative solutions. In addition to telemedicine, one of the more popular ideas in recent years has been the implementation of on-site clinics. These clinics bring primary care to the workplace, making care more convenient and economical for employees. These clinics seem attractive to many employers, especially large employers with the majority of their employees at one location. But while on-site clinics certainly have benefits, they also have many drawbacks and shortcomings, especially when compared to a telemedicine solution. Employers need to carefully consider each solution to determine which is the best for their company and their employees.
Many employers are considering
on-site clinics in an effort to provide employees with convenient medical care.
These clinics can be convenient and affordable for employees’ minor medical
concerns. But while on-site clinics can save employees time and money, they
have some limitations that telemedicine doesn’t:
1. On-site clinics are limited to business hours
Getting sick isn’t limited to 9-5, so neither should your access to medical care. Unfortunately, on-site clinics are usually only open during regular business hours. If an employee needs medical attention in the evening or on the weekend, they won’t be able to take advantage of the on-site clinic.
On the other hand, telemedicine doctors are available around the clock, every day of the year. So whenever you need medical care, telemedicine is available. And here’s the proof: only 30% of telemedicine calls are placed during regular business hours.
2. On-Site clinics aren’t convenient for family members
On-site clinics certainly save employees time when they need medical care and happen to be at work. But what about when a family member needs to see a doctor? On-site clinics don’t help the rest of the family. With telemedicine, any family member can use the benefit to get the care they need.
And this has a hidden benefit for employees as well. Currently, many employees use personal sick leave to take a spouse or child to the doctor. With telemedicine, employees can get their family the care they need without ever leaving their desk.
3. On-site clinics are expensive
On-site clinics are costly, both in money and time, to set up and run. Employers will need to allocate space and equip a doctor’s office. There will be additional employee costs for doctors and staff, as well as ongoing supply and maintenance costs. And the return on investment won’t be realized for a long time.
Telemedicine is a quick and relatively low-cost benefit. And with a good provider, the employer can realize a positive return on investment within the first year. Telemedicine can help employees and their families avoid 70% of in-person visits to doctor’s offices, urgent cares, and emergency rooms. The savings for employees and employers will really add up.
Telemedicine is the right choice
If your company is looking to provide a health benefit that saves employees’ time and money, choose telemedicine over an on-site clinic. While on-site clinics have their benefits, there are limitations to when they can be used, and they’re time-consuming and costly to set up. With telemedicine, you and your employees can start seeing the benefits of convenient, affordable care in just a few months.