Direct Primary Care continues to show its value to benefit managers who work with employers. This recent article in Benefits Pro proves it once again:
Brokers and benefits managers should recognize this challenge as a golden opportunity to help employers create “stickiness” with their employees to limit turnover and attract better talent in one of the most competitive labor markets in recent history.
So what would be described as a way to create stickiness?
But how do you know what the right health care model looks like? There are certainly enough examples in the market of health care models that don’t work. That’s why we have skyrocketing costs, yet worse health care outcomes than many other industrialized countries. The failures of the traditional fee-for-service health care delivery models have opened the door to newer options, including direct primary care (DPC).
A wide array of companies have found that offering DPC is effective in building employee loyalty.Create an employee listening strategy and be ready to respond to employee concerns and needs. Listening is an important part of communication. Employees appreciate feeling like they have a voice in their own health care. HR departments should convene employee advisory groups and ensure their ideas are heard by senior management.
Create simplicity. Today’s society is filled with information overload. Technology has gotten more complex as has basic decision-making. Health care should be simple and able to be easily accessed and understood.
Treat the whole person. Health and well-being are not just about blood pressure, sugar levels, temperatures and heart rates. Mental health is equally important. Support services should be provided to address all of an employee’s health care needs, as well as those of family members.
Meet employees at their comfort level. Despite COVID vaccinations now being available to nearly every American adult, fear continues to keep people from visiting medical offices. Virtual medicine (also known as telemedicine) is more valuable and popular than ever. By offering employees a choice as to how they engage with their health care provider, they feel more empowered and are more likely to follow through with critical appointments.
Educate. Having the best health care program available means nothing if employees don’t know about it or understand how it works.
Offer easy access. If you want employees to proactively manage their own health, you need to make it easy for them to do so. Onsite and near-site health centers with flexible hours to accommodate various shifts and routines allow employees to quickly get the care they need without missing lots of work or being inconvenienced.
Build relationships and trust. Employees feel better about seeing a health care provider they trust. It’s difficult, however, to build any type of relationship during the typical 10-minute doctor’s visit when patients feel rushed. Under most DPC models, average patient visits are longer to allow time for meaningful discussion of health issues that may not otherwise have been identified.
Make it free. Cost is the number one reason why people don’t visit their health care providers as often as they should. The result is postponed or skipped appointments that can cause small health problems to become catastrophic. Paying to provide employees with free access can actually save on claims costs.
I highly recommend you clip this article and save it to send to local employers. Keep a collection (you can find them on DPC News as well). The business world continues to learn and promote DPC. You need to get on this train with them.