All Together Virtual Medical Director

Absenteeism, including mental health, is costing Canadian organizations well over $50 billion annually in payroll costs, talent management expenses and lost productivity.

According to Mercer Canada, 500,000 workers are absent from work each week due to mental health issues1. To quote Louis Gagnon, President, US & Canada at Mercer, mental health absenteeism is in crisis:

‘the situation could become unsustainable, even if health and wellness programs are a top employer focus. That’s why organizations must build an overarching wellness program that tackles all variables proven to impact employee health, wealth and productivity. Just like total rewards, employers should understand, communicate and support a complete view of the tools and services they have in place to enable a healthy and productive workplace’ 2.

Mercer understands that comprehensive, cost effective mental health support and absenteeism programs, must now be completely redesigned and re-configured to incorporate essential key metrics for success:

  1. Data: Understand the problem
  2. Support: Improve attendance, accommodate, return-to-work and impairment management
  3. Disability: Early intervention/treatment, pharmacogenetics & medical/non-medical specialty providers
  4. Health and wellness: Comprehensive, goal & corporate culture oriented, measurable results
  5. Measure and manage: Leverage data analytics & diagnostic tools to measure success

As medical directors of over 50 corporations, our conclusions align closely with Mercer; the crisis of mental health absenteeism has shifted absenteeism away from ‘hard’ objective pathology-based conditions (trauma, heart disease, cancer) to somewhat subjective mental health conditions, which greatly diminish the effectiveness of disability management, wellness initiatives, mental health awareness programs and plan member enabled solutions. This trend continues UNABATED.

‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking’
– Albert Einstein

We agree with Mercer that more cost-effective management of mental health absenteeism requires a more comprehensive approach centering around:

  1. Early and close administrative management of all claims
  2. Early access to the highest Evidence-based /Best Practice Guidelines care

Utilization data of our Virtual Medical Director program consistently shows that close to 15% of mental health absenteeism is NOT supported by the medical record but is for a variety of non-medical reasons, from family issues, workplace conflict, seasonal self employment, to outright fraud.

On a weekly basis, close to 75,000 plan members are absent for reasons other than a mental health issue. This is supported by what everyone already knows – 20% of plan members drive 80% of costs.

Our Virtual Medical Director program is designed to address two key absenteeism metrics:

  1. Claims Verification – Confirming a medical diagnosis at two weeks from the last day of work
  2. Accelerating Diagnosis & Care – Return to health & work at the speed of business with our proprietary Care Management and national provider network

Our process is fast and simple, and is the highest proven ROI absenteeism solution on the market, bar none.


  • Cost – Lower premiums & risk
  • Control – Abuse & liability
  • Clarity – Early recognition absenteeism red flags & trends
  • Care – Faster diagnosis/treatment, return to work
  • Consultation – Reduced wait times


  • Medical Director help desk & assistance
  • Red/Yellow/GreenTM mental health triage
  • Absenteeism and disability audit, verification and remediation
  • Medical Director for serious medical issues
  • Faster access to wait-listed medical resources

Our one-page Overview can be found here