tools & resources

Engaging Large Employers Regarding Evidence-Based Behavioral Health Treatment

Toolkit Cover

(September 2010)
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN271200700024C.

Executive Summary: Engaging Large Employers Regarding Evidence-Based Behavioral Health Treatment


  • Develop an understanding of how knowledgeable large employers in the U.S. are in regards to behavioral health, collaborative care and the research supporting its effectiveness.
  • Analyze employers' current behavioral health benefits and strategies, as well as methods employers are using to address other health and productivity issues.
  • Understand large employers' decision-making process for deciding which recommendations to implement, and their implementation strategies and insights associated with the challenges experienced in improvement efforts.
  • Gauge employers' receptivity to initiating new strategies to improve mental health treatment and outcomes as well as potential barriers to change.
  • Understand the behavioral health services recommendations and implementation strategies that are relevant to large employers.
  • Develop practical materials for employers that include; best practices, evidence-based practices, collaborative care practices, and implementation strategies.
  • Assist employers in determining the best practices and implementation strategy for their company.
  • Conduct case studies of large employers for disseminating evidence-based practice recommendations for improving mental health treatment and outcomes.


Current Mental Health Benefit/Productivity Strategies and Receptivity to New Methods: Assessment of Employer Practices

Analysis of Current Behavioral Health Benefit Strategies of Large Employers
This analysis is comprised of two components: a survey of large employers (Task 1.1) and structured industry stakeholder interviews (Task 1.2). Each component served to obtain a better understanding of large employers' current offerings of behavioral health benefits. The survey also explored recent benefit changes and the processes used to implement those changes, while the interviews provided deeper insight into consultant and industry partner recommendations to employers.


Translating Science into Practice: Guidelines for Implementing Evidence-Based Practices

An Employer's Implementation Toolkit for Comprehensive Behavioral Health Services
This Toolkit provides technical guidance to help employers efficiently and effectively implement behavioral health practice recommendations. In order to achieve this objective, the Toolkit is organized as follows:

  • Actionable employer Practice Recommendations, which are a set of current improvement priorities for employer-sponsored behavioral health benefits.
  • Practice Recommendations are broken down into actionable tools that support the employer's work activities within the benefit lifecycle and across multiple types of benefit plan administrators and/or vendors.
  • Each Practice Recommendation is formatted across multiple vendors in order to help employers assess and verify the presence or absence of each recommendation in their operations as well as their plan administrator/vendor's operations.

Table of Contents

Toolkit Introduction
Introduction to the Toolkit and individual tools. Instructions on how to use the tools.

Tool 1: Practice Recommendation Quick Reference Tool
Overview of the Practice Recommendations, including a quick reference survey to help employers gauge their own implementation of the Practice Recommendations.

Tool 2: Employer Assessment Tool
An assessment of the extent to which the employer has adopted the Practice Recommendations.

Tool 3: Benefit Design Tool
Technical guidance on addressing the deficiencies in plan design identified in the Employer Assessment Tool.

Tool 4: Request for Proposal & Proposal Scoring Tool
Language for Request for Proposals (RFPs) for vendors, describing the administrative requirements associated with the Practice Recommendations, and proposed evaluation criteria for vendor proposals.

Tool 5: Vendor Contracting & Administration Tool
Contract guidelines and/or administrative guidance for the tasks necessary to implement the Practice Recommendations.

Tool 6: Vendor and Program Evaluation Tool
How employers can assess the extent to which a vendor has implemented Practice Recommendations.

Rationale and scientific evidence for the Practice Recommendations.


Disseminating Evidence-Based Practices: Case Studies for Disseminating Evidence-Based Studies

Discussions with Employers: Designing, Administering, Managing and Evaluating Behavioral Health

Employer Interviews

Employer Implementation Presentation
National Business Group on Health staff met with employers and other stakeholders to examine how large employers receive and adopt evidence-based practice recommendations for improving mental health treatment and outcomes for their employees and beneficiaries.

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