Each year HR professionals undertake an annual process to determine what benefits will be offered to employees as part of their benefit package – possibly considering what benefit will be taken away or how much premiums will increase to offset growing healthcare benefit plan costs.  The changing landscape created by the Affordable Care Act has made it difficult, but not impossible to assert control over company healthcare/wellness spend.

The environment is growing more complex all of the time, providers are dealing with a variety of conflicting priorities –  resulting in lack of access and systems that reward short visits, but may only pay providers for good outcomes.  Additionally, providers rely more heavily upon Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements than ever before; more people, more complex healthcare issues and payments that don’t cover the majority of operating costs.

As an employer, you do have a great deal of power in this dynamic and you can make choices that will make a difference, both to employees and the bottom line of the company.

Ask yourself, do you trust your decision making about what is important to your employees over the decisions of healthcare providers, insurance companies or the political process?  If the answer is yes, then you may be interested in finding ways where the quality of care and the costs are under your control.  One of the best ways to control the delivery model and costs is through on-site or near-site health/wellness centers.

Why should you make the effort to look into and research this option? Because healthcare matters to your employees and you need to curb the growing costs affecting your company’s bottom line.   A unique, creative and meaningful way to show your employees that you care about them and their families will differentiate your company –a wellness center can help with improving talent acquisition and retention and significantly reduce delivery costs and protect the quality of the care for your employees.  Employees will be engaged and productive if they feel the company and their leadership care about them.  Additionally, you can deliver a more effective and less costly option to healthcare, improving the quality of benefits and reducing the cost.

Why are more companies not developing their own Health/Wellness Centers? Significant barriers exist in that, there is a perception that wellness centers are still considered a “new” and untested idea.  HR professionals must undertake significant research and present detailed information that includes the ROI to both the finance and leadership teams, but also show the long term ownership costs and how to ensure sustainability. Once implemented, it is absolutely imperative that the vendor and the HR team closely partner and are focused on a successful outcome.

Like any complex problem there isn’t just one solution that will improve your value proposition to talent overnight and reduce your medical costs.  It will take time and hard work and you must have and champion a Total Rewards Strategy.

The best resource to learn more about on-site or near-site wellness centers to determine if there is a fit is your Broker Advisor.  If you currently do not have a Broker Advisor or you would like to begin your research immediately, you can begin your research online.  To learn more about successful on-site or near-site wellness centers I recommend visiting www.onsiteclinics.org and www.worksitehealth.org.

I hope that you found this brief article informative and helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for additional information and resources.