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Mental Health Service Expansion Among Employer Healthcare Trends to Follow in 2020

By Jack O'Brien  
   December 10, 2019

Employers are focused on expanding mental health services and care options for employees next year.

Looking ahead to 2020, employers plan to increase mental health services available to employees, according to a report on health benefits trends released by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) Tuesday morning

Almost half of surveyed employers said they plan on conducting anti-stigma campaigns and training managers on recognizing mental health issues in 2020. 

The findings are in line with a NBGH report released in August that found most employers remain bullish on the future of virtual care, especially as it relates to mental health benefits for employees.

Employers aim to also offer virtual care options for musculoskeletal conditions, prenatal coaching, and diabetes management in the coming years.

Related: Employers to Combat Rising Health Benefit Costs With Virtual Care Solutions

Among other health benefit trends, employers are focused paying greater attention to primary care, with almost half of surveyed leaders indicating they will have at least one advanced primary care strategy next year.

NBGH also expects an increase in the amount of employers offering high-performance networks (HPN), centers of excellence (COE), onsite or nearby health centers and accountable care organizations (ACO).

Over a quarter of surveyed employers said they will also expand COEs to cover clinical areas such as musculoskeletal and maternity programs.

Related: Employers Leaning Toward High-Performance Networks, ACOs to Improve Care Access

Related: Expanding Care Choices Ranks as Top Priority for Employers

Employers are concerned about high prescription drug costs and treatment therapies, though 60% said they plan on implementing prior authorization under the medical plan to address specialty drug management. 

Related: 6 Open Enrollment Trends to Watch in 2020

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

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