Making the case for alternative sites of care
June 07, 2017
Everyone knows how this story goes: You’re not feeling well and decide you need to see a doctor. You call up your doctor’s office, make an appointment, take time off work, and drag yourself across town only to find yourself sitting in a waiting room. As you sit there, you wonder if all this hassle is really necessary and if there is a better, more efficient way to get the care you need.
Fortunately, we are increasingly seeing other options crop up. Alternative sites of care enable consumers to see providers outside of traditional care settings. Instead of going into a doctor’s office, consumers can receive care at a worksite clinic, retail clinic, or even at home via telehealth services.
This flexibility creates added convenience for consumers. After all, why leave work to seek care, when you can get care at work instead? And most would agree that if you’re going to wait 30 minutes to see your doctor, you might as well wait at home on your couch, as opposed to in an office lobby.
There are upsides for the employer, purchaser, and payer as well. In addition to being more convenient, care received at alternative sites can be significantly less expensive than a hospital visit. This is because providers can charge different amounts for the exact same service, depending on the setting. For instance, consumers who find their way to an urgent care clinic to receive a strep test will pay significantly less than someone who visits an emergency room, resulting in out-of-pocket savings for themselves and lower overall costs.
Understanding how to optimize alternative sites of care for your employee population is one way employers and other health care purchasers can proactively lower health care spending. Listen in as Suzanne Delbanco, Executive Director at Catalyst for Payment Reform, shares her insights on how employers are incorporating alternative sites of care into their health care purchasing strategies to get better value for their health care spending.
If you’re a registered employer or other health care purchaser on our site, you can listen to this event for free HERE