Better Health Care Requires Putting Physical and Behavioral Health on Equal Footing
People with major depression usually face other chronic conditions. That’s why Horizon is investing in better ways to help physicians treat the whole person.
By Allen Karp, Executive Vice President for Healthcare and Transformation Management
Major depression is the second leading health condition affecting quality of life in the U.S., according to new findings recently published by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Particularly alarming is the link between depression and a person’s physical health. Eighty-five percent of those diagnosed with major depression also have one or more serious chronic illnesses, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to caring for patients.
Those findings only underscore the importance of eliminating stigmas around mental health and building a health care system that puts physical and behavioral health on equal footing. To achieve that, Horizon BCBSNJ is making substantial investments to help primary care physicians integrate behavioral health care services into their practices.
One example of the way we’re bringing that vision to life was featured in a recent article appearing in USA Today. Since early 2018, Horizon BCBSNJ has partnered with Quartet, a health care company that is giving primary care doctors two important tools to improve behavioral health care.
Quartet offers doctors a way to connect their patients with local, in-network behavioral health providers. It also analyzes Horizon’s claims data to identify patients who may be at risk of having undiagnosed behavioral health conditions, and delivers that information to their primary care physicians to determine if further screenings or care is needed.
Horizon BCBSNJ is working with providers across New Jersey to bring them the tools they need to improve health care quality, cost and convenience for our members. Building a more coordinated health care system that integrates delivery of behavioral and physical help is a critical step in the right direction.