Upon success of three-year partnership, Highmark and Quartet continue to collaborate to improve mental health care access in Pennsylvania.
NEW YORK, NY – [JANUARY 24, 2019] – Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Quartet today announced an extension of their partnership to integrate mental health care into primary care. Since 2016, the two companies have been working together in Western Pennsylvania to improve access to mental health care, resulting in overall improved patient health outcomes and reduced medical spend. As a part of this renewal agreement, Quartet and Highmark are exploring expansion into new geographies.
This extension demonstrates Highmark’s commitment to improving lives of people with mental health conditions, and recognition that Quartet’s technology and services provide an effective solution to mental health access. Quartet’s data-driven platform allows primary care physicians to connect patients to the right mental health services and to collaborate with providers on treatment plans through a coordinated care team. Moreover, through proprietary algorithms, Quartet helps physicians identify patients who may have underlying mental health conditions but have not sought care, and would benefit from support.
“It’s our aim at Highmark to get health care right, and that starts with making health care more accessible for our members,” said Caesar DeLeo, MD, MHSA, Vice President & Executive Medical Director for Strategic Initiatives of Highmark. “We know there is a growing need for mental health care, and we know that the connection between mental and physical health is critical. Through our partnership with Quartet, we continue to improve access to mental health care services so that our members can get the right care at the right time, improving health outcomes and reducing costs.”
There is significant evidence that demonstrates the dramatic correlation between chronic disease and mental health. In the United States, one in five people experience a mental health condition. Nearly 70 percent of adults with mental health conditions also have a medical condition. Conversely, nearly one-third of those with a medical condition also have a comorbid mental health condition. A collaborative care model, which integrates mental and physical health care, has been shown to be highly effective, both in improving patient outcomes and driving down health care costs.
“Highmark has been a critical partner as we work to ensure that everyone with a mental health condition gets the care they need,” said David Wennberg, MD, MPH, CEO of Quartet. “We know that building collaborative care teams made of up of primary care and mental health providers results in improved health outcomes and lower costs. We recognize Highmark’s commitment to putting their members first, and commend their leadership.”
Traditionally, it can take months for a patient to get an appointment with a psychiatrist or therapist. In partnership with Highmark, Quartet has showcased improved speed to care, with nearly 80% of patients referred for an appointment matched within 7 days. This is a reflection of the strong network of primary care and mental health providers who are actively utilizing the collaborative care platform. Additional services available through Quartet include a vetted network of local mental health specialists, live psychiatry consults for providers, data-driven best practices, and customer service support for patients.
“As a therapist in the Pittsburgh area, I firmly believe that the outcomes of my patients have been improved thanks to the Quartet platform,” said Kevin Caridad, LCSW, PhD, a mental health provider who has used the Quartet platform for more than three years. “For the first time, I am empowered to communicate with primary care physicians on the overall health of my patients. Also, I find my patients are satisfied that they’ve received appointments quickly.”
Quartet also partners with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Premera Blue Cross, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, and Sutter Health. Building on the foundational partnership with Highmark, Quartet is rapidly expanding across the country in 2019.
Quartet is a pioneering healthcare technology company striving to improve the lives of people with mental health conditions. We connect people to a personalized care team to get them the right care at the right time. Our collaborative technology platform and range of services brings together physicians, mental health providers, and insurance companies to effectively improve patient outcomes and drive down healthcare costs. Backed by $93MM in venture funding from top investors like Oak HC/FT, GV (formerly Google Ventures), F-Prime Capital Partners, and Polaris Partners, Quartet is headquartered in NYC and is currently operating in several markets across the United States — Pennsylvania, Washington, Northern California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Illinois.