Gallons of virtual ink have been spilled drooling over Apple’s recent announcement about an onsite wellness clinic. The robowriters at Fortune rave that Apple Joining Amazon, Warren Buffet in Health Care Business. The fools wonder if Apple could become your primary care provider.
What really happened is Apple switched the onsite clinic provider from Crossover Health to AC Wellness, which may or may not be partially or completely owned by Apple.
Apple has 123,000 employees, and they likely spend approximately $9,000 per year per employee on healthcare premiums. Anybody who spends north of a billion dollars a year on healthcare will scrutinize that expense pretty carefully.
Apple’s primary motivator for this change is most likely a way to reduce their cost of providing an onsite clinic. When you strip away the marketing blather, the financial benefits of an onsite clinic are more about reducing absenteeism for employees who would otherwise have to drive through California traffic to get to and from the doctor. It’s the same reason there is a cafeteria in Apple Park.
Onsite clinics are neither innovative nor new. A wide range of employers from many industries have had onsite clinics for more than 25 years. Apple is not getting into the healthcare business, they are just prudently managing their expenses.