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Caffery, Oubre, Campbell & Garrison, L.L.P.
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Work-linked mental health costs soaring for employers

Employers in virtually all industries across Louisiana and nationally understandably fret over medical costs incurred by their workers for various reasons.

Health care expenses linked with alleged on-the-job maladies and occurrences pose a special concern. Those range broadly, from claims linked to physical injuries resulting from unsafe work conditions to detriment connected to the wanton or negligent acts of fellow employees.

A recent article spotlights the focus of employers spanning the United States on employees’ escalating mental health concerns and complaints related to on-the-job conditions. As that CNBC piece notes, “Anxiety is expensive for U.S. employers.”

And not just anxiety. Ever-mounting health care claims made by workers for alleged job-related depression, heightened stress-linked maladies, substance abuse and bipolar disorder are taking a material financial toll. Aetna Behavioral Health reports that the funds that businesses are expending on their workers’ mental health have spiked “twice as fast as all other medical expenses in recent years.”

That equates to billions of dollars, with a large chunk of that outlay being tied to expenses of workers going to emergency rooms with mental health complaints. Reportedly, that demographic shows up at ER facilities six times more often than is the case for the general population.

Notably, principals in many companies have opted to take a proactive and willing stance in dealing with workplace mental health matters. They realize that issues in that realm can adversely impact their businesses in broad-based ways.

Dealing with such an encompassing concern is obviously a nuanced, complex and expensive endeavor, though. Business executives and their insurers seeking to effectively manage workplace mental health concerns might reasonably want to work closely with proven insurance defense attorneys well experienced in workers’ compensation matters.

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