The healthcare system in the United States can be quite difficult for individuals to navigate. Yes, excellent care is available and there is more freedom to choose our own doctors and other healthcare providers than people in many other countries enjoy. Yet we have a long row to hoe in making a truly free healthcare market an easily accessible reality for everyone. Many small business employers want to provide healthcare as one of their employee benefits. However, the costs can be overwhelming to these business owners.
According to an article by the Commonwealth Fund, small business owners have faced steadily escalating healthcare costs for many years.
The employer’s dilemma
One reason many small business employers have faced the specter of continually rising costs over the years in providing reliable healthcare for their employees is they have been using traditional avenues. It seems like there is a point when business owners begin to wonder if they will be able to keep up with the rising costs of employee benefits and remain profitable.
Here’s one challenge. When employees seek care for basic health needs, it can mean a couple of hours away from work. According to an article in Money, an individual can spend an estimated two hours seeking and receiving medical care. This can include approximately 37 minutes in travel time and another 87 minutes or so while at the medical facility. Out of all that time spent seeking medical care, an individual may only spend as much as 20 minutes, if that, face-to-face with the physician.
So what are these employees doing with the remainder of the time they spend at the medical facility? They’re often filling out paperwork, talking with non-medical office staff, and just plain waiting their turn. As a result, the average doctor’s office visit can cost approximately $75 ($32 out-of-pocket and $43 in lost work time). This doesn’t even account for employee expenditure on items such as their share of insurance premiums, etc.
This employee time-off doesn’t do too much for employers either. After all, the employer is often paying at least some portion of their workers’ health insurance premiums. Yet they need to have their employees producing.
The benefit Direct Primary Care offers employers
Direct primary care can provide solutions for employers committed to offering health-related employee benefits, especially small and medium-sized businesses. There are huge benefits for employers who embrace this type of primary care for their employees.
- Some DPC practices, such as Alive and Well in Southern Utah, make worksite visits to care for employees’ health needs. Rather than needing to leave the worksite to get medical attention for health issues, employees can have physicians come to them at their place of employment. This works well time-wise for both employers and employees.
- Employers like the idea of an independent physician who receives compensation in a direct way, free of middlemen, ensuring high-quality care and generally lower costs.
- DPC is also very cost-effective for employers because they only pay a monthly or quarterly fee, along with some reasonably priced additional costs such as travel fees for urgent care. This care can complement any group health insurance or health sharing plan an employer might provide for employees. It bypasses the health plan to provide basic care.
- Such care arrangements can avoid future catastrophic health needs with preventative attention and save as much as 20% in overall healthcare costs for employers.
- The convenience that DPC offers employers for their employees can be a great retention and recruitment tool.
Alive & Well, a great employee benefit in Southern Utah
Here is what Alive & Well can do for you and your employees:
- To begin with, new member companies to Alive & Well get an initial health and fitness assessment for each individual employee. This helps our providers to familiarize themselves with employees, set individual health goals and address health concerns.The results of this assessment are confidential and do not impact membership in any way. The assessment just provides a starting point for our providers to deliver the best individualized care.
- Then our providers care for you and your employees’ routine health needs, and those of their families.We are your first point of contact when you or your employees need medical care. We are also the hub for referrals to specialists if health needs require more specialized attention.
- We offer a 24/7 medical line that enables our members to get quick resolution for primary health care needs. You can either call or text us.
- While the majority of health needs can be resolved by using our 24/7 medical line, we also do house calls. Maybe a member managed to slice a finger, or feels very ill but the symptoms don’t appear too serious. So, in situations that are not life-threatening, but someone really needs some timely attention, we will arrange an arrival time. Additionally, if lab tests or x-rays are necessary, we will work that one out too.
- Alive & Well providers can diagnose the source of members’ symptoms for about 80% of all health complaints. We do this by using messaging, photo and video options.Then, if medication is necessary, we can help you find the best price for your prescription at a local pharmacy.
- We treat you and your employees as individual members, NEVER just a number!
It’s time to take the health care bull by the horns.
It has been demonstrated that employers who provide DPC as an employee benefit enjoy more productive, happier employees who miss less work time because of health concerns. Not only that, these happier employees are more likely to remain loyal to their employers.
So … Do you have a small or medium-sized business in Southern Utah? Are you worn out from the same ol’, same ol’ healthcare options that you have been dealing with for years? Give Alive & Well a call at (435) 669-9696. We can help you find the most cost-effective, high-quality healthcare employee benefits.