How Healthcare Advocates are Value Added to Corporations in Managing Employee Healthcare
In today’s corporate setting, HR managers sometimes have insurmountable challenges in dealing with and managing employee healthcare and wellness issues. Since medical problems affect the ability to run a business and thus affect the bottom line, the pressure is huge to maintain a steady workforce and continue to produce quality work in a timely fashion. Every American seeks medical help at least 4 times a year, so if employees are struggling with either emergency or chronic health issues, the HR manager or CEO often struggles to manage this.
Across the workforce, there are common pain points that all companies are faced with.
- Healthcare costs: There is the basic cost of the ER, physician visit, labs and diagnostic tests. Then, if the employee is unsure of where to go and what questions to ask, there is an added cost of bouncing around until the appropriate care is found. Sometimes the ER is unnecessary, or a patient goes to multiple doctors not knowing which specialist they could go straight to.
- Chronic illness: Chronic illnesses amongst employees such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, back pain, asthma, cancer, depression, and obesity can lead to a high cost of care, increased absenteeism, and increased utilization of insurance.
- Alcohol and drug abuse: Alcoholism and drug abuse are often the silent “elephant in the room” in employee healthcare, affecting work performance and often creating workplace disharmony.
- Mental health: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental health affects tens of millions of Americans each year and only 50% seek out and receive treatment.
- Elderly parents: Many employees struggle with caring for not only their children, but also their aging parents. Whether an unexpected disease diagnosis such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, or a change of lifestyle due to aging and the inability to live independently – caring for a parent is difficult and time consuming.
- Unhealthy lifestyle: Lack of education, prevention and employee healthcare programs that address nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep problems and ergonomics.
- Healthcare absenteeism: There are several causes and costs of absenteeism in the workplace. This affects productivity, decreases profits and lowers team morale.
So, how can a private Healthcare Advocacy company help with all of the above?
- Ensuring targeted utilization of the healthcare system, preventing unnecessary costs to both the employee and the employer. Providing an understanding of benefits, and price comparison for tests and procedures. Quality care in a timely manner and ensuring that employees aren’t taking work time to research and deal with family healthcare issues.
- Educating people in prevention, early detection and management of chronic diseases, offering ongoing support for them and their families.
- Confidential education and support for alcohol and drug abuse, encouragement to seek professional counseling and/or treatment, and research backed referrals to quality care in their geographic area.
- Confidential education and support for mental health issues, encouragement to seek professional counseling, and research backed referrals to professionals with expertise in the specific areas needed.
- Identifying needs of elderly parents such as assisted living, and using a researched and experienced approach to finding quality solutions. Ongoing support for all family members provided, as well as continuous liaison duties as needed.
- Providing access to quality experts in employee healthcare and wellness education and creating incentive programs to encourage participation in embracing healthy lifestyle changes. An important focus of an employee wellness program is not only teaching people how to be healthier, but how to be resilient.
- Creating a company specific tracking protocol to measure absenteeism, and reasons behind it. Calculating the rate of absenteeism and its cost to the company. Developing a company-wide strategy of education and participation with built-in incentives, to groom a healthier workforce.
Health Advocates not only assist with all of the above, but through their experienced guidance, employers and employees alike can stay healthier. Companies embrace a healthier lifestyle, and decrease their insurance utilization through a more knowledgeable approach when seeking healthcare. This also decreases absenteeism and improves employee productivity – ultimately saving on the company bottom line.
Prism Health Advocates is outcome based and committed advocacy working with individuals, families and corporations for their employee healthcare and wellness needs. We take the time and get to know each client, stay in touch and follow up on a regular basis.