Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Getting the Most From Our EAP

As I was reviewing year end reports from our carriers, the dramatic difference in the utilization of our health advocacy services with Health Advocate and our EAP services with Lifework Strategies stood out to me. In 2014, staff used the health advocacy services 368 times while our EAP was only used 21 times. That put our EAP utilization at 8% which is double the industry average, so it was being presented as a positive indicator.Yet it prompted me to do the math. Each contact with our EAP cost $295 while our health advocacy services cost only $22 per interaction.

We talked with the folks at Health Advocate to see what other services they provide and learned that they have an EAP. They described a very proactive approach to service delivery. If someone calls them for help sorting out some medical bills that are piling up, they can also offer financial services that are provided through the EAP. If a new parent calls to find childcare, they can ask questions to identify any parenting issues and offer relevant services. This appealed to us. Obviously our staff think to seek health advocacy help, so why not capitalize on that to deliver our EAP services.

When I was at the Health and Benefits Leadership Conference, I met Nate Randall from Tesla Motors. He mentioned that their EAP utilization rate is about 40%. Wow! Now they do offer concierge services that appeal to their staff and that increases their utilization, but he also said they never talk about it as an EAP. They just market the available services. That makes sense to me and fits with another initiative I'll be sharing more about soon, so this may be the last time I write about our "EAP." 

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