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When an Onsite EAP Might Not Be the Best Option

June 9, 2000
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Although the onsite EAP model is decidedly more effective in reaching the 15% of the workforce whose personal problems may be showing up in the form of higher absenteeism, high medical costs, lower productivity, more frequent workplace accidents and higher replacement costs, it cannot be said that this approach is right for every company.

Some companies may feel that supervisory referrals are incompatible with their management philosophy. Some companies may only be interested in the EAP as an alternative to the outpatient counseling provided by HMOs, which offsite programs are structurally better suited to do than onsite programs.

Organizations that have fewer than 75 employees at any one worksite will find the offsite model more practical. Larger companies should consider the fact that EAPs, at their best, provide a considerable amount of leverage to affect the $13,277 per employee that The MEDSTAT Group had determined to be the direct and indirect sum of health and productivity costs.

Onsite EAPs have been shown to return from four to ten times their cost in employee retention, improved job performance and lower medical expenses. Most EAP vendors have the capability to provide this type of program, although their profit margins tend to be thinner with this kind of EAP.

For a few pennies more per month, it is well worth considering the kind of EAP that delivers far greater overall value. If your company opts for an offsite EAP, hopefully it will be an informed decision based on the understanding of what each EAP model does best and what is best for your company.

Link to more EAP articles or EAP vendors.

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