Hewitt Expands Absence Management With Advocacy Services

January 18, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Human resources consulting and outsourcing firm Hewitt Associates has added participant advocacy services to its absence management solution.

According to the announcement, the expansion improves the employee leave or disability experience through a “more holistic, personal touch”. The new advocacy feature expands the breadth and scope of Hewitt’s absence management solution by pairing each employee taking an extended absence with a highly trained participant advocate. Advocates personally assist employees with the complicated, benefits-related access-to-care, eligibility, and billing issues that often accompany the leave process, according to Hewitt. 

The firm notes that its absence management solution enables employers to improve their financial and operational performance by minimizing the costs, impact on productivity and risk associated with all forms of health-related absence.  According to a press release, the solution “goes beyond tracking absences to help companies understand why and where absence occurs and offer solutions that best address the underlying causes”.  Since acquiring LCG in 2008, Hewitt has signed 16 new absence management clients (see Hewitt Announces Acquisition of Absence Management Firm).  Just last week, Hewitt announced the hiring of a medical director for its absence management program, and tapped four executives for its absence management sales team (see Hewitt Fields New Absence Mgmt Team).      

“Absence claims are usually associated with a life-changing event, and in the midst of personal or health-related issues, it’s difficult for workers to also try to juggle the challenges related to processing their absence,” explains Kim Stattner, Hewitt’s absence management strategy and product development leader. “By integrating advocacy into our absence management solution, we’re able to support the entire person—from the legal and compliance-related elements of the claim to the actual health event. With guidance from an advocate, an employee also might access a program that prevents a future absence event and improves his or her overall health. And ultimately, a healthier employee generates improved ‘business health’ for the employer.”