An EAP managed by Personal Assistance Services (PAS) is much more than just a valuable benefit that helps improve employees’ quality of life. In order to maximize your return on EAP investment and to optimally mitigate behavioral risk, PAS can address the employee psycho-social component of injuries, accidents, disability, and excessive absence.
Behavioral risk management can be defined as a collaboration of individual and organizational interventions to prevent avoidable losses in the workplace that are caused by human behavioral issues. As a framework to expand this definition, behavioral issues that contribute to workplace risk arise from three general areas:
- Organizational and Environmental
- Work Environment/Toxicity
- High Demand/Low Autonomy Jobs
- Safety Violations
- Poor Morale/Lack of Trust
- Employee Lifestyle
- Health Risks
- Medical Conditions
- Unsafe/Negligent Practices
- Mental Health Disorders
- Substance Abuse
- Dysfunctional Relationships (at work and at home)
- Dissatisfaction with Life
- Sense of Entitlement
- Numerous studies demonstrate a high correlation between employee behavioral issues and higher workers’ compensation and disability losses. Employee anxiety, depression, substance abuse and dissatisfaction with the quality of life are the primary or secondary contributing factors in at least 80% of organizational losses.
Wellness and Disease Management
Integrate valid/reliable psychometric analyses within Health Risk Assessments (HRAs). Behavioral Health Risk Assessment takes the HRA process to another level—it identifies the psycho-social issues that put the member at risk of using large amounts of health resources and becoming significantly less productive. Just as you offer health coaching to those at risk for medical conditions, remind employees at risk for behavioral conditions about the EAP within the confidential report provided to them by your HRA vendor.
Conduct vendor summits to pursue options for EAP integration as a behavioral risk management strategy and to encourage cross referral among vendors. Your #1 or # 2 pharmaceutical spend is probably for anti-depressants. Research has demonstrated that counseling combined with medication produces far better outcomes than either medication or counseling alone. We help coordinate care to achieve the best outcomes. Establishing a referral mechanism to PAS from wellness and disease management systems ensure that employees get the behavioral health care they need.
Communicate the EAP as a first layer of behavioral health services. More often than not (in 86% of cases), employees who seek coaching and counseling through PAS can have their problems resolved here—without accessing their medical coverage. By addressing many issues at a “preventive” or “early intervention” level and by providing solution-focused services, we minimize the need for referrals into the much more costly and complicated health care system.
Behavioral risk management can be defined as a collaboration of individual and organizational interventions to prevent avoidable losses in the workplace that are caused by human behavioral issues
There are several very practical ways to integrate your EAP within your overall risk management systems:
Absence and Productivity
Vigorously promote the EAP to supervisors, managers, employees and dependents to encourage utilization of services. PAS provides an extensive suite of counseling, life management and wellness services to help employees navigate challenges, improve their quality of life, and increase their productivity at work.
Offer EAP services to those requesting a leave of absence. PAS provides services to support the employee and family during the leave and helps them through challenges that might otherwise prevent them from returning to work.
Incorporate Referral to EAP as a Performance Improvement Tool. Train supervisors regarding referral to PAS for confidential assistance to help employees identify and resolve personal concerns that may be affecting their performance (reduced productivity, absenteeism & tardiness, interpersonal conflicts, mistakes).
Compared to the average employee, those with personal concerns have 3.6 times more accidents on and off the job, are absent 16 times more often, take three times the sick leave, and function at 67 personal of normal work potential. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor) As an additional performance improvement resource, referral to the EAP for confidential assistance is made to help employees identify and resolve personal concerns that are affecting their performance.
Refer employees involved in an on-the-job accident or “near miss” to PAS for an individualized debriefing session. PAS assesses for behavioral health issues and arranges appropriate care.
Arrange Critical Incident Response services for those experiencing trauma in the workplace to minimize the emotional impact and reduce recovery time for affected individuals. PAS specially trained counselors come on-site to provide group intervention and education sessions that reduce the psychological impact of the event, prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and assess for the need for additional behavioral health services.
Disability and Workers Compensation
Consider the behavioral component for every claim. Add PAS reach out call services for all workers’ compensation and disability claimants to your EAP plan design. This practice provides assessment and treatment for behavioral health conditions outside of the disability or workers compensation claim, mitigates social risk factors that complicate recovery, and provides on-going support and return to work coaching.
Include information about EAP services within the injury support packets provided by the occupational health nurse to employees who report an injury or medical problem. This communicates concern for the employee’s well-being and offers EAP support to help them through their recovery process.
For more information on EAP integration, contact PAS’ Account Services Department at 800.356.0845 or email to [email protected]
This article is not intended to be construed as legal advice, but is provided as an overview of good business practices.
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