athenahealth has partnered with OurHealth to implement its cloud-based EHR and practice management platform throughout the OurHealth network of 40 employer-sponsored clinics.
OurHealth, which operates in 40 locations, partners with employers to offer primary care and other healthcare services to employees in the workplace or at nearby clinics.
- Employers looking to reduce their health costs is driving consumerization of healthcare and opening up opportunities to health IT and concierge medicine companies, as well as others.
Over the past decade or so, providers have experimented with and expanded the presence of so-called retail clinics. OurHealth does it with a twist, partnering with employers to deliver primary care, urgent care, laboratory, and pharmacy services from clinics within or near workplaces.
Retail clinics are not new, but they are becoming more popular. There could be more than 2,800 retail clinics by the end of 2017, nearly three times as many as there were a decade ago, according to an estimate from Accenture. More and more patients are turning to retail clinics for various healthcare needs, according to research published by Health Affairs and the Center for Studying Health System Change.
It makes sense for employers to try out retail clinics as a way to reduce healthcare costs. Employer-sponsored health plans have already begun exploring consumerization, through, for example, interventions relying on wearables, to get workers more engaged with their health.
The convenience afforded by retail clinics is due in large part to technology. Many of these ventures rely on apps and websites to reduce administrative costs by streamlining scheduling, health information tracking, and patient-provider communication. As all of this occurs, some businesses are taking advantage of opportunities presented by the consumerization of healthcare.