• The Impact of Behavioral Screening and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) -like Interventions on Health Outcomes and Estimated Expenditures in a Community Healthcare Clinic Setting and an Employment Setting

      Attridge, Mark; Dickens, Steve (Invest Centers for Employee Wellbeing, 2015-12)
      There is considerable evidence that employee assistance programs (EAPs) mitigate stress levels associated with common life struggles, which if unaddressed, may lead to chronic stress and disease (Attridge, 2012). There is also good evidence that Behavioral Screening and Intervention (BSI) programs, that screen and treat individuals for depression, substance use, and smoking improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare expenditures (Babor, McRee, Kassebaum Grimaldi, Ahmed, & Bray, 2007; Bray, Zarkin, Davis, Mitra, Higgins-Biddle, & Babor, 2007; Saitz, Saitz, Larson, LaBelle, Richardson, & Samet, 2008). We hypothesized that a hybrid model that combined EAP services with BSI would produce substantial positive health outcomes and reduce healthcare cost expenditures. We further hypothesized that such an approach would work equally well with patients in a community health center and employees at a workplace. The goal of this project was to demonstrate that these efforts could be carried out successfully in both settings and to either confirm or refute the hypothesis that such interventions would improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare expenditures. The results of our research confirmed both hypotheses. Our short-term interventions resulted in profound improvements in multiple health outcome indicators, and these improvements were sustained over time. These outcomes were achieved in both settings. Outcomes included significant reductions in depression, smoking behavior, alcohol use, drug use and increased exercise and report of overall wellbeing. As we demonstrate in this report, the improvements in health outcomes observed, coupled with studies that clearly link and quantify the relationship between such improvements and reduced healthcare costs, enable us to project specific healthcare cost savings that will result from these interventions.