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Oregon Businesses Are Building Their Own Health Clinics

<p>Hoffman, Oregon&rsquo;s largest construction company, just opened a new health clinic for its employees in downtown Portland.</p>

Amanda Peacher 

Hoffman, Oregon’s largest construction company, just opened a new health clinic for its employees in downtown Portland.

Large companies are following a new trend — setting up dedicated health clinics for employees.

Oregon’s largest construction company just opened its new clinic in downtown Portland.

Hoffman Construction contracted with Seattle-based Vera Whole Health to run the clinic. Staff there will look after about 800 Hoffman employees and their families.

Vera CEO Ryan Schmid said with traditional health insurance employers often don’t pick up on companywide medical issues because workers go off-site to lots of different providers.

But, he said, having everyone go to the same nearby clinic lowers costs for the employer and can help improve the health of employees.

"They get anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes with a provider," Schmid said. "They can come back as frequently as they want. They can walk out of the door with pre-packaged medications."

For employees worried about privacy when they go to the company clinic, Vera said it imposes a strong firewall that keeps employers from viewing individual health records.

A spokesman with Hoffman said the business decided to create its own clinic when it noticed staff were getting sick and the company wanted to that break cycle.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.