Employer Solutions, Your Health | one year ago

Why Primary Care Providers Benefit Employers and Employees

Preventive Care Can Reduce Healthcare Costs

By Charles Rich, MD, HEALTHWORKS medical director, Carolinas HealthCare System
With the frequency of chronic health conditions and the cost of care steadily on the rise, proactive monitoring of health and preventive treatments have never been more important. As your organization works to design and implement a robust healthcare benefits program for your team, there is one step that employees can and should take right away: Establish a relationship with a primary care provider (PCP). There are substantial benefits to both your company and the employee when an employee works with a PCP. From a business perspective, you are likely to see an overall reduction in healthcare costs. Research shows that companies with employees who engage in preventive care and follow a healthier lifestyle enjoy a higher return on investment. This is because employees are more likely to seek treatment for chronic medical conditions and catch developing issues before they become problematic.

Primary Care Providers and Your Employees

From an employee perspective, the benefits are also numerous:
  1. A PCP builds and maintains a long-term relationship with the employee, including a consistent monitoring of health patterns. PCPs can be a valuable resource, helping to detect and diagnose potential medical problems before they get out of hand and prescribing appropriate treatment.
  2. As the primary contact for medical matters, PCPs serve as a central location for all of a patient’s medical records. From blood work from a recent physical to the X-rays received after a nasty fall last winter to the results of spring allergy tests, a patient’s entire medical history will live in one place where it can be easily referenced.
  3. As chronic health conditions are treated, from asthma to diabetes, it is important to continuously monitor health markers to ensure the condition is improving and not getting worse. A PCP can help track a patient’s health month over month and year over year and make him or her aware if there are changes that should be of concern.
  4. Sometimes serious illnesses don’t show up with obvious symptoms. As the central monitor of a patient’s ongoing health, a PCP can help determine if a strange new symptom is a sign of something that should be checked out more aggressively.
  5. Ideally, employees will be seeing a PCP in network. In the event of a new medical issue that requires outside counsel from a specialist, the PCP can offer referrals who are more likely to be in network and more cost-effective.
Helping employers provide the resources to keep their employees healthy, while keeping costs low, is a priority for our entire team at Carolinas HealthCare System HEALTHWORKS. Ensuring employees have access to and regularly visit a PCP is one of the first steps a company can take to achieve this goal. For more information on programs and tools that can help lower the healthcare costs at your company while helping keep your employees healthy and fit, please visit our website, or follow us on Twitter @HEALTHWORKS and LinkedIn