Employer Survey Reveals Increased Investment in Digital

MINNEAPOLIS, November 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)–The 50th Global Employers Health Innovation Roundtable (EHIR), a coalition of most progressive employers, today announced the results of a survey regarding the company’s adoption of digital mental health solutions for employees. With over 100 respondents made up of employee benefits leaders and operational executives from Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 companies, the survey highlights the growing trend toward investing in solutions that replace and/or complement traditional employee assistance programs (EAPs). Top results reveal:

  1. Mental health is a growing priority for employers. The majority of respondents (74%) have changed and/or purchased a mental health solution within the past 24 months (n = 85).
  2. Many employers are investing specifically in digital health solutions. Among respondents who added or changed their offerings (n = 63), four in five (82%) added one or more digital health programs to their benefits portfolio.
  3. The digital mental health market is confusing to navigate. For those who did not make a change to their solution portfolio (n = 23), nearly half (40%) revealed that they are not sure or are not sure that they have a good understanding of the digital health landscape.

“It is exciting to see employers begin to navigate and invest in digital mental health solutions,” said Michael Lackeyer, CEO of EHIR. “EHIR is dedicated to helping employers easily evaluate and choose the right solution for their organizations.”

The survey was conducted in collaboration with partners from some of today’s leading executive alliances including the World 50, Health Transformation Alliance (HTA), Midwest Business Group on Health (MGBH), Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH), and PeopleTech.

Employer survey about adopting mental health solutions

There has been an explosion of digital mental health innovations over the past decade, with more than 20,000 mental health apps available today and nearly 100 digital mental health startups joining the market each year. Despite all the solutions on the market, only five percent of employees strongly agree that their employer provides a safe environment for those with mental health conditions, according to Mental Health America’s new 2021 “Mind the Workplace” report.

The following survey findings highlight current employer experiences navigating the solutions landscape.

Selection and purchase experiences: The majority of respondents (82%, n = 85) consider themselves an early adopter (ie one of the first clients) or a quick follower (ie following the first few clients and/or initial outcomes). However, about one in four (26%) did not, in fact, add a new digital solution or make a change to their solution at all.

  • Three-quarters of respondents (73%, n = 60) evaluated one to five solutions before making a decision. Less than half reported using RFP in this process.
  • One in four (25%, n = 62) said the pandemic had had a 50% or higher impact on purchasing decisions in this area over the past two years.

Motives: Among those who changed or purchased their mental health solution (n = 63), the top five reasons included several significant categories.

  • The main reasons for the change included 1) access to mental health providers. 2) digital access to service providers (for example, telehealth); 3) a specific demographic, condition or behavior being addressed (eg, adolescents, postpartum, sleep); 4) dissatisfaction with the current mental health provider(s); and 5) integration with other software or platforms (eg, EAP, Specific Advantages).

Frequencies: of those who have Not They made changes to EAP or added a new digital mental health solution (n = 22):

  • The top five challenges for moving forward with changing or purchasing a new digital mental health solution were rated as 1) cost/budget; 2) lack of integration with other software or platforms (eg, EAP, specific advantages); 3) other [business] priorities; 4) lack of confirmed or guaranteed results; It is limited to 5) pricing model/plan and lack of integration with the medical plan (eg claims, provider network).

Personal mental state: Respondents (n = 64) also shared some insights about their personal mental state indicating their concerns about the impact of the pandemic on employee anxiety and more, as well as increasing pressure on balancing operational needs and finding mental health solutions to address those effects.

  • When sharing their personal stress levels due to the pandemic:
    • 75% of respondents indicated increased stress.
    • Among respondents who reported an increase in stress (n = 48), a third (31%) attributed the increase to personal matters at home.
    • Two out of three (69%) attributed the increase to work-related issues including looking for solutions to keep the company’s operations running smoothly And Find solutions to help address the well-being of their employees in the short or long term.
  • When asked “what keeps you up at night” when considering the mental health needs of employees:
    • The most obvious answer was the “expected increase in anxiety due to the pandemic”.
    • Next on the list included ensuring safety at work, adjustments in switching between office work and home work, projected increases in health costs, and the growing trend of women leaving the workforce.

“There are a lot of lessons learned and best practices emerging from employers who are evaluating and adopting these solutions for their organizations,” Lakire adds. “By shedding a little light on these experiences, we hope to reduce stress and confusion by helping employers align with the right solution to meet their business goals and objectives.”

EHIR, World 50 and participating industry alliance partners are launching a free series of guided workbooks, workshops and peer insights for all employers to navigate the digital health landscape, starting with mental health. To reserve a work book and register for upcoming workshops, visit us.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online between October 1 and October 31, 2021, among 102 health solutions procurement executives. Respondents are members of EHIR and/or partner communities such as the World 50, HTA, MGBH, NEBGH and PeopleTech. Half of the respondents (50%) represent organizations with 20,000 or more employees. One in four participants (24%) belonged to Fortune 1000 companies, 19% of participants belonged to a Fortune 500 and 11% belonged to a Fortune 100.

About EHIR:

Health Innovation Roundtable for Employers (EHIRI), a world 50 The company consists of a private and independent network of the largest and most progressive employers. Together, the employer members of EHIR represent more than 10 million employees and share a mission to accelerate the adoption of innovation to improve employee health, wellness, and productivity. Members gather throughout the year to share information and collectively review and evaluate new solutions with an intimate group of like-minded peers through a streamlined process.

Media inquiries:
Sam Yap
EHIR and Vice President of Marketing, Events and Partnerships
925-519-0544
samantha@ehir.com

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