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EAPA submits comments supporting EAPs as ACA 'excepted benefits'
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
Late last year, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury and HHS jointly published proposed regulations that would define conditions under which EAPs would qualify as excepted benefits for purposes of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act. The departments invited public comment from interested parties. In response, EAPA has submitted comments supporting EAPs as excepted benefits and analyzing the proposed criteria for exception.
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Canadian study: EAPs benefit employers, employees
A study commissioned by Arete Human Resources finds that employee assistance programs demonstrate quantifiable benefits to both employers and employees. The study shows that EAPs improve Canadians' quality of life, reduce the economic challenges of reduced productivity in the workplace and ease the pressure on the healthcare system.
Study: Surprising differences in brain activity of alcohol-dependent women
Indiana University via Medical Xpress
A new Indiana University study that examines the brain activity of alcohol-dependent women compared to women who were not addicted found stark and surprising differences, leading to intriguing questions about brain network functions of addicted women as they make risky decisions about when and what to drink.
Biomarkers could help classify sub-types of depression, improve treatments
Loyola University Health System via Medical News Today
New insights into the physiological causes of depression are leading to treatments beyond common antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, researchers are reporting in the in the journal Current Psychiatry. Depression treatments on the horizon include new medications, electrical and magnetic stimulation of the brain and long-term cognitive behavioral therapy for stress management.
Research focuses on internet use of suicidal individuals
Samaritans are teaming with the U.K.'s Bristol University to research the role the internet plays for those with suicidal thoughts. The research aims to find out what the actual risks and benefits of the internet might be to people with suicidal feelings and how often it plays a role in suicidal behavior. The announcement comes amid growing concern the internet is playing an increasingly prevalent role in the lives of those experiencing suicidal feelings.
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NICU parents suffer PTSD symptoms
One in every 10 babies born in the U.S. is admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit, according to the March of Dimes. There, many parents who expected a normal delivery and a joyous homecoming must instead leave their fragile newborns in the care of doctors and machines. The experience can haunt parents for months and years to come.
Research: Bullying may have lasting health effects on kids
Kids who are picked on by their peers may see lasting effects on their physical and mental well-being — especially if the bullying is allowed to persist for years, a new study suggests. The study found that kids who are chronically bullied seem to fare the worst: Those continually picked on from fifth grade to 10th grade had the lowest scores on measures of physical and emotional health.
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Bullying can cripple a workplace as witnessed in the NFL
Employee Benefit News
Workplace bullying is like sexual harassment. Of course it cannot be measured. But with a law, it can be determined and lessened. Public perception can change.
A 10-step 'prescription' can create a happier workforce
Business Management Daily
The happiness of your organization's employees is an important driver of workplace productivity. A recent Healthways Gallup Well-Being Index study showed a direct connection between well-being and employee performance. Employees with low "well-being" were seven times more likely to be absent from work, twice as likely to give themselves low performance ratings and seven times more likely to look for a new job. A positive workplace culture can reverse negative trends and actually promote happiness among staff.
SANE Australia: Workplace is key to suicide prevention
SANE Australia via Medical News Today
Over 2,000 Australians take their lives every year. The majority of these deaths are among people of working age (25-44), and research suggests almost 1 in 5 of these suicides is employment-related. A recent SPA Statement outlines a range or recommendations for employers to promote mental health and suicide prevention, as well as action needed by government to address systemic issues such as unemployment, workers compensation and coronial processes.
Does a text message to supervisor qualify as an FMLA request?
Employers should not lose sight of the longstanding admonition that employees do not need to specifically mention FMLA in an absence request and that employers have a duty to inquire further into a potential FMLA leave request if warranted by an employee's statements. The Fifth Circuit recently found that an on-call business analyst who texted her supervisor in order to request a change in work rotations because of her sick father did not make a proper or formal request for FMLA leave.
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