On-site physical therapy clinics can save thousands on injury and medical costs
Worker safety is a big deal for all employers, regardless of their industry. The stats tell the story: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 3 million on-the-job injuries occurred in 2018 and a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. Those injuries often mean significant disruptions and costs to companies as well as impacts on productivity.
These workplace injuries come in all shapes and forms, too. The most common? Overexertion, slips, trips, falls and repetitive motion. And where do you think employees go to treat and get help for these workplace injuries? The nearest clinic, or, in some rural communities, the nearest hospital.
However, a growing group of companies are offering a unique benefit — on-site physical therapy clinics that are helping make it easier for employees to get treatment for injuries, whether they happen inside or outside of work.
These on-site clinics, which are open to all employees, offer a valuable service to employees by enabling them to receive treatment right in the workplace. No drives throughout the workday to a clinic located miles away, which, beyond the inconvenience factor, makes the employee a higher liability risk to the employer. No heading over to the hospital after work when they’re exhausted. On-site clinics make it easy for employees to get the treatment they need — and deserve — when they need it. And they help improve the bottom line for employers by helping prevent lost employee productivity and helping reduce health care costs.
Let’s look closer at how two progressive companies are using this unique benefit:
On-site clinic saves East Coast electronics company $120,000
Keeping employees safe, healthy and active was the initial goal for this East Coast electronics company. That’s why the company built a corporate fitness center that included injury prevention and treatment services through on-site physical therapy on its main campus in New Jersey. The fitness center offers a variety of cardiovascular and resistance training equipment, group exercise classes, educational seminars, fitness challenges and, yes, physical therapy services.
Two part-time physical therapists provide services during the company’s day and evening shifts. The most common issues among employees? Repetitive motion issues, shoulder, and neck, thoracic and low-back issues. After employees are treated, they are often referred to the fitness center for therapeutic exercises as part of their treatment plan.
So far, the results have been tremendous for this electronics firm. The company has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of visits and 81 percent of treatment goals were met at the time of discharge. What’s more, the on-site physical therapy clinic saved the company $119,976 in net savings (cost for services if provided by off-site clinic and travel time).
Pharma company wanted more convenience for employees
Like most companies, this pharmaceutical manufacturing company believes that protecting its most valuable resource — its employees — is good business. So, they wanted employees in need to be treated by a licensed physical therapist without having to travel off-site and take time away from work, as well as help mitigate challenges related to insurance and third-party payers (i.e. authorizations, denied claims, and restricted access).
The company decided to provide on-site physical therapy services to help employees recover in a supportive and convenient setting without having to take time away from work. Two full-time therapists and a part-time physical therapy assistant serve as advocates for the company and strive to keep their employees healthy and return them back to full health and work as quickly as possible. As a direct benefit, employees receive instant access to physical therapy — there is no longer a need to wait for lengthy authorizations or approval processes, and there are no denials for treatment by the insurance company.
Every interaction is an opportunity for the physical therapy team to speak to the wellness and employee health needs which enables trust, relationship building and direct knowledge of the employees and their work.
So far, the on-site physical therapists have helped this pharma company save more than $220,000 in direct and indirect costs.
As you can see, this trend of employing on-site physical therapists can have a big impact on employees and their wellness — and your bottom-line.