New Survey Confirms Employees Struggle to Find Quality Behavioral Health Care for Themselves and Their Loved Ones

PEMBROKE, Mass. (October 10, 2017) – As part of its ongoing series of original, proprietary research, ConsumerMedical, a leading health care decision support and clinical advocacy company, has published results of another new survey of American workers employed at mid- and large-size companies that taps into those workers’ health care concerns and needs.

This research, the fifth in a series, was based on a survey of 1,000 employees at companies across the U.S. with 500 or more employees, and revealed employees struggle to find qualified behavioral health care providers for themselves and their loved ones. Among the findings:

  • Nearly half of all U.S. employees have dealt with a mental health issue for themselves or a family member in the past 12 months.
  • Employees had to wait, on average, three weeks to see a practitioner from the time they initially sought help.
  • One in five didn’t feel satisfied with the mental health practitioner that they chose.
  • Meanwhile, nearly half of employees surveyed said their search for a qualified mental health practitioner was a distraction for them while on the job.
  • Of those who consulted EAP, more than one in five did not find it useful.
  • Over 72 percent of employees dealing with a mental health concern said it was affecting their productivity on the job.

These findings, consistent with previous research, paint a stark picture of employees struggling to find good quality behavioral health care.

“Employees with behavioral health needs are really hurting,” explains David Hines, CEO of ConsumerMedical. “And employers are feeling the pain, too.  The reality is that health care costs, such as medical and pharmacy claims, are only the tip of the iceberg for employers; they are dwarfed by the productivity, absenteeism and health care expenses that result from employees with behavioral health concerns. “

In 2015, after looking at data for over 100 employers, Mercer concluded that the mental health and substance abuse cost trend was rising at 11 percent per-member-per-year (compared to 3.5 percent for other medical issues per-member-per-year).

“All of this points to the fact that employees are in deep need of additional support finding well-qualified behavioral health professionals,” explains Hines.

About ConsumerMedical – ConsumerMedical is a leading health care decision support and clinical advocacy company serving approximately 2 million individuals through some of the nation’s largest employers, health plans and private exchanges. The company has been serving patients and payers for over 20 years. As a Medical Ally, ConsumerMedical guides participants throughout their health care journey with compassionate, high-touch support and deep clinical expertise. ConsumerMedical offers a fully integrated suite of solutions including Medical Decision Support, Surgery Decision Support, Expert Medical Opinion, Claims Advocacy and more, helping individuals and families navigate the health care system while improving outcomes and reducing costs. ConsumerMedical’s results have been validated continuously by independent actuaries. More information is available at www.consumermedical.com.