Biometric Screenings: An Optimal Patient Acquisition Strategy

The majority of health systems offer on-site biometric screenings as a routine service to local employers.  For many, however, the allocation of human resources, time, and dollars to deliver the event often exceed the value received.

By contrast, a well-executed biometric screening is a data gold mine for healthcare executives and a primary opportunity to link the at-risk health characteristics of commercially insured consumers with aligned hospital resources.  With the right technology and execution, an on-site screening event is an optimal way for healthcare professionals to increase their share of the commercial market and enhance payor mix.

For the health system, the value of the screening event begins when the event ends.  Participating employees benefit from insightful information that is, quite often, as close as many will come to an annual physical exam.  Participation represents a teachable moment for healthcare educators and an opportunity for the employee to pause, reflect and engage interventions that can result in the promotion of better health.

But, for healthcare executives, the event should be viewed as an investment in community health, and as a revenue growth opportunity with a measurable ROI.  For example, a recent on-site biometric screening event of 151 employees at a local municipality revealed the following health data characteristics:

  • 54 employees (34%) did not have a PCP.
  • 62 (41%) had not had a physical exam as recommended.
  • 28 (18%) qualified for but had not received a colonoscopy.
  • 5 had not had a mammogram.
  • 21% had chronic back pain.
  • 22% had sleep related disorders and 9% suffered from depression.

When assessing the biometric results, the following was revealed:

  • 87 had a high glucose level.
  • 117 had high blood pressure.
  • HDL readings placed 41 in an at-risk category.
  • 15% had high triglycerides.
  • 2 had diastolic and systolic levels that required immediate intervention.
  • 133 had a BMI greater than 25.

While these results may seem alarming, they are typical of the American workforce and a good representation of the educational value derived from an on-site biometric event.  For the sponsoring hospital, the use of technology should provide the ability to link these at-risk employees with aligned PCPs, hospital service lines and affiliated resources.  In total, this single on-site biometric event represents $62,748 in potential health system revenue or $418 per screened employee.

During financially challenging times, any investment in community health must have a tail.  If it cannot produce a measurable ROI, its allocation should be questioned.  The good news is that employer demand for health risk mitigation initiatives has never been greater.  Therefore, an on-site biometric screening event presents an optimal strategy for healthcare executives committed to workforce health enhancement and bottom-line performance.