ST. LOUIS, MO – March 28, 2022 In response to a dramatic rise in the number of people suffering from mental health issues during the pandemic, Everside Health, one of the largest providers of direct primary and mental healthcare, has made mental health services available to thousands of union members in the St. Louis area. Members of four unions, including the Greater St. Louis Construction Laborers’ Welfare Fund Locals 42 and 110, Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 513, Heat & Frost Insulators Local 1, and Cement Mason’s Local 527, now have free access to virtual mental health services from Everside. Union members can reach out to licensed therapists online or by phone and receive treatment for a wide range of concerns, including anxiety and depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and family and relationship issues. Services are available to adults 18 and older.
“An unprecedented number of people are suffering from mental health issues, and on top of that, there’s a link between depression and chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease,” said David Fingerhut, Ph.D., Director of Mental Health Services at Everside Health. “That’s why it’s more important than ever to offer these integrated mental health services with our primary care offerings.”
The new mental health services, which will be virtual to start, are part of a broader benefit provided by the unions to their members. Union funds pay a flat fee that allows their members to get same- or next-day appointments with Everside doctors at no cost, and receive services such as annual physicals, routine diagnostic tests, labs, and immunizations. Some medicines are also provided free of charge. The focus on primary care helps members improve their overall health, manage chronic conditions and avoid costly ER visits, all of which result in lower healthcare costs for the funds. According to data from Everside, the cost of care is 75% higher for people with co-occurring mental and physical health issues than for those without a mental health diagnosis.
“The fact that the care is virtual can be especially beneficial to union workers who, for various reasons, may be particularly reluctant to take time off work for a medical or mental health appointment,” said Ryan Moore, Senior Vice President of Sales at Everside Health. “Some may not get paid if they take a day off, while others are reluctant to take time off because others at a job site may be depending on them and they don’t want to hold up the work. Therefore, making it as easy as possible to get care is an absolute necessity, especially in light of today’s labor shortage.”
With its dedicated union division, Activate by Everside Health has worked longer and with more unions than any other healthcare provider in the country. It has partnered with more than 35 different union groups across the country, serving more than 150,000 members and their families. In addition to helping unions reduce healthcare costs and improve health outcomes, Everside also works with employers and other benefit plan sponsors.
Everside Health is one of the largest direct primary care providers in the U.S., operating 375+ health centers in 34 states located at or near the facilities of its employer, union and other benefit sponsor clients. Everside’s patient-focused, care-obsessed, technology-driven healthcare delivery model aligns incentives to benefit the patient, the physician and the benefit provider, all while reducing the total cost of care. Patients receive convenient, low- or no-cost access to physicians and 24/7 virtual care, reducing the need for costly ER use. Everside Health is based in Denver, Colorado. For more information, visit www.eversidehealth.com.
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