For some companies, the doctor is truly in the house – Bottom Line

So much for the “I have a doctor’s appointment” excuse when seeking a three-hour lunch break from work.

U.S. companies as diverse as chipmaker Intel Corp and printer Quad/Graphics Inc have opened in-house health clinics with doctors, nurses and even dentists to diagnose suspicious symptoms, write prescriptions and more. Most recently, they are adding services to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes.

The clinics and their lengthening list of services reflect the latest efforts to counter soaring health care costs. While companies have for years offered yearly flu shots or brought in yoga teachers, that hasn’t been enough to offset expenses from rising obesity rates and other conditions.

“We were beginning to see … growing chronic conditions in our population,” said Tami Graham, director of global benefits for Intel. “All the stuff that ails America, ails Intel.”

For every dollar spent on in-company programs, employers get a return on investment of $1.50 to $3, according to a 2009 study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a society of health care professionals.

Of course, in-house clinics can’t do everything. Workers still want and need outside specialists for complicated health needs like surgery or childbirth. And privacy concerns linger despite legal protections, with some employees worrying that personal data could cause companies to fire less-than-healthy employees.

via For some companies, the doctor is truly in the house – Bottom Line.

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Posted on October 11, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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