Multiple sclerosis (MS) clinics by themselves seldom generate profits or break even without significant outside funding. Even when programs work to limit costs and maximize volumes—such as sharing space and employing mid-level providers, respectively—most still operate at a deficit.
However, evaluating the benefits of an MS clinic requires more complicated financial calculus. MS programs typically attract patients that use hospital and ambulatory services at a much higher frequency than average patients. While there is potential for significance downstream revenue, it is important for organizations to consider whether these units of services would have been captured by the organization without a formal MS clinic.
More difficult to quantify—but still important to consider—is the revenue that hospitals may save by preventing unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits. Organizations pursuing population management business models may generate additional benefit from offering a destination site of care to transform care management for a complex patient group.
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Worksite clinics are a significant focus of our research for the 2012 Marketing and Planning Leadership Council national meeting series, which will launch this spring.
Staging for accountable payment structures
Most health systems are not making margins on these worksite clinics; rather, they expect to benefit from improved patient recruitment and retention within the employee base. Additionally, the worksite clinic model provides an opportunity to prepare for accountable payment structures—or reap savings achieved for the employee base where such structures already exist—improving system readiness for coming changes.
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