Employers looking to keep health care costs in check are increasingly turning to onsite clinics and health screenings. Earlier this year, Walgreens announced the opening of what it called one of the country’s most comprehensive worksite health centers at BMW Manufacturing’s facility in Spartanburg, S.C. Some 25,000 square feet, the Associates’ Family Health Center offers not just occupational care, but full primary care services for BMW employees and their dependents, as well as some retirees.

Bill Raulerson, director of site operations with Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems, says BMW started with a foot in the door of onsite health and, as many other employers have seen, the success was encouraging enough to expand.

“When clients approach us about their health we do a feasibility study, see how many eligible lives they have and look at what makes sense in terms of lines of service,” Raulerson says. “Here at BMW, they actually opened a pharmacy seven years ago on site, which is when I came out here, as a pharmacy manager — that’s my background. The pharmacy, opened in July of 2005, turned out to be very successful. And it eventually led to the full-blown health center we now have.”

Similarly, the biometric screenings and health risk assessments patients can undergo at BMW’s facility are also a step above what many might expect. Many companies screen for unhealthy body mass index, not many have a location on-hand to start to address it. Raulerson says here as well BMW built on prior achievements.

“We’ve had a diabetes management program in place for about five years; it’s been very successful,” Raulerson says. “And we’ve also started on a hypertension program and a cholesterol program that give face-to-face interactions: the diabetes with pharmacists, the hypertension and cholesterol with a disease-management nurse. So I think that really gives us the ability to truly positively impact these patients in ways that just not typical with biometric screening.”

How in-depth is that screening?

“I think we’re really taking it multiple steps further than what most plans would do,” Raulerson says. “We actually offer a pretty comprehensive set of labs that go far beyond just the typical just lipid panel screening. We do a complete blood cell count and metabolic panel. We have the patient do an HRA, do those labs and then follow up with a provider visit, versus just that five- or ten-minute coaching session with a nurse after a finger stick. We can refer those patients into the various wellness-type programs that we have onsite.”

Read more about the BMW-Walgreens’ onsite clinic, read the June 1 EBN.

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