Employer clinics save time, money

As employers struggle with the cost of insuring their workers, a new trend has taken hold: Many employers are opening up their own on-site clinics for employees. The clinics save employers money in several ways. First, employees like the convenience of an easily-accessible clinic and are likely to visit the clinic for minor health issues. This saves employers the cost of paying for an employee's full-blown doctor visit, and the patient may not even have to pay a copay to use the clinic. Also, because patients are more likely to use the clinic before an illness progresses very far, the employer saves on any additional cost that might have been incurred by treating a patient for a more advanced illness. Overall, this means more productivity and fewer sick days for employees--another money saver. One clinic run by Discovery Communications reported that "…employees made one-third fewer appointments with specialists and 25 percent fewer trips to pricey urgent care centers." Though the clinic costs $200,000 to run each year, it saved the company $500,000 over the same time period.

For more on the clinics:
- read this AP article