By Amy Turner, Executive
Director/COO of Innovation Health
We all remember the days of the HMO plan –
limited care options that left many employees looking for more choice and
access to care for themselves and their families. To help meet this employee
request many HR directors began looking toward PPO plans, which offered larger
networks of doctors and specialists, but at a higher cost than the HMO plans. Today,
employees want the same options, but with the increase in high-deductible
health plans, many of them are also taking a closer look at cost.
As someone who has been in the health
industry for more than a decade, I have seen a lot of changes take place, but
one that strikes me as imperative to address is the lack of people who have,
and engage with, a primary care physician (PCP). Plan options and policy
changes aside, in the past people relied on family doctors for everything.
Doctors intimately knew a family’s history, often treating several generations
of family members. As we try to keep our employees healthy and lower the
overall cost of care, it is important that we bring this tradition back with
Whether you are the HR director in charge of selecting health plans for
your company or the CEO who is paying them, here are the top four reasons you
should be advocating for your employees to engage with a PCP!
They are focused on preventive care
A PCP can be your employee’s main health care provider for their most
common medical problems. But they also look out for your employee’s overall
health, recommend screenings, make referrals and encourage healthy habits.
They help maintain good health
A PCP provides employees with continual care. And that’s what good
health maintenance over a lifetime requires. PCPs can treat the whole person,
taking into account both your employee’s history and existing conditions.
They serve as an important point
of contact and resource
PCPs are personal doctors who can coordinate care. That takes stress
off your employees as their doctors are ready to make sure their best interests
are met. Furthermore, they are often the first people your employees can contact when they have a
question or a problem. He or she can provide answers and care, or recommend a
specialist when needed.
They help keep costly ER visits
Because they will be your employees’ first line of defense, PCPs can answer
questions, call in a prescription or even suggest the action your employees
should take. This will help them to
avoid costly ER visits as they are able to manage any health issues before they
Once your employees select a PCP, make sure
they are aware that under the Affordable Care Act they’re entitled to one, free
yearly checkup. You read that correctly – every single employee you have can
receive one free check-up a year. This
is something all of them should take advantage of. So, if you aren’t
doing it already, please express to your employees the importance of building a
PCP relationship and getting a yearly checkup. Not only will their health
likely improve, but it could save your company and themselves valuable dollars.