The Office Nurse Now Treats Diabetes, Not Headaches

Photo credit:Wall Street Journal

As insurance costs rise and our workforce ages, many companies are turning to workplace health clinics as a way to minimize sick days and visits to the doctor. A Towers Watson survey found that 39% of large U.S. employers will have on-site medical clinics by 2014, compared to just 23% in 2011.

With the toll of the seven most common chronic illnesses expected to reach $4.2 trillion in 2023, many employers are adding chronic-disease management strategies to their clinic offerings. Hanesbrands opened a clinic in 2010 and has seen some positive results: a 30% drop in emergency-room visits among insured workers, a 39% drop in inpatient hospital admissions, and 50% of employees with diabetes are showing signs of improvement. The company has saved an estimated $1.4 million annually since the clinic opened.

Some fear that employers’ increasing level of engagement with employee’s health and lifestyle may lead to privacy violations or discrimination, but employers like Hanesbrands and others have used workplace health clinics to reduce health costs.

The Wall Street Journal, 7/9/13

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