Learn the ins and outs of development of an employer-based clinic partnership.
A: Many companies are initiating such clinics. Depending on the size of the firm and the capacity you have in your practice to serve the employees, the clinic could be a real opportunity to capture an important segment of the local market because everyone introduced to your practice will be employed and covered under some sort of benefit program. In exploring this opportunity, you should determine what component of care is to be provided on-site. Emergency? Immediate care? Primary care?
You might be surprised to find that the company has an outside vendor that has been brought in to manage the development and that it is contemplating more of a primary care access program than the traditional "sick at work" services. In this case, you should try to see if you have the capacity to provide the coverage and staffing (sometimes midlevels can be deployed) and construct a contract that is based on hours or days of service rather than units of care. Be sure that the role of medical oversight is clearly defined and, if possible, deal directly with the employer and not through a broker or an on-site clinic vendor group.
Answers to readers' questions were provided by A. Michael La Penna, The La Penna Group Inc., a healthcare strategic and financial consulting services firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Send your practice management questions to firstname.lastname@example.org