Sponsored: How Salt Lake City network health centers are improving employee health

Paid advertisement by Marathon Health.

When Ellen turned 40, she realized her habits and lifestyle were leading her down a path to bad health. Through her employer’s benefits, she had access to Marathon Health’s Draper Peaks Network clinic, and set up a health coaching visit with Randy Archibald, a physician assistant, meeting virtually every four weeks. “Knowing I had to check in with Randy was sometimes the only reason I would complete my workouts,” Ellen says.

In less than a year, Ellen has lost almost 24 pounds, but she’s also seen other changes. “So far my biggest improvement has been my mental health,” she says. “I suffer from anxiety and depression. Moving my body has improved these issues greatly.”

Having a primary care provider is key to good health, yet one-third of Americans don’t have one, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers. Employer-sponsored healthcare centers, like the Salt Lake City Network, are growing in popularity to help address the need, improve employee health, and lower healthcare costs. With healthcare costs expected to increase 7 percent in 2024, employers continue to search for ways to find savings.

What is a network health center for employees?

Network health centers provide accessible and personalized primary care to employers of all sizes. They are open to all employers in a region who share a commitment to keeping their community healthy, happy, and productive. The Networks are typically located in popular shopping districts where employees and their families live, work, and attend school to make them easily accessible. 

Employers pay a per-member monthly fee to join a Network. Businesses share costs without sacrificing quality of care their employees receive. Employers save money by utilizing additional resources, such as behavioral health services, health coaching, wellness programming, and care navigation to help employees find the best provider at the best price for when they need to see a specialist. Network health centers have no ties to insurance carriers, hospitals, or specialty groups, which allows the providers to make the best decisions for each employee’s health.

“We work with employers to incentivize preventive behaviors,” says Jeff Wells, CEO, and co-founder of Marathon Health. “Our care teams spend more time with employees to build trusted relationships, so they’re motivated to take care of their health. And in the end, we’re supporting businesses, both small and large, by reducing health plan costs.”

On average, employers see a savings of up to $2,000 annually for each employee who uses Marathon Health for care.

Getting employees to schedule the first health center visit

The first step to helping employees take care of their health often begins with offering an incentive. Incentives might include offering gift cards and/or an insurance premium deduction for completing certain health and wellness activities, such as getting an annual physical or a biometric screening.

Shannon Isom, Senior Director of Engagement at Marathon Health, says during year one, an incentive plan may encourage participation, such as completing a Health Risk Assessment, getting a biometric screening at the health center, and having a comprehensive health review with the provider. “Once we get them in the door to meet the providers, we have a high success rate of getting them to come back,” Isom says.

Randy Archibald, who helped Ellen improve her health, agrees, and says just one visit, like a yearly physical, could be lifesaving. “The peace of mind that you get from visiting us is so much greater than the fear of not knowing something might be wrong,” he says. “My goal is to get to know my patients, peel back the layers and learn what motivates them to help them improve their health. The employer-Network model really is based on improving outcomes, and I get more time with members to help them get healthy. That’s rewarding.”