With digitally enhanced access to mental health resources
Substantial research exists about the cost of behavioral health conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression in the workforce. Studies show that the personal toll on employees and the financial cost to companies could be eased if a greater number of workers who need treatment were able to access it. While nearly all employer-sponsored benefit plans include mental health coverage, nearly half of those with behavioral health challenges do not seek or receive treatment. Rising costs have brought with them the pressing need to identify beneficial, cost-effective solutions including early access to behavioral health resources, and appropriate treatment. Concern is a forward-thinking behavioral health company that has partnered with Medullan to devise an innovative solution to this rising problem. That solution, Luma, is built on Medullan’s platform VARA™. It leverages a digital experience combined with high touch services to reach employees earlier, help them overcome some of the barriers to care, and guide them on a customized path to personal wellbeing.
Roughly 217 million days of work are lost annually to productivity declines related to mental illness and substance abuse, at a cost of $17 billion. Many of those days are lost to short- and long-term disability due to depression, which ranks 7th in a national survey of employers and the greatest cause of productivity loss among workers.
The cost to employers for workers with depression is estimated at $6,000 per depressed worker per year.
People with mental health conditions make six times as many emergency room visits as the overall population.
Individuals with behavioral health issues are more likely to make poor choices that contribute to medical problems, including smoking, excessive alcohol or drug use, poor eating habits, and reckless behavior.
While nearly all employer-sponsored benefit plans include mental health coverage, nearly half of those with behavioral health challenges do not seek or receive treatment.
Too often, mental and behavioral health issues are associated with personal failure or bad choices rather than treatable conditions or diseases. That stigma often prevents employees from seeking treatment out of fear that they may jeopardize their jobs. As a result, many behavioral health issues go unrecognized or untreated.
Exacerbating the issue is a shortage of providers. While effective treatments are available, it may be difficult for individuals to access the care they need. Often behavioral health network providers are unavailable, or there are long wait times.
Source: American Psychiatric Associa on, Emily A Kuhl, PhD
Center for Workplace Mental Health
Depression and physical disorders are commonly comorbid. That comorbidity is related to poor quality of life and greater disability than when depression or a medical disease is present alone, further complicating care and increasing costs.
Individuals diagnosed with depression have nearly twice the annual healthcare costs of those without depression.
Up to one third of patients with chronic illnesses, such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease, have symptoms of depression. Patients with type 2 diabetes have nearly double the risk of depression.
Research suggests that individuals who have depression and another medical illness tend to have more severe symptoms of both illnesses. (National Institutes of Mental Health)
While depression is a prevalent and disabling condition, it’s highly treatable. The earlier the treatment, the more effective the outcome. Early recognition, intervention and support can promote remission, prevent relapse and reduce the emotional and financial burden of the disease.
A 2016 study by the World Health Organization showed that every dollar invested in mental health treatment sees a $4 return based on better health and ability to work.11 Another demonstrated that every dollar invested in depression treatment was associated with a $2.61 decrease in the cost of treating physical problems.
Demand and cost for healthcare is rising, challenging employers to find creative solutions. Technology is seen as an integral part of the solution. Digital tools in particular are advancing rapidly and the cost is dropping.
Fifty-six percent of American adults with a mental illness did not seek or receive appropriate treatment in 2017. A radical change is called for in the way we approach mental health issues—access, cost, early intervention, better outcomes—so that anyone who needs care can get it before their condition becomes severe. Digital technology can help by enabling easy access to self-help tools and mental health professionals.
Digital technology is transforming health care. Luma by Concern represents the next generation in mental health, enabling easy access to licensed professionals, self-help tools and digital therapeutics — all in one personalized destination.
Luma is a user friendly interactive mental health hub, with a strong core set of resources and the capacity for unlimited integrations with 3rd party digital therapeutics and tools. It is a one-stop member guide to personalized behavioral health and life balance services and solutions.
Luma reduces stigma and member confusion on how to access behavioral health services. It creates a confidential personalized care plan, leading to more proactive and cost-effective management of mental health and physical health conditions.
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