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Understanding the “Black Box” of Employer Decisions about Health Insurance Benefits: The Case of Depression Products
Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., University of South Florida, Tampa FL 33612, USA
Colorado Business Group on Health, 12640 West Cedar Drive, Lakewood, CO 80228, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 March 2013; in revised form: 20 May 2013 / Accepted: 21 May 2013 / Published: 29 May 2013
Abstract: In a randomized trial of two interventions on employer health benefit decision-making, 156 employers in the evidence-based (EB) condition attended a two hour presentation reviewing scientific evidence demonstrating depression products that increase high quality treatment of depression in the workforce provide the employer a return on investment. One-hundred sixty-nine employers participating in the usual care (UC) condition attended a similar length presentation reviewing scientific evidence supporting healthcare effectiveness data and information set (HEDIS) monitoring. This study described the decision-making process in 264 (81.2%) employers completing 12 month follow-up. The EB intervention did not increase the proportion of employers who discussed depression products with others in the company (29.2% versus 32.1%, p > 0.10), but it did significantly influence the content of the discussions that occurred. Discussion in EB companies promoted the capacity of a depression product to realize a return on investment (18.4% versus 4.7%, p = 0.05) and to improve productivity (47.4% versus 25.6%, p = 0.06) more often than discussions in UC companies. Almost half of EB and UC employers reported that return on investment has a large impact on health benefit decision-making. These results demonstrate the difficulty of influencing employer decisions about health benefits using group presentations.
Keywords: health benefits; insurance; depression; employers; return on investment; productivity; absenteeism; collaborative care
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Rost, K.; Papadopoulos, A.; Wang, S.; Marshall, D. Understanding the “Black Box” of Employer Decisions about Health Insurance Benefits: The Case of Depression Products. Risks 2013, 1, 34-42.
Rost K, Papadopoulos A, Wang S, Marshall D. Understanding the “Black Box” of Employer Decisions about Health Insurance Benefits: The Case of Depression Products. Risks. 2013; 1(1):34-42.
Rost, Kathryn; Papadopoulos, Airia; Wang, Su; Marshall, Donna. 2013. "Understanding the “Black Box” of Employer Decisions about Health Insurance Benefits: The Case of Depression Products." Risks 1, no. 1: 34-42.