HARTFORD, Conn.--(AET) Disability has released a white paper examining a variety of factors that can lead to non-medical leaves of absence. The paper also reviews how employers can help employees stay healthy and, if on disability, get back to work faster. The paper, The Changing Face of Disability: Understanding the Non-Medical Drivers of Disability and How Integration of Leave Data Can Help Reduce Employee Absences, explores how the use of a two-step process can help employers understand how certain outside stress factors lead to a disability.)--Aetna (NYSE:
“By helping employers gain a better understanding of their workforce, we can begin to develop return to work programs that meet their specific needs.”
The two-step approach begins with a complete view of an employee’s medical history. That medical history is then combined with an integrated absence management data program to provide a complete view of the employee. This process helps employers understand how outside influences, such as caring for an elderly parent or financial challenges, can create extra stress on employees. These factors can often indirectly impact an employees’ performance and lead to poor health. Employee performance and health also can affect productivity and an employer’s bottom line.
“Our research can help identify employee behaviors and specific outside stressors that can lead to a non-medical leave of absence,” said Craig Gray, head of Aetna’s Return-To-Work program. “By helping employers gain a better understanding of their workforce, we can begin to develop return to work programs that meet their specific needs.”
The white paper also provides insights into other issues that should be addressed to help employees return to work from a disability. Mental health, for instance, can be a major factor in an employee’s ability to function. According to an Aetna Disability study, mental health disorders are among the most expensive economic burdens of illness in the country.1 Employees dealing with behavioral health issues can often struggle with concentration, interacting with others, maintaining stamina and meeting deadlines.
“Effective and integrated return to work programs benefit both the employee as well as their employer,” said Dan Fishbein, head of Group Insurance, Dental, Vision and Consumer Financial Solutions. “Aetna’s goal is to work with employers to build solutions that meet the unique needs of their workforce and ensure their employees get the support they need to return to work.”
1 Aetna Disability and Leave Management Services Study: Focused on Behavioral Health Approach Results in Quicker Return to Work press release, April 2012
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.7 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.