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Companies Not Fully Tapping Potential of Onsite Health Centers
Date:3/19/2008

Lack of Performance Measurement Cited as Top Impediment to Operations

WASHINGTON, March 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- High health costs and a renewed focus on worker productivity have led an increasing number of companies to open onsite health centers in recent years. However, few companies fully tap the potential of these centers, according to Watson Wyatt, a leading global consulting firm.

Nearly one-third of companies (29 percent) have or plan to have an onsite health center by 2009, up from 27 percent in 2006, according to Watson Wyatt/National Business Group on Health research. A separate Watson Wyatt study of 84 companies with onsite health care centers found that reducing medical costs was the chief reason 70 percent of companies have opened a center since 2000 (recent adopters). Only 49 percent of companies that adopted health centers before 2000 (early adopters) did so due to cost. More early adopters (54 percent) opened a center to address occupational health.

"Although their primary motivation may be changing, more employers are operating onsite health centers as part of their overall health and productivity strategy," said Marne Bell, senior health care consultant for Watson Wyatt. "Yet, surprisingly many do not have a good handle on whether these centers are producing the desired return on investment."

Nearly half (45 percent) of companies cite inadequate measures of performance as the top challenge in operating the centers. Integration of the health center with a company's other health and productivity initiatives and data also remains a challenge.

Measurement is the top challenge for companies with onsite health centers

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SOURCE Watson Wyatt Worldwide
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