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What To Look for in an EAP Vendor

February 1, 1993
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The success of your EAP depends in part on the competency of the people providing the services. Companies often lack the resources needed for a totally in-house program. Other organizations may have the resources but decide that their needs can be met more effectively by a vendor. If you decided on a vendor-operated EAP, how can you decide which one is right for you? Here are some questions to ask about an EAP vendor.

  • How long has the vendor been operating?
  • Are there any potential conflicts of interest, such as an affiliation with a hospital?
  • What's the vendor's reputation among its clients and among EAP professionals?
  • Does the vendor have offices in all or most of the locations in which your company needs services?
  • What kinds of employee problems can the vendor service?
  • How many sessions are provided by the program?
  • Under what circumstances does the vendor refer clients to an outside evaluator?
  • What follow-up services are provided to the client?
  • Is access by phone, face-to-face or both?
  • How long after contacting the vendor by phone can a client have an appointment?
  • Does the vendor have a hot line?
  • What does the vendor do to promote the program?
  • How are the counselors supervised?
  • Is the vendor able to coordinate the program with your company's health care benefits?
  • What kind of utilization reports and other feedback does the vendor provide?
  • How does the vendor evaluate itself?
  • How can the vendor's clients evaluate the program?
  • What's the vendor's data processing capability?
  • What type of training and staff development are provided?
  • How does the vendor deal with confidentiality?
  • What are the procedures for transfer of information to third parties, such as the company EAP coordinator, union representatives and supervisors?
  • What's the cost of the program?

SOURCE: Employee Assistance Professionals Association Inc.

Personnel Journal, February 1993, Vol. 72, No. 2, p. 51.

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