A full one-third (33%) of U.S. employers with 5,000 or more employees offered general medical worksite clinics in 2017, up from 24% in 2012. This is according to a survey from Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and career. The Mercer Survey on Worksite Medical Clinics 2018 was conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Worksite Health Centers (NAWHC), a non-profit trade association for employers who sponsor worksite clinics.

worksite-health-clinics-growingSome of the nation’s major corporations that have opened or are opening onsite health clinics include Apple, Amazon and Utz Quality Foods.

Worksite clinics focused on occupational health are still slightly more prevalent (38%), but not growing as fast as those offering general medical services. While just 16% of organizations with 500-4,999 employees currently provide a general medical clinic, another 8% say they will add one by 2019 .

“More and more employers are finding measurable value in providing high quality healthcare and patient experience via worksite clinics,” said David Keyt, Worksite Clinics Consulting Group Leader, Mercer.

“Given the high rates of employee satisfaction and utilization, I think we will continue to see growth in offerings of clinics and expansion of the health services that clinics provide.”

Larry Boress, executive director, NAWHC, commented: “Employers of all sizes and industries are finding they can effectively address the wide variations in quality and cost from local providers by offering clinics that are easily accessible, low or no cost to employees, high quality medical services at or near the worksite, and that are not driven by the need to generate volume and fees.”

Using a worksite medical clinic as a primary care provider and even as a “medical home” is another growth trend that aligns with many employers’ strategy of leveraging Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and other network approaches. A patient-centered medical home is a healthcare delivery model whereby patients (often very high risk or chronically ill) have their care coordinated by a primary care physician, a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant.

More than a third (35%) of survey respondents with general medical clinics say their clinic serves as a patient-centered medical home, up from 26% in 2015. In addition, two-thirds (67%) allow employees to select the worksite clinic as their primary care provider, compared to just 49% of respondents in 2015

Employers with an onsite clinic gave high marks on employee satisfaction (83%) and utilization (78%) of the facilities, according to the report.