Employer finds at-work clinics can save costs, improve health of workers

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – At Martin Preferred Foods, a family-owned meat processing company, employees are like family.

“Taking care of them like family and making sure that they have the right medical care, and access to that care, was critically important to us,” said Jeff Tapick, CEO of Martin Preferred Foods.

That idea drove the relationship with Hamilton Health Box, which is a clinic that opens on a company’s property.

Hamilton Health Box provides basic healthcare without copays, free annual physicals, free x-rays, free prescriptions, labs and vaccines; which proved to be a huge asset to the company during the pandemic.

“Infections were high at plants around the country, (and) we were very fortunate with Hamilton on-site that we never really saw spikes in our employee base of COVID infections. And I really credit the Hamilton team who was telling us from the very first part of the pandemic to stay distanced, to be wearing masks,” Tapick explained.

The owner of the clinic, Dr. Toby Hamilton, claims they’ve been able to keep employees working by testing for COVID onsite and providing guidance on COVID regulations. Perhaps, more importantly, for the hardworking people they serve, they’ve saved an average of $132 per month, per employee.

“The employees are getting healthy, the employers are getting a population that can work better, they can work longer, they can feel better when they work, and the company is actually saving money by doing that. You know, the irony of it all is that the company saves money by giving basic primary and preventive healthcare to their employees, and that is a win-win for everybody,” Dr. Hamilton said.

A nurse, physician’s assistant, or doctor meets with patients in-person or via computer screen.

Tapick has found employees are discovering undiagnosed diseases as a benefit of having providers they can access without taking time off of work. The employees, he said, have established relationships with the providers and are now taking medications to treat underlying conditions.

“I think for a long-term perspective, we have a healthier employee population as a result of the convenience of having that Hamilton staff right here on site,” Tapick said.