The Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that productivity losses due to behavioral health issues cost U.S. businesses $225 billion annually. (Image: Shutterstock)

A health system based in Minneapolis has launched a program to place mental health providers at businesses and workplaces, saying that quicker access to treatment will result in lower claims and a healthier workforce down the road.

It’s a departure from the traditional way businesses handle mental health benefits, which usually involve an employee assistance program (EAP). Instead of an EAP screening employees by phone and directing them to an in-network provider—a process that can take time—the new approach skips the middleman and gives workers access to providers who can be onsite or in some cases, at a nearby Fairview facility. Since all Fairview primary care clinics have behavioral care providers, access to care will be quicker and easier in either case than many EAP programs can provide.

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