Business Case Hero

Business Case for Psychedelic Healthcare

20% of US adults are dealing with crippling illnesses like major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs). The result is untold suffering and immense healthcare costs.

Thankfully, a paradigm-shifting new tool has become available to combat the mental health crisis plaguing our people and our workplaces. That tool is Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy (PAT).

The FDA has given PAT its rare “breakthrough therapy” designation, reserved for therapies that show extreme promise and substantial improvement in treating serious illnesses above and beyond standard treatments.  While FDA approval for other psychedelics is slated for around 2024, there is already an FDA-approved and effective PAT-based treatment that is being used to help patients with their mental health challenges: Ketamine-Assisted Therapy (KAT).

Offering psychedelic healthcare to your employees can have significant impact on both direct and indirect costs. Read on to learn more about the immense bottom-line benefits to the business including lower medical expenses, improved worker productivity, reduced absenteeism.

The Business Value of Offering Psychedelic Healthcare

Treating certain mental health conditions with KAT will result in reduced medical expenses, improved productivity / reduced absenteeism, and greater retention — all well-known factors that hold back a company’s success and substantially impacts the bottom line.

It is clear there is significant justification for businesses that wish to offer this benefit. Businesses that want to estimate their ROI for this benefit program can use these as guidelines.

Psychedelic healthcare treats the root cause

Companies that self-fund their insurance can start saving simply by offering PAT as a new therapy option for eligible employees who aren’t seeing results from currently available treatments. 

For example, the most effective treatment for major depressive disorder is a combination of antidepressants in conjunction with psychotherapy. While this treatment can be effective for some, such treatments can unfortunately last for years or sometimes a lifetime. 

If the patient elects to end their SSRIs and/or their psychotherapy, symptoms can sometimes reemerge. This suggests that these treatments may, at best, be considered an effective bandaid. They do not often solve the underlying issues at play and come with many known side effects.

Ketamine-assisted therapy, on the other hand, is typically just 6 medicine sessions with integration. In low doses, ketamine serves as an adjunct to psychotherapy, temporarily softening psychological defenses, which may result in deeper psychotherapeutic processing. Together, these components may help patients break long-standing, deeply ingrained thinking patterns associated with a variety of mental health conditions and, in turn, develop new ways of thinking and being. KAT transcends surface-level solutions and is instead a treatment that can heal down to the root cause of the mental health ailment, allowing for sustainable and profound health outcomes. 

Typical treatment courses look as follows:

KAT Stats

For substance use disorders, addiction centers are very expensive with the cost for residential addiction treatment averaging $42,500.

PAT can lower direct healthcare costs

It is well known that employees with mental health disorders will use significantly more medical care.

  • A study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that health care costs for employees with depressive or anxiety disorders were 70% higher than those without these disorders.
  • People with mental health disorders make six times as many ER visits as the general population and submit up to four times as many health care claims.
  • Mental health conditions account for more than a third of disability claims in the U.S.

For many companies, reduced medical expenses alone will justify the offering of psychedelic healthcare as an employee benefit. And yet, the advantages of this benefit don’t end with just lower medical expenses. From Deloitte: Interested in a 5X ROI? Consider mental wellness initiatives.

Happier, healthier employees are more productive and absent less often

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the mental health challenges among workers.

  • Of employees who left their jobs, 68% of Millennials and 81% of Gen Zers reported doing so for mental health reasons, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Harvard Business Review
  • Another study found that 48% of job seekers prioritize mental health benefits when looking for a new job. The study surveyed over 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18-70 who were either employed or actively seeking employment.

Mental health disorders have a significant impact on how effective your employees are at work. According to studies, those dealing with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity.  Anxiety and substance use disorders also impair productivity. 

Another study by the Center for Workplace Mental Health found that, in a typical 1000-employee company, depression leads to 2700 lost work days per year due to absenteeism.

How to offer psychedelic healthcare at your organization

Unfortunately, this treatment option is years away from being covered by major insurance policies.

Employers hoping to build something in-house can’t because of HIPAA regulations. Employees are instead responsible for paying out of pocket making it a solution for only some.

Enthea was founded to tackle this exact issue. We are the only third party provider for psychedelic medicine. Our team is hard at work building the nation’s largest provider network so that you you can bring this innovative treatment to your employees at a fraction of the cost for your organization.

Case Study: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps

In 2022, Enthea partnered with Dr. Bronner’s to offer KAT to their 450 employees. Their CEO is an outspoken advocate for psychedelic therapy and as such, is very well aware of KAT’s substantial healing benefits. 

Thus, they chose the most generous benefit plan covering all conditions supported by Enthea’s Medical Policy (Treatment Resistant Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder, Substance Use Disorder and Adjustment Disorder) at no cost to the employee.

“Many members of the All-One family at Dr. Bronner’s who have been struggling with mental health challenges have availed themselves of ketamine-assisted therapy, and have relayed their deep heartfelt thanks for the incredible healing impact it has made,” reported David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s. “Enthea makes the experience seamless for our staff as well as on our side, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.”

To read more about what lead Dr. Bronner’s to offer KAT, check out their full story here.