You know that a healthier workforce is more satisfied, productive, and cost-effective. But finding and strategizing effective ways to get employees engaged and active in their own health is difficult.

An effective primary care model is proven to deliver better outcomes and drive down costs while giving patients the care they need when they need it. As a result, many companies implement primary care either through traditional insurance with wellness incentives, or by investing in an on-site clinic or care center.

Which option is best for your organization’s healthcare needs? We discuss both approaches below.

Insurance plans with incentives


In this type of setup, employees can select from a wide variety of care providers or stay with the one they already have. There’s no need to switch, so they can remain with a physician or team with whom they’re already comfortable. Predictable, low-cost, company-wide wellness incentives also encourage employees to take better care of themselves, set health goals, and earn rewards for following through.

This model does come with a few pitfalls, however, including:

  • Remaining in the same fee-for-service system that focuses on symptoms rather than prevention
  • Rising claims without cost containment as a result of providers reacting to symptoms
  • High costs and inconvenience may still keep employees from going to see their provider at all
  • Employees may bounce around between specialists and facilities, as their primary care provider’s time is limited
  • Varied and unpredictable quality of care from providers who may only see them briefly during visits
  • Lower productivity and higher absenteeism as employees travel to and from their appointments

On-site primary care


On-site care centers provide a convenient, accessible hub for the majority of employee healthcare needs. They’ll have quick and straightforward access to their primary care team and a range of vital health services right where they work. Other features, like on-site dispensaries, make getting prescription refills easier. On-site labs allow for quick testing and results. Health coaches embedded with the primary care team guide patients through each step of behavior change, so they’re more confident and able to take control of their own health.

  • Employees have an alternative to the current system, so they can get beyond the symptoms to focus on whole health
  • On-site managed care helps to contain expenses with low-cost, high-quality referrals when necessary
  • Low to no copays mean that patients are more likely to see their care team regularly (which lowers claims), rather than making more costly trips to the ER
  • Time-rich appointments that feature empathetic listening, engagement, and strong provider-patient relationships
  • Increased productivity as employees can see their provider and get back to work without any hassle

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