Independence Blue Cross is expanding its efforts to address anxiety and depression in southeastern Pennsylvania by deepening its partnership with the Health Quartet, which connects patients with mental health services that fit their clinical and insurance needs.
Independence Inc. led a $60 million investment in Quartet Health to help the company increase access to mental health care. Primary care providers use Quartet Health’s digital platform to refer patients to in-network therapists.
The investment builds on a behavioral health initiative the companies launched in February to better integrate mental and physical health care. More than 1,100 mental health and primary care physicians in the Philadelphia area have since joined the Quartet platform.
The initiative has resulted in more than 2,500 independent members accessing mental health care through the platforms, according to IBX.
As part of the investment, the Quartet will be tasked with expanding the network of mental health care providers in Independence. The partnership will allow for more clinical evaluations, formal examinations, and additional mental health services for children and adolescents.
Independence President and CEO Gregory E. Devens will immediately join the Quartet’s Board of Directors as part of the partnership.
“Independence believes that integrating physical and mental health is fundamental to improving overall health and well-being,” said Devens. “This core belief underlies Independence’s efforts to collaborate with partners and clinicians to integrate the delivery of care. This is also the reason for Independence’s partnership and investment in the next phase of the Quartet’s strategic growth and development. We share the vision and commitment to solve mental, physical and health challenges in an integrated manner.”
The number of adults in the United States reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, many organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, say the number of children facing mental health challenges constitutes a national emergency.
Independence saw a 14,000% increase in the use of mental health telemedicine services from 2019 to 2020.