Like vendors in other healthcare sectors, clinic vendors can have wildly different and sometimes questionable ways of calculating health and financial impacts. What's telling about these questionable calculations is that only 41% of worksite clinic sponsors were able to provide ROI data, according to a September 2015 Mercer study.

Obviously it is in clinic vendors’ interests to say that they save money. It is also in benefits managers’ interests to show that their clinic vendor performs. But if, on rigorous analysis, a clinic does not return more than it costs and/or can’t demonstrate enhanced health outcomes, what’s the point? You can claim — and many do — that better access provides worthwhile value, but that’s akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

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