Several months ago we wrote about the importance of having a telehealth or virtual care component to your health benefits package. We’ve been proponents of telehealth since we founded Lionrock as a telehealth provider of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery services 10 years ago. Fast forward, and in the midst of a pandemic, the message has grown louder and clearer: online treatment is key to offering critical health benefits to your employees and lowering costs for your business.

We’ve also written extensively about the need to offer coverage for SUDs and mental illnesses comparable to the general medical benefits you offer employees. Currently, more than 20 million Americans need SUD treatment but don’t get it.  

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), almost 11 million full-time workers in the United States have SUDs.  American businesses absorb a large portion of the related costs through absenteeism and lost productivity. In fact, the impact from the loss of productivity equals a staggering $130 billion annually according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In addition, SUD in the workplace contributes to 65 percent of on-the-job accidents and somewhere between 38 and 50 percent of all workers’ compensation claims, per the United States Department of Labor. Meanwhile, the National Safety Council reports that Americans struggling with opioid addiction miss approximately 50 percent more work than other employees.

Luckily, we can address this. With online intensive outpatient programs, Lionrock clients get help for SUDs from the privacy of their home. As a result,  they start their sessions relaxed, and find it easier to discuss their problems. They feel it’s safe to talk. There’s no commute. And, they don’t have to worry about seeing people they know at a local outpatient facility. As a result, they find it easier to stay with treatment, because of flexible schedules that fit work and family commitments. They can even continue treatment while traveling.

So whether the driving motivator is cost or quality of care,  employers can add critical benefits and lower costs via telemedicine solutions. What are you waiting for?