Why onsite clinics worked for Land O’Lakes

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LAS VEGAS — In 2015, Land O’Lakes decided to make a move to positively impact the well-being of its nearly 10,000 workers. The employer — which is known for its dairy products — wanted to address gaps in care for diabetes, depression and obesity among its population.

In response to these health risks, the Minnesota-based employer determined the best course of action was to redesign its wellness program. Emily Maher, director of benefits at Land O’Lakes, said the company wanted to take a more holistic approach by focusing on total wellness including financial, physical and mental health.

“All of those components of somebody’s life really feed into and off one another,” Maher said, speaking this week at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference. “How can we make those experiences employees are having as personal as possible?”

See also: More companies turning to onsite clinics

The first step was to launch an onsite health clinic, Maher said. Land O’Lakes partnered with health information technology company Cerner to open a 850-square-foot clinic in its Arden Hills headquarters. The clinic provides primary and urgent care, health and wellness services, physical therapy, flu vaccines and medication dispensing to about 1,800 eligible lives. In addition to the clinic, the company also offers an onsite fitness center and childcare, she added.

“It’s for the whole person,” she said. “For employees to be able to develop that relationship with [with a medical professional that] they can continue on their healthcare journey.”

A third of U.S. employers with 5,000 employees or more now offer general medical clinics at the worksite, according to a Mercer and National Association of Worksite Health Centers survey, a sizable jump from five years ago. The clinics are less popular among small and mid-sized employers, the report noted. Apple, Amazon and Utz Quality Foods are among a number of major companies who have invested in the benefit.

“More and more employers are finding measurable value in providing high-quality healthcare and patient experience via worksite clinics,” David Keyt, worksite clinics consulting group leader at Mercer, told Employee Benefit News. “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.”

See also: Utz Quality Foods treats employees to onsite clinic

Maher said the return on investment in the clinic has been measurable. Employees spend less money on healthcare and often have to miss less work to get treatment. About 98.6% of Land O’Lakes employees said they are satisfied with the offering. The clinic also has a net promoter score of 93%, she added. But the most valuable takeaway has been individual success stories Maher hears from workers.

One story that sticks out to Maher is an employee who went for a biometric screening smelling of alcohol. The nurse practitioner learned that the employee had been consuming alcohol outside of the workplace and suggested steps they could take to combat substance abuse. Maher later learned that after that conversation, and some additional help from the support staff, the worker checked into in-patient rehab. They also made the decision to quit smoking, both of which had positive impacts on their health.

“Finances, I get it, they’re super important,” she said. “But when you hear success stories like this, it’s like, ‘Alright I don’t need to hear anything else for the rest of the year. We’ve saved one person.’”

Looking toward 2020, Land O’Lakes plan to expand the program beyond its headquarters. The employer also wants to offer the service to dependents and add the second opinion service Grand Rounds. Maher said first hand accounts from employees make the value of the onsite clinic abundantly clear. While it is important to measure the ROI of a program, the day-to-day impact on an employee is where the larger impact lies.

“They’re all incredibly powerful in their own way,” she said.

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