A BETTER WAY to care for depression

Care delivery and the health of your business

For every 1,000 employees, depression costs businesses more than $350,000 annually in medical care, prescriptions, sick days, and lost productivity.1 But about 7 in 10 Americans with reported cases of depression aren’t getting adequate care—some 11.2 million people.2 Costs increase dramatically when you add a second chronic condition—one study found that total medical expenses for patients with diabetes were four times higher when they also had depression.3

Video: Depression: A Walking Prescription

The high cost of depression

A Better Way

View The Other Way

Unlike traditional methods for delivering care, our integrated system is designed to ensure that your employees are getting the best possible care while helping your bottom line.

  • Depression caught early—we consistently screen and diagnose at-risk employees during primary care visits, reducing downstream productivity loss and absenteeism costs.
  • Self-referral—employees can self-refer for behavioral health care anytime, eliminating barriers to care.
  • Coordinated care—our care helps your employees living with depression feel better faster, be more productive, and take less time off work. Online resources and proactive support from caregivers also means they spend less time scheduling, managing, or getting care.
  • Proactive follow up—an employee with depression who takes their medicine as prescribed by their doctor can save almost $2,000 in absenteeism costs per year.4 That’s why our care teams ensure that members are refilling their prescriptions. According to HEDIS®, Kaiser Permanente scored in the top 10% for adherence to antidepressant treatments.5
  • Proven dollar savings—37 % of our members who participated in the online depression management program decreased their depression scores—saving $4,144 in projected productivity per year per participant.6

The other way

View A Better Way

Evidence shows that an integrated, team approach to depression care leads to better outcomes and lower costs.7

  • No early diagnosis—average screening and diagnosis rates during primary care are low, between 2 and 4%,8 leading to downstream productivity losses and absenteeism costs.
  • Referrals required—employees often need a referral from their primary care provider, which can delay or discourage treatment.
  • Lack of coordination—providers are disconnected from each other, placing the burden of coordination on the patient and increasing the risk of dangerous and costly complications or errors.
  • Not enough follow-up—case managers are assigned via third-party vendors and don’t have direct access to primary care doctors or specialists. They only have access to claims data, making the quality of follow-up care limited, variable, and inconsistent.
Depression can impact your bottom line
Choose better depression care for your employees.



1 Ronald Loeppke, MD, et al., “Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy: A Multiemployer Study,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, April 2009.
2 Kristin Layous, MA, et al., “Delivering Happiness: Translating Positive Psychology Intervention Research for Treating Major and Minor Depressive Disorders,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2011, p. 675.
3 Leonard E. Egede and Charles Ellis, “Diabetes and Depression: Global Perspectives,” Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Issue 87, 2010.
4 Howard G. Birnbaum, PhD, et al., “Assessing the Relationship Between Compliance with Antidepressant Therapy and Employer Costs Among Employees in the United States,”Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, February 2010.
5 HEDIS® is a tool used by more than 90 percent of America’s health plans to measure performance on care and service, across the country. Kaiser Permanente 2011 HEDIS scores. Benchmarks provided by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Quality Compass® and represent all non-PPO lines of business. Kaiser Permanente combined region scores were provided by the Kaiser Permanente Department of Care and Service Quality. The source for data contained in this publication is Quality Compass 2011 and is used with the permission of NCQA. Quality Compass 2011 includes certain CAHPS® data. Any data display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion based on these data is solely that of the authors, and NCQA specifically disclaims responsibility for any such display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion. Quality Compass® and HEDIS® are registered trademarks of NCQA. CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
6 Healthy Lifestyle Programs Outcomes, Kaiser Permanente Internet Services Group, April 2012.
7 2010 National Healthcare Quality Report, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, March 2011. Robert L. Phillips Jr., MD, et al., “Better Integration of Mental Health Care Improves Depression Screening and Treatment in Primary Care,” American Family Physician, November 1, 2011.
8 Robert L. Phillips Jr., MD, et al., “Better Integration of Mental Health Care Improves Depression Screening and Treatment in Primary Care,” American Family Physician, November 1, 2011