rights

The only thing that needs to be kept confidential by your EAP Provider is name of the user and the content of the actual discussion (other than some legal exceptions such as threat of violence) between the user and the counsellor.

Be an INFORMED CONSUMER and ADVOCATE for your employees. You have the right:

To ask as to what constitutes a user

and

To ask for the number of sessions given to each of your employees given by your EAP Provider – whether it is 1, 2 3 or 10.

Some EAP Providers count a single access to a mobile app or their website as a case/user and single session. Single sessions are suspect for several reasons: It may be that an employee simply read an article on the EAP Provider website; it may be that the employee felt that the counsellor was not a good match for them and they dropped out; it may be that the employee felt the counsellor they were given had no credibility and they dropped out; it may be that the employee had no privacy in their workplace or home to talk about their problems on the telephone or online. There are a lot of reasons but it does not help you, the employer, who is dedicated to helping your employees obtain help for their personal problems nor does it decrease your psychotropic drug costs or disability costs.

Do not settle simply for an average number of sessions as an answer. Further, more and more research in counselling demonstrates that a minimum of eight sessions is required to make a lasting difference “for the better” in helping people who are troubled by emotional difficulties. Otherwise, counselling is just a short-term and temporary “band-aid”

Further, you have the right to consult/engage a third party and independent professional to verify these numbers.

To ask for the number of cases, the number of sessions and the duration of each session given by telephone only, by online only and by face-to-face counselling.

You can ask whether subtle coercion was used to move your employees into telephonic or online counselling or, indeed, were your employees given a genuine choice of the mode of counselling they preferred and wanted. Telephonic and online counselling is far cheaper for the EAP Provider and usually far shorter than face-to-face counselling and, yet, you as an employer are paying the same amount per user.

Further, you have the right to consult/engage a third party and independent professional to verify this specific information and stats given to you by the EAP Provider.

To know:

  1. the number of cases that were completed and carried through to successful completion by the EAP Provider themselves and the measures they used to indicate successful treatment;
  2. the number of cases referred out to other professionals not paid by the EAP Provider and
  3. the number of cases where employees stopped seeing the EAP counsellor before treatment was successfully completed and
  4. in those cases that were referred out, the frequency of follow-up, and success/failure rates of these referred-out cases.
Ultimately, your EAP Provider is responsible for all of your employees that access the EAP Services you provide to your employees. You need to be concerned that their emotional problems are brought to successful resolution and that, at the end of the day, your psychotropic drug costs and disability claim costs are decreased rather than increased.

You have the right to engage/consult a third-party and independent professional to verify this information.

To unbundle their EAP Services and only buy those EAP Services you want for your employees. There is no such thing as “value-added and cost free” services. It should be clearly stipulated in your contract that you should pay only for the hours delivered and the costs that the EAP Provider incurred in delivering these hours.

All EAP services are costs to the EAP Provider – some far less than others, but all are passed on to you, the employer at the same rate. This is not fair to your Company. Either you should pay differing rates for the different EAP services and the amounts of each service you are receiving or you should drop those services you do not need or want and only pay for those EAP services you request. Your EAP Provider should provide you with a complete break-down of their costs before you make a RENEWAL decision.

Mental health counselling and treatment is paramount and this service directly correlates to decreasing psychotropic drug costs and disability costs if it is successful. Your primary focus with your EAP Provider needs to be here.

You have the right to engage/consult a third-party and independent professional to assist you with the RENEWAL PROCESS so that indeed you obtain unbundled services costing so that you can make an informed decision.

You have the right to engage/consult a third-party and independent professional to assist you with CONTRACT PREPARATION and WRITING so that indeed you obtain a strong commitment to mental health counselling and treatment with clear deliverables and outcome measures.

Rather than pay an extra-usage fee at the end of the year if your Company goes beyond the base usage rate, as most EAP Providers request, you should only pay the increased rate in the following year. Further, if the base usage rate is not met you should request a refund or pay a lower rate in the subsequent year in both of these higher/lower usage rate scenarios. Exactly as insurance companies operate.

Better still, do your COSTING based on the EAP Services for which you contract and the hours delivered in each of the EAP services and the costs to the EAP Provider incurred in delivering these EAP services. You will save up to 30% for your Company if you go this route.