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A Network Healthcare Solution for a Flexible Workforce

March 23rd, 2022 | 2 min. read

By Natalia Wolting

As employers settle into the hybrid workplace reality, health and wellness benefits have to follow suit. Even before the pandemic made working from home the new norm for many, the Network health center model was a sought-after solution for employers of all shapes and sizes who wanted to provide better health outcomes for their population.

In our recent webinar: A Flexible Health Solution for a Flexible Workforce, Marathon Health’s CMO and webinar series host Shelly Towns had the opportunity to talk with Karen Mueller, CBC, Executive Vice President & Partner for HORAN — a benefits advisor, and Chad Ashcraft, Executive Vice President of Growth for Marathon Health.

Watch the Full Webinar

The Network employer healthcare model was created to provide more accessibility to primary care for employees and their families. The health centers are located in retail centers or busy downtown areas where employees and their families live, work and shop. Chad explained how health centers are also shared by multiple employers in one city and can be leveraged by any size company. Some employers offer the Network model combined with an onsite health center and/or virtual primary care to offer even greater access.

During a poll question, 50% of webinar participants confirmed that accessibility was the most attractive feature of the Network model. Other features that stood out most were a variety of services (32%), extended hours (26%), savings on build-out costs (10%) and provider choice (6%).


Karen says when they were looking for a way to reduce healthcare costs for their clients, they looked at their data first before determining a solution. “One of the things that we found was that people who were engaged with a primary care physician were costing on average $700 less a year than those who had not engaged,” Karen says. “When we looked at their spouses, the difference was almost double at $1,300. So, we knew we were onto something.”

“We looked at the options related to primary care,” Karen adds. “And, we took the opportunity to look for a more proactive solution to get ahead of some of these chronic conditions.”

Today, HORAN has 19 employers using the Marathon Health Network healthcare centers in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

The panelists also discussed how the Network model focuses on offering high-quality care with dedicated care teams. These care teams are crucial to improving health outcomes, and the reason why the providers spend more time with patients at the Network employer health centers than in a traditional setting. Chad and Karen both shared how the care teams get to know their patients and help guide them in their health journey.

“I think from a patient experience standpoint, you feel like you have a true care team,” Chad says. “You’re interfacing with not just one clinician during your appointment, but you might interact with two or three for different reasons. You receive a whole team-based approach.”

To learn more about employer Network health centers and the outcomes HORAN’s clients see, watch the full webinar video above.

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