On March 31, 2017, Shortlister hosted Sean Fogarty, President and Chief Executive Officer, and David Pawlowski, LCPC, CEAP, Vice President of Administration, at CuraLinc Healthcare, in our “Meet-a-Vendor” webinar series to provide us with a summary of their recent case study, “Outcomes and Impact”, which evaluated the capacity of an employee assistance program (EAP) to have a measurable impact on depression, productivity, substance abuse, and absenteeism.
To begin, Sean briefly reviewed the key features of an EAP, including the program’s ability to provide employers with an organizational, yet confidential, approach to working constructively with employees who experience personal and work-related issues, such as depression, grief, stress, anxiety, substance abuse, and relationship concerns. Most EAP models include the following components
- Short-Term Counseling (in-person or technology-based)
- Work-Life Benefits (legal and financial consultation, expert dependent care referrals, identity theft recovery assistance)
- Organizational Services (crisis response, training, management consultations, formal referral coordination)
- Technology (website, mobile app, distance counseling platform, cCBT)
- Client Services (single point-of-contact, client-specific engagement strategy, reporting)
Sean also went over two walk-away goals for the webinar, which were:
- An EAP can fill the gap of behavioral health that exists in most population health management strategies.
- CuraLinc’s unique EAP model can have a measurable impact on employee health and productivity.
CuraLinc constructed their EAP model very purposefully in order to have a positive and measurable impact on employee health, well-being, and productivity. David stated that everything CuraLinc does – 24/7 live answer by licensed and experienced clinicians, empowering those clinicians to conduct a thorough behavioral health assessment, offering referral to local clinicians aligned with each participant’s MHSA (mental health and substance abuse) network and with verified appointment availability, and CuraLinc’s rigorous clinical case management and follow up – is done for a reason: to maximize the outcomes and impact of the EAP.
During the presentation, Sean and David also reviewed data from the “Outcomes and Impact” study, which included nearly 3,500 EAP cases from employees who used the program in 2016. Four evidence-based tools are used during CuraLinc’s initial clinical assessment, then again at 30, 60 and 90 days post-treatment, to measure changes in employee health and productivity. A summary of the case study results illustrates the impact of an EAP:
- The EAP reduced unscheduled employee absences. The average time away from work that was caused by the employee’s mental or emotional health concern(s) decreased by 6.8 hours after using the EAP.
- The EAP had a positive and measurable impact on employee productivity. 80.8% of EAP participants reported high productivity after utilizing the EAP, compared to just 52.2% prior to using the program.
- The EAP provided care and support for employees with depression. 85.7% of EAP participants who presented with severe or moderately severe depression migrated into minimal, mild or moderate categories.
- The EAP reduced the percentage of employees who abuse alcohol. 36.6% of EAP participants reported misusing alcohol (an index of 8 or higher) during the initial clinical assessment, compared to 7.3% after EAP treatment was completed.
Data from Millennial employees (those born in or after 1980) who used the EAP led to a separate analysis of the program’s effect on health and well-being. The impact of the EAP on Millennial absenteeism, productivity and depression was measurably higher than that from Generation X or Baby Boomer employees.
The presenters finished by providing participants with best practice recommendations on how to evaluate EAP models that are capable of delivering optimal results to employers, given that certain EAP models can facilitate meaningful and lasting behavior change that leads to decreased absenteeism, increased productivity, and improved health outcomes for employees who present with depression and alcohol abuse.
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CuraLinc’s EAP offers employers a resource to improve employee productivity, engagement, and retention. The program's innovative and highly-structured behavioral health case management model also helps companies reduce both direct and indirect costs. In addition, the EAP can be an effective management tool for employers, providing assistance in areas such as workplace trauma, corporate training, and management consultation. Currently, CuraLinc provides EAP services to over 800 employers across the country.