SEATTLE & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Premera Blue Cross, the largest health plan in the Pacific Northwest, and Quartet, a technology company making behavioral healthcare more accessible and integrated into primary care, announced today a groundbreaking collaboration that will improve the quality of care for Premera members with behavioral healthcare needs in Washington State.
Quartet equips primary care providers with a host of behavioral health resources to connect their patients to behavioral care, including a robust, curated network of local providers and live consults with behavioral health specialists. Quartet’s platform also connects providers and members to tech-enabled behavioral health support, including telepsychiatry and online cognitive behavioral therapy. Through its partnership with Quartet, Premera Blue Cross expects to improve access to appropriate care for its members living with anxiety, depression, addiction, and other mental health conditions.
“There is a fundamental connection between behavioral and physical health; however, we often diagnose and treat these conditions separately. When we do so, the patient suffers from fragmented and siloed care,” said Dr. Phil Colmenares, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Premera Blue Cross. “At Premera Blue Cross, we are committed to improving our customers’ lives by making healthcare work better and are excited to partner with Quartet, a company that makes behavioral health more accessible and integrated into primary care. This partnership is a major investment into that commitment as it will ensure that our patients with behavioral health conditions can more easily access the care they need to get better.”
Each year, between $26.3 billion and $48.3 billion could be cut from the total cost of health care in the United States by effectively integrating medical and behavioral health services, according to a 2014 study by New York City-based consultancy Milliman Inc., which was commissioned by the American Psychiatric Association.
The integration of care is particularly critical for individuals experiencing both mental and physical health issues who tend to receive fragmented care, which considerably increases healthcare costs. This partnership will improve patient health outcomes and increase cost savings.
“The Premera team understands the value of integrating behavioral health into the primary care setting, and the importance of behavioral healthcare to the overall health and well-being of its members,” said Arun Gupta, founder and CEO of Quartet. “We are excited to partner with such a market-leading innovator to bring Quartet’s services to the state of Washington.”
Seattle is the home of Collaborative Care, a model of integrated care developed at the University of Washington based on the principles of chronic illness care. Quartet’s platform uses technology to scale the principles of this research-proven approach – making it easier for primary care physicians and behavioral health providers to connect in virtual care teams to deliver integrated behavioral care for patients.
“Improving access to behavioral healthcare, and truly integrating it into the fabric of primary care, is a critical next step toward true mental health parity,” said former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, who championed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, and sits on Quartet’s board. “Mental healthcare cannot be effectively delivered in isolation from the rest of the healthcare system. As an advocate for mental health parity and champion of evidenced-based treatment for mental illness, it is exciting to see this issue meaningfully addressed in the market by Quartet.”
This is the third geographic market for Quartet, which is active in Pennsylvania with partner Highmark Inc., one of the ten largest health insurers in the United States and the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company, and in Massachusetts with leading provider systems Steward and Lahey Health and payers.
In April 2016, Quartet raised $40 million in its Series B from GV (formerly Google Ventures), with participation from Oak HC/FT, F-Prime Capital Partners, and Polaris Partners. Quartet is using the investment to further build its team of data scientists, clinicians, and technologists, and expand into at least five new markets in 2017.
Quartet is healthcare technology company with a mission to enable every person in our society to thrive by building a collaborative behavioral and physical health ecosystem. Quartet partners with risk-sponsoring provider systems and payer organizations to increase access to behavioral health resources in their communities. Quartet’s platform relies on advanced analytics, proven treatment programs, and an easy-to-use technology platform to make healthcare work for providers, patients, and insurers. We are a team of engineers, data scientists, clinicians, and healthcare experts working to realize a society where behavioral health services are accessible, outcome-driven, and integrated into primary care. For more information, visit www.quartethealth.com.
About Premera Health:
Premera Blue Cross is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 1.9 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. The company offers innovative health and wellness solutions focused on quality outcomes for patients and controlling costs. Premera Blue Cross, which has operated in Washington since 1933, is a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Premera Blue Cross is a member of a family of companies based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., providing health, life, vision, dental, stop-loss, disability, workforce wellness and other related products and services.