Hitchiner Manufacturing Provides On-Site Healthcare for Employees
For nearly a decade, Hitchiner Manufacturing employees have had access to an on-site health clinic that provides basic medical care, from wellness chronic illness management. The clinic is set up to eliminate a lot of the barriers people face when seeking health treatments. Doctors on staff can serve as primary care physicians, employees can access care while on the clock, and treatment is free. It does not even count towards an employee's deductible.
Recently, Hitchiner Manufacturing expanded the healthcare options available to employees through an on-site health clinic, the Health & Resource Center. The care is made possible through a partnership with Southern New Hampshire Health and Foundations Medical Partners.
Hitchiner Manufacturing Health & Resource Center Opens Its Doors
The idea of opening an on-site health clinic for employees, spouses, and dependents originally came out of the company's routine review of health insurance data. When looking at the overall health of the people insured through Hitchiner Manufacturing, the company found there was a significant number of employees with chronic health issues, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, and congestive heart failure. As a result, Hitchiner had a less healthy population than the average for the insurer's book of business. Not only were the employees less healthy, but they were also not visiting the doctor as often as they should. The company then began looking to make changes that would help improve the health of the company's workers.
"We had done a fair amount of education and outreach, but we thought there must be another way to make these efforts more effective," said Tim Sullivan, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Services. "Then we thought about an onsite clinic and creating a new model for what companies can offer employees."
Through Sullivan's connections to Southern New Hampshire Health Systems, having served on the board of directors, he reached out to the providers to learn more about what a possible partnership would look like. The result was an onsite clinic pilot program, run by Southern New Hampshire Health Services and Foundation Medical Partners offering employee physicals, wellness check-ups, routine testing, and diagnosis of basic medical ailments and injuries, from the flu to a sprained knee.
New Offerings and Employee Use
Hitchiner Manufacturing has found that over the years, employees are getting used to having medical care right at their doorstep. Employee use of the clinic has increased year-over-year, and the word is getting out about the kind of treatment employees, and their family can access on-site. People who are new to the company get their employee physicals at the Hitchiner Manufacturing Health & Resource Center. This helps create a relationship with the physicians from the moment they begin working there, and more are choosing the onsite doctors as their primary care physician.
The clinic is also helping Hitchiner Manufacturing meet its goal of getting more employees to their doctor for routine visits. When the clinic first opened, only 15% of employees got their annual physicals, and now that number is as high as 65%.
In turn, Hitchiner Manufacturing is continuing to add services to meet the needs of employees. The Health & Resource Center recently added a behavioral health physician to treat substance abuse, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. Sullivan said the company had heard there were a number of employees whose families had been impacted by the state's opioid crisis. Creating a space where dependents or spouses could get treatment for substance abuse was a priority. The company was also found that some treatments for physical conditions have a mental health treatment component. Creating access to mental health services, Hitchiner Manufacturing's Health & Resource Center can make that treatment easier for employees and family.
The Health & Resource Center also offers telehealth services connected to a Southern New Hampshire Health immediate care facility. When a doctor is not onsite, they can still get a consultation via an online video connection.
"It is a way for us to offer service to our employees continually," said Sullivan.
In addition, the Health & Resource Center offers nutrition services to assist patients with coronary artery disease and other conditions that benefit from an improved diet. Hitchiner Manufacturing has made efforts over the years to encourage employees to make good food choices, but it can sometimes be hard to break old eating habits. To make diet changes more convenient, Hitchiner's nutritionist has worked with the on-site food services to create breakfast, and lunch options that align with the diet advice employees are getting. Thanks to this new addition, it's now easier than ever for employees to get healthy foods.
A Benefit for Hitchiner Manufacturing and Employees
One of the best features of the clinic is that it is free to employees, spouses, and dependents. The visit does not even cost against their insurance deductible. This means lower health care costs for employees and healthier employees for Hitchiner.
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