Many employers are struggling to contain health plan costs and part of this is due to unnecessary ER visits. When employees don’t understand where to go to get the right level of care, they often turn to urgent care clinics or even a trip to the hospital. Onsite health coaching reduces ER visits by educating employees about appropriate ER usage and helping them find a Primary Care Provider (PCP).
What is Onsite Health Coaching?
Onsite health coaching is often offered as part of an employee wellness program and provides employees with personalized support and guidance to improve their overall health and wellbeing. This can include one-on-one coaching sessions, group workshops, and access to resources such condition management and biometric tracking. An onsite health coach builds trusting relationships with employees and is often the first place an employee will turn for health questions or guidance. The goal is to empower employees to take control of their health and make positive lifestyle changes.
How Onsite Coaching Reduces ER Visits
When an employee doesn’t know where to go for care, they will likely use the ER for non-emergencies, leading to an increase in unnecessary ER visits. This not only puts a strain on the healthcare system but also leads to higher healthcare costs for both the employee and the company. Onsite health coaching can help educate employees about appropriate ER usage by providing them with information on when to go to the ER and when to seek alternative forms of care. This can include providing them with a list of urgent care centers in the area and by also educating them on what is considered routine care, urgent care, and emergent care. Examples may include fevers, burns, cuts or lacerations vs. head wounds, chest pain or broken bones. Knowing where to go during these medical situations can save time and money for the employee and the company.
Helping Employees Find a Primary Care Provider
Another factor that contributes to the increase in ER visits is the lack of a Primary Care Provider. Many employees may not have a regular doctor or may not know where to find one. A dedicated health coach can provide employees with a list of Primary Care Providers in the area and guide them in the process of finding one that meets their needs. This not only encourages employees to establish a relationship with a Primary Care Provider but also ensures they receive appropriate and timely care for their health concerns.
When an employee has an established relationship with the PCP, they are more likely to make an appointment to discuss their health rather than going directly to the ER for non-emergency situations.
The Benefits of Onsite Health Coaching
Implementing onsite health coaching not only reduces ER visits but also helps improve the overall health and wellbeing of organizations. Evidence-based health coaching and condition management contribute to improved health outcomes, enhanced morale and overall workplace culture. Additionally, employees who participate in onsite health coaching are more likely to be aware and take advantage of other health benefits and resources offered by their employer leading to lower health plan costs.
The Bottom Line
Onsite health coaching is a valuable tool for companies who are struggling to contain health insurance costs and who have seen an influx in non-emergency ER visits. By educating employees about appropriate ER usage and helping them find a primary care provider, companies can reduce ER visits and increase routine and preventive care exams. This not only helps the company control costs, it also has a positive impact on the employee with reduced copays and lower out-of-pocket expenses.