CAB 2020: Top Employers Respond to New Healthcare Challenges Amidst COVID-19

Every year, Castlight brings together our largest customers for a collaborative Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting, with a focus on fostering community and co-innovation. While we shifted to a virtual format this year, the time shared and insight gained from our customers at CAB 2020 was as valuable as ever.

Castlight has the privilege of working with some of the most innovative employers leading the way in addressing whole person health in the workplace. As new challenges arise in the wake of COVID-19, in what ways are our employers responding to support their employees’ health and well-being? During the event, our customer quick polls showed some interesting findings:

Health and Well-Being a Greater Priority

As a result of COVID-19, do you expect your company to place greater emphasis on the health and well-being of your workplace?

Companies are facing new, complex healthcare challenges brought on by COVID-19. As employers work hard to return employees to the workplace, health and safety are becoming an increasingly critical focus area. 

While our customers have always placed a high priority on the health and well-being of their workforce, the vast majority (97%) responded they are placing a greater emphasis on health and well-being in the workplace as a result of the pandemic. At least 74 percent of all respondents indicated they used Castlight as a resource for employees during COVID-19. This includes employers using Castlight’s COVID-19 resource center to centralize all COVID-19 information into one simple, accessible location. For high-risk populations, companies took advantage of the ability to personalize outreach and guide employees to relevant resources. Other employers have opted to leverage Castlight’s latest offering Working Well to ensure their employees can safely return or remain at work during COVID-19.

Supporting An Increase of Behavioral Health Conditions

COVID-19 has created a behavioral health crisis and employees are seeking more mental health support and resources than ever. How prepared is your organization to address behavioral health-related issues today?

Behavioral health conditions, which were already prevalent before COVID-19, have become even more widespread with increased anxiety, stress, and depression during the pandemic. All of the large employers surveyed indicated they feel at least somewhat, if not very, prepared to handle the behavioral health crisis. This demonstrates that employers are sensitive to their employees’ mental health needs and are prioritizing the right resources to strengthen their behavioral health support and resources for employees.

It is important to realize the impact of behavioral health on the overall health and well-being of a person. For Castlight members with a behavioral health condition, 11 percent have been hospitalized in the last 18 months, and 4 percent have over-utilized the ER in the last 12 months. Additionally, members with behavioral health conditions spend twice as much as members without. However, members on the Castlight platform are taking action to address their needs as we are seeing mental health as a top search term on a consistent basis. We also see high member engagement with ecosystem partners that address mental well-being with 30 percent of registered members using resilience training, and behavioral health visits account for 32 percent of all virtual care visits.

Providing Digital Health + High Touch Support for Employees

How critical is it to offer both digital navigation and a high-touch, telephonic-based solution to help support your employees during COVID-19?

In addition to risks of contracting COVID-19, and the increased emotional impact, there are also broader healthcare implications that stem from missed and delayed care. In fact, 54 percent of Americans with a chronic condition delayed care due to COVID-19

Most of the large employers surveyed indicated that it is increasingly critical to have high-touch, telephonic support that will connect employees with a care manager for empathetic, individualized guidance. High-touch solutions, such as Castlight’s Care Guides, can help people navigate complex questions and needs that arise for those at elevated risks for COVID-19, those with behavioral health needs, members with chronic condition care, and more. 

As demonstrated by our customers’ responses to these polls during the Customer Advisory Board, there are clearly evolving healthcare challenges that need to be addressed and supported. While each company will take a different approach to meet their employees’ needs, it is evident that an employer’s ability to engage employees in their health and guide them to appropriate care and resources is of critical importance at this time.