While the nation debates universal health care options, Business Week has taken a look at how companies can save money modeling their health care options after what Microsoft has been doing for years: sending doctors to employee's homes for non-emergencies. Take a look at the article to read more and find out about just another benefit for Microsoft employees.
"The Return of the House Call"With health-care reform dominating Washington, policy analysts and benefits experts are looking at every possible cranny to unearth new, futuristic ways to slash costs. Yet one innovation that has captured their imaginations actually comes from the dusty, predigital past. The Obama Administration has been keeping a close eye on Microsoft (MSFT), which, in a bid to slash costs, improve employee health, and even contain potential pandemics such as swine flu, has brought back the old-fashioned doctor's house call for employees. House calls appear in the proposed health-care reform package pending before Congress, and President Barack Obama himself has hailed them as one of the private sector's "terrific innovations."
Microsoft is one of the only, and by far the biggest, employers that is offering such white-glove, concierge-like service to workers. "The program," says CEO Steve Ballmer, "is an example of the importance the company has always put on its people." The Microsoft template doesn't make sense for every company. But for those with big concentrations of employees in densely packed locales—think of the 40,000 Microserfs and their 58,000 dependents in the Puget Sound area alone—the long-term rewards and savings can be substantial.