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Worksite Health Services: A Market New to KLAS

In recent years, KLAS has broadened the scope of its research to include international markets, payer markets, and now worksite health services (WHS). With WHS research, we hope to amplify the employer’s voice and help other organizations make wise decisions.

This could mean large companies like Goldman Sachs or USAA or organizations like school districts or manufacturing plants.

As employer organizations take on more of the healthcare burden, they want to find ways to minimize the expenses associated with their increased burden—Enter WHS.

Worksite health vendors help employers by providing these services to their employees, and they don’t just provide a financial ROI; they provide a health ROI as well. WHS allows employers to help their employees find out if they have diabetes, for example, and potentially save lives!

We’re excited to bring transparency to employers looking to contract a WHS vendor. Right now, there isn’t really a way for employers to see the strengths and weaknesses of vendors and compare them against each other.

The first report KLAS published in this space focused largely on vendor-reported information. With our second report, employers can finally build upon that vendor information. We asked employers to speak with us about specific performance metrics.

Employers now have access to quotes, insights, and performance ratings. We’ve managed to capture the employer’s voice in a way that feels much more like KLAS’ usual research.

Admittedly, we had to work with a smaller sample size because this market is so fresh, but this report represents the first step toward providing the transparency that allows employers to ask, "What are my peers saying? How do on-site care providers serve their customers in a small space? What about their customers in a large space?"

We’re excited to finally share the answers to those questions from the customers’ perspective. One of my favorite parts of doing research is letting data either change or confirm the preconceived notions I held when I first started on a project. 

Going into this research, I thought that most employers would generally be satisfied with their WHS vendors, and that was something we saw borne out in the data: customers seem satisfied with the results of their clinics across the board. A majority of the firms selling to employers are high performing and can deliver on promises.

Yet as we dove deeper into the research, and specifically as we asked questions about the quality of staff, tools, and expertise, we found stratification among these firms.

One huge struggle among multiple customers regardless of their firm is staff turnover at the clinic. If vendors don't maintain a consistent staff of clinicians in their on-site clinics, it's hard for employees to build a relationship of trust with their doctors.

This led us to ask, ”What are the big factors for an employer when choosing a WHS partner?”

Scope:

There are important questions employers should ask when gauging the scope of an organization:

  • What's the geographic reach of a firm?
  • How do they provide customer support?
  • What services do they offer?

These types of questions really help an employer begin to sift through a wide market of WHS vendors to identify which one can best fulfill their unique needs.

Performance:

We’ve found that it’s important for employers to not just ask about financial ROI, but to dig into the “health ROI” of a WHS firm as well.

  • When employers are talking about their firm, are they just talking about metrics?
  • Are they telling patient stories?

Employers’ patient stories are an added measure of value. We’ve found that firms whose customers tell patient success stories feel they receive a higher value, even when they aren’t necessarily tied to financial ROI.

The stories indicate that employers are finding the ROI that they're looking for.

What’s Next for Worksite Health?

This market isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s growing. Given the responses I’ve seen in the data, I believe WHS will only grow in popularity and usage for employers across the US, especially as healthcare itself continues to change. The WHS model has the potential to solve quite a few of our present healthcare challenges.

By bringing clinical care into the world of employment, organizations create a new level ownership for the parties directly responsible for paying the bills. Additionally, it makes care delivery less reactive and fosters a proactive environment for employees to tackle their health and wellness.

For employers, worksite health services encourage employee loyalty. Speaking as a millennial, I feel like the WHS model of care aligns with the personality of up-and-coming generations. As younger generations enter the workforce, their ideal working environment would include an on-site clinic. Even if organizations don’t want to cater to Gen Y, WHS is a logical choice because it helps to reduce costs on the front end of care.  It’s the difference between a bill from the ER for a heart attack and the cost of saying, “Hey, why not come in and check on your cholesterol every six months and consult with a dietician about your eating habits?”

At the end of the day, I’m excited to be in a position to help employers make the best decisions possible about how they bring healthcare into the lives of their employees.