Issue: EAP-provided telephone counseling is controversial but becoming more common. Still, quality varies among vendors.
Benefit: Teletherapy cuts costs because it's less expensive than face-to-face counseling.
Action: Screen potential teletherapy providers carefully using the following six questions.
More employers are turning to EAPs that offer therapy from counselors in call centers. Why? Teletherapy cuts EAP costs by up to 30 percent, is effective for many nonserious behavioral problems, has higher employee usage rates and delivers help faster.
Criticisms: Face-to-face counseling is more effective. Teletherapists misdiagnose problems more often. There are no standards for delivering services, licensing and training.
"If your work force isn't highly skilled, has a high turnover rate and you want to offer something on a limited budget, it may be the best answer for you," says Kenneth Collins, a California-based behav...(register to read more)