In recent years, some larger companies and employers have been taking a new approach to the rising cost of health care. For example, Fiat Chrysler now provides free health care for all of its employees, predominantly through a clinic that the company itself opened recently. The clinic was opened near one of the company’s five factories it operates within the region.
For the workers of Fiat Chrysler, there is no out-of-pocket money for basic care, and that includes no co-pay. The basic underlying principle here, according to the company, is to save money for the company while also providing a benefit for its valued employees over time. This same model could apply to home care services at some point in the future.
As noted by The Chicago Tribune blog, Employers jump into providing care as health costs rise, written by Tom Murphy:
“In many cases employers are offering free primary care or charging only a small fee. Many believe the cost is worthwhile because they can improve employee health and cut even bigger bills in the future that stem from unmanaged chronic conditions like diabetes or unnecessary emergency room visits.
Offering convenient care can also help attract new workers and cut down on time away from the job. But this shift means workers will have to change how they use the health care system. And companies, which don’t see individual medical records, have to patiently wait for some potential benefits from their investment like a drop in health care costs.
“It is really, really hard to change behavior,” said Carolyn Engelhard, an associate professor at the University of Virginia’s medical school who studies health policy.”
How this will relate to home health care services has yet to be seen, but as an estimated 44 million Americans are considered caregivers, often taking care of aging parents or other family members, those that may need to take sick time or other days off from work to care for a person in their family, companies delving into home care services could find some benefit in offering this support for their team members.
There is an anticipated shortage of home care workers coming in the next few years, which will likely mean more employees taking increased time off to look after aging and disabled family members. If this type of model works for health care, some companies may discover there could be benefits in delving into home care, even to the point of partnering with agencies to keep their key team members in the office, being productive as opposed to having to look after elderly and disabled loved ones.
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