Integrating Medical & Mental Health

A study commissioned by the American Psychiatric Association found that between $26.3 billion and $48.3 billion could be cut from the total cost of healthcare in the U.S each year by effectively integrating medical and behavioral health treatments.

In addition, although most people with depression seek help from their primary care physician, it has been found that these physicians are not always the best equipped to deal with mental health issues.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and a technology company called Quartet are working together to integrate mental health into primary care across western Pennsylvania.

Both organizations support primary care physicians with telephonic curbside consults with psychiatrists, provide online patient support tools, and provide rapid connections to behavioral health specialists able to communicate with primary care physicians through quick and easy consult notes.

Quartet increases access to mental health resources by identifying Highmark members that may have undiagnosed mental health conditions. Quartet also identifies patients who have a mental health diagnosis but are not in treatment and may need additional support.

“There is significant and growing evidence that demonstrates the dramatic correlation between chronic disease and mental health” said Barb Gray R.N Senior Vice President of Clinical Services at Highmark. “Our partnership with Quartet supports our care management objective of providing integrated solutions to help our members manage their chronic conditions and re-engage with their lives.”

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