To better understand today’s most critical health benefits, we interviewed two innovative forces in the employee healthcare industry to get their perspective and insight. Viral Patel, MD, is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Radish Health, offering health advice on-demand and concierge primary care. Virna Little, PsyD, LCSW-r, is the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Concert Health, working alongside primary health networks to offer integrated behavioral health services.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic shaped employee benefits now and into the future?
Today, employers understand a bit more clearly how critical it is to maintain a both physically and mentally healthy workforce. The impact of COVID-19 has led human resource managers to completely rethink and revamp their existing health benefits. How can we address both physical and mental health needs together? How can we provide better healthcare for both in-person and remote employees? How can we be a health resource for employees?
In a 2020 Global Employee Health Study Data by Aetna, U.S. employees were asked, “In which ways has your employer improved support for your health and well-being in the last six months?” 42% said their employers provided support for mental health and 36% said they provided support for physical health through technology. It’s clear employers and human resource managers are beginning to take a more active approach in their employees' health benefits.
What’s one way human resources managers are addressing this shift in health benefits?
One way human resource managers are addressing this priority is through the use of virtual care benefits. While health insurance has been a great benefit, it doesn’t guarantee easy access to care. Navigating to in-network providers can be time consuming and frustrating.. Actually providing physical and mental healthcare allows human resource managers to meet the diverse needs for both in-person and remote employees. But beyond the employee experience, organizations simply can’t afford to not make this a business priority. A healthy workforce is a successful organization.
“Employers and human resource managers are used to employees being in the office, but with almost half of the U.S. workforce working from home, it’s imperative that we address the healthcare needs of a newly distributed workforce.” - Viral Patel, MD
Convenient access to primary and mental health care care means same day visits. It also means the ability to actually access care, especially mental health care, which is often a shortage in many communities. No longer are the days when employees have to wait weeks for an appointment or take hours out of their workday to drive to the nearest doctor in their network. If partnered with a company like Radish Health, organizations of every size can do just this. With the Radish Health app so that your employees can instantly book a visit with one of their primary care doctors or mental health professionals.
What does healthcare at work look like?
It’s providing convenient physical and mental healthcare so that all employees have easier access to care. With this comprehensive approach providers can treat physical and mental health care together.
Human resource managers are not only recognizing the need for better physical care, but now understand how essential mental health care is for employees and organizational success. In a recent 2020 Global Human Capital Trends Report, 80% of employer respondents said well-being was at the top of their organizational priorities.
“Mental health is just as important as physical health. COVID-19 stressors demonstrated how the two go hand-in-hand when it comes to maintaining health, and why we need to take an integrated approach to care.” - Virna Little, PsyD, LCSW-r
Concert Health understands the need for collaborative care. Alongside a patient’s primary care provider they provide mental health services to ensure behavioral health needs are met.
How does prioritizing both physical and mental healthcare benefit both the employee and the employer?
Employees who are physically and mentally healthy demonstrate a multitude of positive traits that benefit the entire organization When employees have easier access to care they are:
- More productive
- More focused
- Spending more time working, and less out sick
- Physically, mentally health
In a study conducted by the Integrated Benefits Institute it was found that unhealthy employees cost employers almost 575 billion dollars and 1.5 billion days annually of illness-related absence.
“The health of your employees should be a continued priority after the pandemic. Healthy employees have a direct positive impact on your organization.” - Viral Patel, MD
Employers and human resource managers have no reason to not prioritize the health and well-being of their entire workforce. With the hybrid (in-office and remote) work model becoming the new normal across the U.S., human resource managers must begin to meet the health needs of every single employee. Those that are healthy can stay working, and are more focused and innovative. This not only allows for healthcare savings, but also a successful and profitable organization.
How can employers and human resources managers create a culture of health and empathy?
Health benefits should encourage health and well-being, not discourage it as it has traditionally been done. Digital health benefits have historically been reserved for companies like Google and Facebook, but through Radish Health’s and Concert Health’s solutions, it’s possible to implement for a much broader range of organizations.
“Employers have a responsibility for their employees' health, and that means creating a work environment (whether in office or at home) where employees feel safe and supported.” -Virna Little, PsyD, LCSW-r
It’s clear that health insurance isn’t enough. Employees want to know they are cared for, and that means prioritizing employee health and well-being wherever they are. With this, human resource managers can create a culture of health and empathy. After all, people spend ⅓ of their life working. Shouldn’t employers and human resource managers be providing their employees with the necessary healthcare resources, information and education? It’s time to take the next step and prioritize the health and well-being of your diverse workforce.
To learn how Radish Health can manage your workforce health during this challenging time, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to see our solutions first-hand, book a demo with a Radish team member here.