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The VOI of Mental Health Benefits

Establishing the value of mental health benefits

HR leaders and managers are often asked for hard economic figures when making the business case for mental health benefits for employees. While there are plenty of studies that show the return on investment of a robust benefits package on stress in the workplace, some elements of the investment can’t be measured quantitatively. 

It can be very tempting to over-emphasize direct financial savings and expect that to set the benchmark for value.  Keep in mind that value takes many shapes, and the total value of your investment should be your main focus. When it comes to mental health and healthcare, the clinical improvements and well-being of your members are always central to the care that you are choosing for them, in addition to the economic returns from the investment. That’s why utilizing Value on Investment, or VOI, may be more useful for making the business case for employee mental health benefits. 

At Modern Health, we use VOI to consider two key perspectives for determining the effectiveness of benefits: value to the member and value to the organization. At the member level,we analyze member access to services, speed to service, and reported overall improved well-being. For the organization, we consider satisfaction with services, improved productivity, employee retention, and healthcare spending impact—all key factors of daily business life that are deeply impacted by the mental health of your team. 

Value on Investment vs. Return on Investment 

Value on Investment is an umbrella term that encompasses all of the value that your organization could get from implementing an employee mental health application, including: 

  • Employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Retention
  • Health claims spend
  • Improved productivity
  • Reduced instances of burnout

While some of these items relate back to ROI, not all values derived from employee mental health benefits are measured in the same way. Considering the greater overall value on investment gives your organization a much clearer picture of the impact your benefits package has for both the individual employee and the organization as a whole. 

Assessing VOI for Members

In Modern Health's VOI Playbook, we discuss ways to incorporate these factors when assessing the VOI for the individuals that are receiving care, including: 

  • Access to services:  Many mental health solutions only focus on the high risk members, or members with the greatest clinical needs. Platforms with comprehensive services will give all your members options to find something to help sustain or improve their mental health. 
  • Speed to services: The ability to access services as soon as they are needed can make all the difference to a member’s well-being. The wait time from when a member requests access to care to the time they receive it is your marker for efficient access. 
  • Improved mental well-being: Your service provider should provide reports that demonstrate if those with clinical needs are improving and if those who are maintaining good mental health are preserving their level of well-being. 

Assessing VOI for the Organization

Elements to consider when understanding the VOI of mental health benefits for your organization include: 

  • Employee Satisfaction: The best way to know if your employees are satisfied with their mental health services is to ask them. It’s part of maintaining a healthy workplace culture to routinely survey employee sentiments about benefits packages—how are they using them? What works and what could be better? 
  • Productivity: When a population is improving in mental well-being, it is natural to expect to see improvements in performance. Changing patterns of absenteeism, presenteeism, and appropriate use of leave policies are indicators of a better functioning team.
  • Employee retention: Employee well-being is linked to increased intention to stay at a company. Using a combination of your eligibility files, employment start dates, and termination dates, you can analyze retention percentages for employees using their mental health benefits. 
  • Economic savings: Each organization will understand the economic value of investing in mental health benefits for employees differently, whether that’s more days worked per employee or noticeable direct healthcare savings.

Modern Health Offers a Unique VOI Compared to Leading Competitors

By providing multiple modalities of care that meet both the clinical and preventive needs of your team, Modern Health offers the dedication needed for creating a robust mental health benefits package that demonstrates a clear VOI. Our match-to-provider time is less than a day, and each mental health professional in our network is vetted for expertise and cultural competency, which encourages employees to better engage with their benefits. Each step of the wellness journey offers unique options for the individual, whether they are seeking 1:1 care or a self-directed learning module on managing chronic stress in the workplace. 

Your investment in your employees is multifaceted because you know that even a single individual has the potential to greatly impact your success. Your investment in mental health benefits should reflect that, and in using the value on investment to consider the bigger picture, you’ll find you’re getting more in return than you initially thought. Contact our experts to learn how Modern Heath can help your organization evaluate the VOI and ROI of your employee mental health benefits.

Contact Our Experts
Cynthia Castro Sweet, PhD

Dr. Cynthia Castro Sweet is the senior director of clinical research at Modern Health.