Why a collaborative primary care health center is right for your business

Learn why a collaborative clinic is the best option for smaller employers interested in improving the lives of their workforce while saving money on their health plans

With approximately 50% of the U.S. population receiving employer-sponsored health insurance, employers are continually searching for better ways to offer reliable healthcare services to their workforce while lowering their spending. [1]

For small and mid-sized employers, it’s often more difficult to find effective advanced primary care solutions than larger employees who have the population that warrants innovative care methods. 

One solution available to these smaller employers are collaborative primary care health centers which allow them to work with fellow nearby employers to provide advanced solutions to their population.

Continue reading to learn about collaborative clinics including their benefits, how they work, and why they’re the best solution for smaller employers.

What is a collaborative primary care health center? 

A collaborative primary care clinic is created when nearby employers join forces to establish a near-site health center in a location that is convenient for all parties involved. 

With a near-site health center, employees can easily access advanced primary care, laboratory services, wellness programs, and medications from a team of qualified and trusted medical professionals.

Learn more:
Harrison Steel opens health center to other community organizations

Why should smaller employers not establish a health center on their own? 

Although it is possible for smaller employers to individually establish a health center, it often poses certain disadvantages that outweigh the benefits.  

In addition to the difficulty of recruiting clinicians into part-time positions, office hours are often limited at small health centers which reduces convenience, access, and effectiveness. For a smaller population, the health center services may also be scaled down to core essentials that eliminate the robust access to advanced primary care services of larger health centers. 

There is also the straightforward issue of complexity versus cost. To be equally effective, a smaller health center requires nearly the same infrastructure as a larger one, but it spreads the cost over far fewer patients. It takes nearly the same effort to create and manage a health center for 500 patients as it does for 5,000, but the larger health center has the numbers to be more efficient.

Why is a collaborative primary care health center the solution for smaller employers?

Due to the issues posed by small health centers, collaborative primary care clinics are often the best solution for smaller employers who want to improve the healthcare outcomes of their workforce while saving money on their health plans. 

A collaborative health center offers the same advantages of a larger clinic because it functions as one. With larger patient volumes, a group’s claim expense can be mined to identify the most frequent, high-cost services that can be brought into the health center such as pain management, physical therapy, or even dentistry. By utilizing these methods, the health center offers more management oversight and quality control that drives out waste and assures effective care.

Additionally, this type of health center can lower cost to employers since the service is delivered through an employed position rather than through “retail” fee-for-service rates.

Learn more:
How our employer-sponsored health clinics help you manage healthcare costs

How is a collaborative primary care health center supported?

A collaborative health center can be arranged in a variety of ways that work for all employers involved. 

In some cases, all of the sponsoring employers may contribute financially to cover the build-out and startup costs based on each company’s employee census. In others, a single employer may financially back the establishment of the health center, and other employers might join later, paying a small monthly fee to the initial sponsor to compensate for build-out and startup fees. 

There is also the possibility that the health center provider may be willing to finance the build-out and startup, amortizing that cost with a small addition to the monthly per employee per month (PEPM) fee.

Regardless of how it is established, the ultimate goal of establishing the health center is to skillfully create an environment for better, more efficient health care that is available to small and mid-sized employers.

How it works at WeCare tlc

At WeCare tlc, a minimum of 1,200 employees facilitates an efficient full-time health center. We’ve determined this number because an employer with 1,200 employees and adult dependents typically equals about 2,400 eligible lives. On average, 1,600 people or two-thirds of that group will start actively using a WeCare tlc health center in the first year—the optimal patient panel size for one of our physicians.

If more patients participate or the employer is willing to pay for additional staffing hours, the health center can be open for more hours and become a more widely available resource.

For employers with fewer than 1,200 employees, we’ve determined that a collaborative health center is warranted instead of an individual one. With this type of health center, the finances are managed by easily tracking patients from different employers so costs are correctly assigned to the proper account.

Interested in a collaborative clinic for your workforce?

With several collaborative health centers currently up and running, WeCare tlc is proud that they perform just as well as our stand-alone employer health centers, and we look forward to developing many more in the future.

We believe that a collaborative primary care health center is most effective for small and mid-sized employers by opening access to a level of medical management, care quality, and savings that has only been available to larger employers in the past.

Ready to create a healthier workforce?
Learn more about our near-site health centers and contact us today. 

1: Kaiser Family Foundation | Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population (CPS)