Matthew is an associate editor of The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®). He has been working on AJMC® since 2019 after receiving his Bachelor's degree at Rutgers University–New Brunswick in journalism and economics.
The top 5 most-read employer stories of 2020 on AJMC.com focused primarily on the role of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on several issues affecting the workplace, including adverse mental health outcomes, leave-related concerns, and the rise of virtual care.
Addressing the key topic of discussion this year, the top 5 most-read employer stories of 2020 on AJMC.com spotlighted the role of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on several issues affecting the workplace, including adverse mental health outcomes, leave-related concerns, and the rise of virtual care.
Virtual care was covered in 2 of our top 5 stories, primarily how employers have worked to increase availability and funding of telehealth services amid the pandemic.
Beyond COVID-19, 1 of our stories addressed the Senate's recent confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and how employment law rulings may be affected, as well as the potential impact on court proceedings for the Affordable Care Act.
Here are the top 5 employer articles of 2020.
5. How Virtual Care, Back-to-School Support, Health Inequities Are Influencing Employer Action
In 2 surveys published separately by the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) and the Business Group on Health, employers identified efforts to increase availability of virtual care, support employees undertaking greater caregiving roles, and address social and health inequities as a result of the pandemic. Notably, social and health inequities were identified as a major issue in the PBGH survey, with 67% of participating employers saying they are evaluating benefits and health programs to ensure equity in access and use of benefits.
4. Employers Increasing Virtual, Behavioral Health Coverage Amid Pandemic
In an interview with Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO of the Business Group on Health, she discussed findings of her organization’s 2021 Large Employers' Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey. Based on survey findings, employers have increased funding in virtual care and behavioral health amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which Kelsay says may benefit conditions that may be better treated through virtual solutions, such as musculoskeletal treatments.
3. Implications of Justice Barrett’s Confirmation on Employment Law Rulings, ACA Case
An interview with David Weisenfeld, JD, legal editor at XpertHR, previewed how employment law rulings may be affected by the Senate's recent confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. In addition to employment law rulings, Weisenfeld spoke on the potential impact that Justice Barrett’s confirmation will have on the legal proceedings examining the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which took place November 10.
2. How Are Employers Addressing Back-to-School, Leave-Related Concerns Amid the Pandemic?
In another interview with Weisenfeld, he spoke on findings of a poll conducted by XpertHR examining COVID-19–related challenges for employers, which included back-to-school and other leave-related issues. As employees may now be tasked with more caregiving due to the closure of schools nationwide, Weisenfeld says that having child care benefits and flexible work options are key for employers to manage these concerns.
1. How Has COVID-19 Affected Mental Health, Severity of Stress Among Employees?
In a survey conducted by mental health provider Ginger, nearly 7 in 10 employees reported that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most stressful time of their entire professional career. These findings aligned with those of another survey, titled “America’s State of Mind Report,” which highlighted that from February 16 to March 15, prescriptions filled per week for antidepressant, antianxiety, and anti-insomnia medications increased by 21%. Notably, 78% of all 3 prescriptions filled during the peak week ending March 15 were for new prescriptions.