Is a medical clinic in a workplace really the best thing considered?
NPR seems to think so.
National Public Radio celebrated the opening of its new onsite wellness center in cooperation with its longtime insurer Cigna this week. Located within NPR’s new headquarters in Washington, D.C., and managed by Cigna, the employee wellness center is a cornerstone of NPR’s self-described “focus on creating a healthy work environment” for its D.C.-based staff of approximately 800.
The center is available to eligible full-time and part-time NPR staff with no co-pay or out-of-pocket expense. The center is staffed by a nurse practitioner and medical assistant, open for 24 hours each week and accepts both walk-ins and scheduled appointments.
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“We looked at our new headquarters as an opportunity to advance employee health and wellness initiatives,” said Jeff Perkins, NPR’s chief people officer. “Our wellness center is going to improve our staff’s overall health, save our employees time and money, and increase workplace productivity — all keys to improving work-life integration.”
The nonprofit news outlet is confident the center will be widely used by its employees: Besides available preventive care services, such as routine physical exams and flu shots, NPR says its journalists preparing to go on assignment overseas will be able to get the required immunizations they need conveniently onsite before going abroad.
The center also will offer chronic condition coaching to help employees manage ailments such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes, as well as health management classes, including workshops for weight loss and smoking cessation.
But aside from embracing healthy behaviors, NPR hopes the site will save some serious cash.
Cigna claims NPR could shave $390,000 off its insurance costs over the next three years due to claims cost reduction, avoiding lost work time and generic drug conversion.
The costs will translate into savings for employees, too: NPR estimates that staff overall could expect to experience a 25 percent decrease in their primary care costs, a 32 percent reduction in specialist visits and a 38 percent reduction in emergency room visits.