Many employers recognize the connection between employee health and work performance. Over a three year study by SAS Institute Inc., employees who used an onsite healthcare clinic for primary care has less external outpatient encounters per year and lower claim costs, with spending being $482 less than those who had outside primary care physicians ($263 of the difference was attributed to decreased pharmaceutical expenses for HCC users).
Absenteeism was reduced by 3.3 days per year. Syngenta saw productivity gains through an aversion of 3,028 work hours over one year, amounting to $50 to $300 of savings per employee depending on salary.
PwC’s Health Research Institute states that 2020 will likely be a turning point for healthcare. Healthcare costs are rising (6% in 2020) and are expected to continue to rise until 2027, along with retail drug spending increases of 3 to 6% per year. Chronic diseases continue to plague the population, creating a growing concern for employers as per capita spending is eight times more for an individual with complex chronic illnesses than a healthy individual, making up 85% of employer healthcare spending. At this current state, dissatisfaction is rising.
Employers are looking for ways to creatively change the system so that employees aren’t asked to bear more and more of the cost every year. Employers are focused on providing high quality, lower cost, coordinated care for their employees through means such as direct contracting with physicians to provide quick access to urgent care, preventative care, and chronic condition management services.
Waste was rampant as employees were going straight to expensive hospital systems and specialists for issues and conditions that could be managed more effectively by primary care physicians working to their full extent.
Primary care physicians are now addressing 60% of patient problems typically covered by specialities, including dermatology, neurology, rheumatology and others. In just seven years, Iora Health was able to reduce hospitalizations for its members by 40% and cut total healthcare spending by 15-20%.
For too many employers, the cost of claims keeps rising along with employee risk factors.
DigitalGlobe conducted a seven-month DPC case study with Nextera Healthcare and achieved a diverted cost savings of $221,442 and a 25.4% reduction in claims costs. Patient risk factors (based on demographics, claims, and other factors) decreased by 4.7%. With increased access to primary care, members had more efficient appointments, felt that their time was valued, and found improved accountability with their doctors.