Kansas City, Missouri-based Cerner is expanding its activities in the provider space through the launch of a new near-site employer health clinic network.

Dubbed Anuva Health, the first clinic in the network was opened in Malvern, Pennsylvania and the company plans to open another location in West Chester, Pennsylvania this summer.

Cerner has a sizable officer in Malvern, which will provide an initial patient base for Anuva, but the company said its expansion strategy is not necessarily built out around its own office locations.

“Going forward we’re going to look to set up our locations where it’s most convenient for the most employers,” said Mike Heckman, Cerner’s vice president of Population Health Services.

The company already operates more than 40 onsite employer health centers around the country for organizations like Toyota and the International Union of Operating Engineers, caring for hundreds of thousands of patients annually. In 2009, Cerner acquired IMC Health Care, a provider of on-site employer health centers.

Heckman pitches the new Anuva Health brand as expanding worksite health services to a wider range of potential employers who may have been interested in the model, but wary of the cost and capital commitments of an individualized clinic.

“We thought that instead of one big custom offering, why not offer a network of access points in a community that can be shared by multiple employers,” Heckman said.

Interest from employers in the worksite clinic space is growing. According to a 2018 survey conducted by Mercer and National Association of Worksite Health Centers, a-third of U.S. employers with 5,000 or more employees offer general medical worksite clinics, up from 24 percent in 2012.

Companies are being driven to the model as a way to control healthcare spending growth and boost workforce productivity and improve hiring and retention of employees.

The idea behind Anuva is to offer employee additional healthcare services that are accessible from multiple locations. Alongside urgent care and primary care services, Anuva clinics will offer lab work, behavioral health, health coaching health coordination and an integrated pharmacy.

Those range of services will generally hold steady across Anuva Health locations with minor adjustments due to specific patient population needs. A membership to Anuva will will allow workers to use any location within the network. Anuva works on a subscription based model for employers, with no expected co-pays for individual patients.

Employers have the option to give both employees and their dependents access to Anuva. Members also have the benefit of a remote virtual care team located at Cerner’s HQ in Kansas City made up of clinicians and clinical support staff to assist in care management and health navigation and provide behavioral health services as well.

“We look at Anuva care team as one big care team as they’re all utilizing the same technology and backend,” Heckman said. “Contrast that from an entity which may offer a virtual set of services that isn’t connected or in communication with the other side.”

The model of an integrated virtual and in-person worksite clinic provider is similar to that of San Clemente, California-based Crossover Health which serves companies like Apple and Facebook. Earlier this year, the company acquired virtual care startup Sherpaa to bolster their own digital offerings.

Cerner is directly employing the clinical staff with Anuva Health, which Heckman said may be bolstered through partnerships with local medical groups.

It also stands to reason that Anuva Health providers will be using Cerner software and tech resources including its Millennium EHR and HealthIntent data analytics platform to run their practices and manage their patients.

“Our roots in technology are a big differentiator because understand the complexity associated with healthcare, we understand data and how to build internal roadmaps to meet real-time market needs,” Heckman said. “We’re not dependent on a third party entity to do what needs to be done.”

Photo: Irina_Strelnikova, Getty Images

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