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Economy Makes Employee Assistance Programs More Important Than Ever

Regence, Reliant Behavioral Health partner on programs to help workers in tough times

PORTLAND, Ore. June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Managers and workers alike frequently face tough decisions, especially in today's economy, that can affect productivity and morale. That's where employee assistance programs can help. Whether it's a manager announcing a layoff, or an employee facing home foreclosure, such increasingly common stresses call for outside expertise. That's why Regence, in partnership with Reliant Behavioral Health, is offering its group members an Employee Assistance Program as an option for benefit plans.

"Regence believes that good health is more than just check-ups, exercise and good diet," said Julia Poduch, vice president of product development for Regence. "It's also about helping employees address concerns that affect their professional and personal life. It helps them be healthier and enables employers to create a more productive and satisfying workplace."

According to a study by the National Mental Health Association, "presenteeism" - showing up for work but being less productive - costs more than $200 billion annually in the U.S. For a business, this might mean giving up 5 to 12% of its workforce's productivity each day. The goal of the Employee Assistance Program is to give employees and employers tools to resolve their problems before they reach a crisis that lessens productivity and ultimately impacts the bottom line.

"Recognizing and protecting your investment in employee health and morale is always a smart decision, even more so in today's tough economy," said Tom Foster, MD, President and Medical Director for Reliant Behavioral Health. "In fact, over the past year we've found that utilization of our key assistance services such as legal, debt management, counseling support have increased between 25 and 27 percent."

Services offered through Regence's Employee Assistance Program include:

  • Face-to-face counseling and 24 hour crisis help line
  • Free and discounted legal services
  • Will preparation
  • Critical incident stress debriefing
  • Supervisor consultations
  • Department of Transportation evaluations
  • Free and discounted financial services
  • Parenting services
  • Adult and elder care services and resources

"After seeing this product in action, I'm completely sold on it," said Rick Woods, of Rick Woods Insurance. "Last year, one of my client's employees was tragically killed in an industrial accident. Fortunately, the client had an Employee Assistance Program, and they received the help they needed with one phone call. In addition to immediate support for the office manager, employees were provided with same-day counseling and follow-up, and a critical incident stress debriefing was completed the next day. I think this product is the right thing to do for your employees."

For more information about Regence's Employee Assistance Program, visit and enter "RegenceEAP" as the access code.

About Regence

Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving three million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each plan is a not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit

About Reliant Behavioral Health

Reliant Behavioral Health (RBH) was established in 1993 as a regional Managed Behavioral Health Care Organization and soon expanded into the provision of EAP, wellness, and other life-balancing services. Today RBH has offices in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Montana and serves over a half a million clients. RBH remains true to its original mission "to bring clarity and simplicity to a complex health care system" and to bring positive outcomes to "members and their families, employers, providers, and the community at large."

SOURCE Regence; Reliant Behavioral Health
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