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Wednesday, December 14, 2022 - 16:22

Rapid access to psychiatric care for people on disability leave

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Empire Life enhances group disability management services, signs agreement with Medaca

Empire Life has signed an agreement with Medaca Health Group, Canada’s leading psychiatry-focused workplace treatment service. With this new service provider relationship, Empire Life will be better able to help people who are on disability leave due to a mental health problem, by providing fast access to diagnosis and treatment.

"Delayed access to appropriate treatment can be devastating for individuals and their families,” says Vanessa Lycos, Vice-president of Group Product and Marketing at Empire Life. “When conditions like depression and anxiety are left untreated, everyone suffers—at home and at work. We’re delighted to be adding this service to our disability management toolkit and believe it will provide enormous value—both to plan members and plan sponsors."

Plan member claims are sent to Medaca as soon as possible in the disability period. Each individual’s case is carefully reviewed and, if an appointment with a psychiatrist is recommended, the individual will be seen within nine business days. According to Medaca, six to 12 months is the traditional wait time to see a psychiatrist in Canada—and Medaca psychiatrists believe this has worsened with the pandemic. 

Once a plan member has been assessed, psychiatrists and family physicians then discuss a treatment plan to ensure recommendations are implemented quickly. The desired result is return to health and return to work.

“Medaca has improved return to work rates significantly—increasing the number of employees going back to work before the end of the short-term disability period by 30%,” says Chris Anderson, President of Medaca. “By working with Medaca, businesses have reduced short-term costs by 25% and improved 6-month return to work rates by 18% – even through the COVID-19 period.”

The agreement with Medaca took effect September 1, 2022.

For more information, please reach out to your Empire Life account team or group plan advisor