It’s no surprise that many patients delayed preventive screenings or appointments during the COVID-19 crisis; and some experts project it may be as long as two years before patients return to normal screenings.

A recent study by the Integrated Benefit Institute looked at which screening areas had the greatest impact on productivity and costs for employers. Of the chronic conditions evaluated, depression or behavioral health, had both the highest gaps in coverage and highest overall financial impact.

One in eight employees will experience behavioral health issues in their lifetime. Yet according to IBI, 91% of the workforce does not get screened for depression. Depression has a significant impact on employee productivity and accounts for $17 in disability wage replacement costs per employee annually, compared to just $2 for diabetes.The report urged employers to encourage preventive screenings through financial incentives, positive messaging and overall education.

Local Perspective

Within the NHN, we see similar impact on financial and patient outcomes. For example, within our BCBS commercial ACO population, an analysis in 2019 showed that 10% of patients had a behavioral health diagnosis. When compared to patients without a behavioral health diagnosis:

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