You’d expect the Green Bay Packers’ exclusive health care partner to know a thing or two about securing favorable field position, and on that point, Bellin Health scores big time.
A leader in onsite health clinics and wellness centers at businesses in a 10-county swath of Wisconsin, Bellin Health has 164 total sites and 60,000 annual on-site visits, and it boasts double-digit growth over the last few years.
On-site employer health services aren’t new, but the concept has enjoyed a spike in popularity of late. “Employers are looking to lower health care costs and to simultaneously have a healthier workforce,” Bellin Health Vice President Randy Van Straten says. “They’re also looking for a distinct offering that will create a better experience for employees and help recruit employees.” One big benefit for employees: They can be seen by on-site physicians within 30 to 45 minutes, versus a four-hour average for staff whose employers do not have on-site health care services and who have to leave the workplace to visit a doctor.
Van Straten works at Bellin Health’s Green Bay headquarters, just a few miles from 81,000-seat Lambeau Field, the Packers’ home field. Bellin’s alliance with the team started in 2012, and it has 200 health care clients who work at Lambeau.
The marketing benefits of having ties to a team as fanatically beloved by local residents as the Packers is obvious. But Van Straten says the relationship goes deeper than simply trying to attract patients. “We have a relationship with the Packers to work together in the community here to promote health,” Van Straten says. That includes education on health and wellness at schools and other area sites.
With a 167-bed community hospital and psychiatric center in Green Bay and a 10-bed hospital in rural Oconto, Bellin Health’s first foray into the employer-onsite landscape took place in the early 2000s, when the company began operating wellness centers. “Our wellness [clients] were saying, ‘It would really be nice if we could see an on-site provider here,’ because there were so many unmet needs in the employee segment,” Van Straten says.
Bellin Health obliged and began branching into ergonomics, rehabilitation and athletic training, followed by nursing and primary care. The health care system now offers four levels of employer on-site services, including one with a wellness program employees can use at no cost.
Building Bellin Health’s employer on-site business has been “about creating relationships,” says Van Straten, who oversees three sales executives and five account executives. “It’s basically upstreaming relationships with brokers and agents and insurers, and then having our own sales force and account executives who service the accounts. So not only do we sell it, we service it.”
The result in Bellin Health’s service area, Van Straten says, is improved health, as measured by objective health risk appraisals, and lower health care costs than the market average. He adds that Bellin Health’s no-cost on-site initiatives have removed barriers to care and that’s led to earlier detection of serious maladies.
“What I tell my team all the time is, ‘Look, we may not work in the surgical area or the [emergency department], but I know for a fact that we are out saving lives,’” he says. “We save lives before lives even know that they need to be saved.”