Read about the first step in creating a comprehensive, supportive behavioral health plan.
When considering the addition of a new benefits solution to your existing program, your first reaction might be one of hesitation. Implementing a new solution, onboarding your people and making sure the benefit is- well, beneficial- is hard work and its impact is often difficult to quantify. This is even more true when it comes to assessing new and existing behavioral health solutions. So, where to start?
Data- driven decision making
Behavioral health and medical care have been traditionally kept separate. We are beginning to see a push to integrate the two- particularly where state and federal programs are encouraging the integration to reduce emergency room admissions and increase the quality of care. Currently, approximately 75% of high-users of hospital inpatient services have behavioral health diagnoses (BDO). For those patients, access to the right behavioral health services early can reduce their dependence on the expensive hospital visits for care.
Approximately 75% of high-users of hospital inpatient services have behavioral health diagnoses.
As an employer, you want to be providing as integrated of a solution as possible. If people are seeking behavioral health services through their primary care doctor, or at an emergency room, they may not be getting the help they need. With more data on the specific needs of your people, you can make a better decision that will help save costs and keep people healthier.
At Collective Health, we are all about making data-driven decisions across every department. Each team, from sales to engineering, depends on a suite of specialized tools to help drive informed decision making and strategy. HR/Benefits teams have their own set of tools, but often, the best tool for determining what your people want, is to just ask them.
Survey your team
The nature of behavioral health issues necessitates the careful construction and deployment of a company-wide survey on the subject. Much more so than, say, a survey to determine if people would use a gym membership if one was provided. To accomplish this:
- Pick a survey platform that supports anonymous survey results. If you are a Google for Work company, their forms product can be a good option- just make sure you deselect the option for automatically including the user’s email address.
- Communicate clearly when sending out the survey to make sure that everyone can rest assured that all their answers are both anonymous and confidential.
- Encourage everyone to fill out the survey. It will help you create the the best set of programs for your people.
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Find the gaps
The survey itself can cover a variety of behavioral health issues and solutions- both for programs you already have in place and new ones you are considering. For existing programs, ask people if they are aware that the program is available to them. Many may not be! For prospective programs, survey people on a scale to gauge their level of interest or need.
Ask about behavioral health issues such as:
- Depression/Mood Disorders
- Substance Use
- Caregiver Stress
And solutions such as:
- EAP programs for personal or family counseling
- Stress management and reduction coaching
- Substance abuse counseling
- Mindfulness training
- Provider matching
- Online therapy & counseling
- Mobile apps that help track mood
After the survey has been completed, take a look at the responses. Where are the gaps between the services that people want, and the programs you are currently providing? These insights will help drive a conversation with your team and help you build the comprehensive behavioral health strategy that supports all of your people.