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Economy Makes Employee Assistance Programs More Important Than Ever
Date:6/2/2009

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
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SOURCE Regence; Reliant Behavioral Health
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