On-site medical services are becoming a staple benefit for major Silicon Valley firms, most of which are already renowned for offering generous employee benefits, from paid parental leave to unlimited vacation.
On-site clinics are hardly a new concept for large companies. Major companies that offer on-site clinics range from Goldman Sachs to QuickTrip. A 2015 survey by Mercer found that 29 percent of employers with more than 5,000 employees offered some kind of on-site clinic, up from 24 percent in 2013.
Many tech companies, however, are going beyond having an on-site nurse or primary care physician and offering comprehensive health services. Google proudly touts the “physicians, chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage services” available to employees at some of its sites.
LinkedIn, which has a comparably smaller workforce of 2,700, offers employees free access to a clinic about a mile away from its campus in Sunnyvale, Calif. The idea came from Nina McQueen, vice president of global benefits and employee experience, when she joined the company in 2012.
While employees at LinkedIn and other tech giants also have generous traditional health benefits, including an employer-paid insurance plan, the on-site clinics provide immediate access to medical care that traditional insurance networks do not.
The process of finding and scheduling an appointment with an in-network provider is time-consuming and frustrating for employees, particularly young workers who have not had much experience navigating the complex world of health care benefits. That an employee often has to leave work to get to an appointment represents yet another stressful experience for the worker and a loss of productivity for the employer.
The numerous obstacles to medical care increases the risk of employees foregoing preventative care, resulting in worsening medical conditions that end up costing the company, both in terms of medical bills, lost productivity and employee morale.
LinkedIn workers, however, can book a same day appointment on their smartphones for the clinic run by Crossover, a clinic service that also provides on-site facilities for employees of Facebook and Apple. LinkedIn even provides the workers a free ride to the clinic through Lyft, the ride-hailing service.
A new industry of on-site clinic providers is growing, including companies such as Marathon Health, Healthstat, QuadMed and Premise Health. While most employers with on-site clinics contract for the services, 23 percent of on-site clinics are provided directly by the employer, according to a 2015 survey by Towers Watson.