CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Headway Announce Collaboration to Improve the Mental Health System
Initiative will leverage technology to remove barriers to mental health care delivery and access
BALTIMORE and WASHINGTON and NEW YORK, August 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest nonprofit health plan, announced a collaboration with Headway, a technology company that is expanding the access to in-network mental health care by removing barriers faced by providers, payers, and the people they serve, to support CareFirst’s mental health system. CareFirst identified the opportunity to better enable independent providers through technology and launched a search for this essential capability in late fall 2021. This initiative with Headway will bring a technology-based approach to CareFirst’s services, breaking down barriers to the provision of and access to behavioral health while providing quality, easy-to-access mental health care for all members.
“CareFirst has thousands of incredibly dedicated behavioral health professionals who, in individual practice, typically don’t have scheduling websites or office staff, making it difficult for members to access their services. many other professionals decide not to contract with insurers due to the need to file claims,” said Brian Wheeler, Vice President of Provider Collaboration and Network Transformation at CareFirst. “By connecting independent providers to the infrastructure to support their businesses, Headway enables members to access the care they need and empowers providers to better serve CareFirst members and run their businesses more effectively.”
Headway’s secure online platform is available free of charge to CareFirst’s network of mental health care providers and will enable efficient scheduling, billing and more. This allows providers to focus on delivering quality care rather than administrative tasks. In turn, a better supported practitioner network creates a seamless experience for members when they connect to a strong network of independent providers or smaller mental health practices. Members can browse and book appointments with clinicians based on specialty, demographic information, and real-time availability – and get immediate price transparency.
“Headway is solely focused on building a networked mental health system that everyone can access. We do this through our unique technology infrastructure that removes barriers facing mental health providers, health plans and the patients they serve,” said Andrew Adams, Founder and CEO, Headway. “We are extremely excited to work with CareFirst in the Mid-Atlantic to create a better experience for providers and members. This value-driven collaboration will allow CareFirst providers to create thriving practices, members to enjoy a improved client experience and easy access to a network practitioner, and the health plan has the data and network capacity information to ensure optimal access.”
“Practitioner-patient matching is important in mental health, perhaps even more so than in other types of care,” Wheeler said. “Through this initiative, we will invest more in mental health providers and redouble our efforts to advance equitable care, leveraging data to direct more resources and providers to communities in need.”
Headway offers behavioral health providers options to participate in CareFirst Networks and all existing CareFirst providers will have the opportunity to voluntarily join Headway. This collaboration with Headway, launched in August 2022reflects CareFirst’s commitment to strengthening mental health resources in the Mid-Atlantic region by providing more visibility to resources available in communities to make mental health support more accessible to everyone.
About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
In its 85th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit healthcare company that, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to the 3.6 million individuals and employers in Marylandthe District of Colombia and Northern Virginia. In 2021, CareFirst invested $26.2 million to improve overall health and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of healthcare in all of its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at www.carefirst.com and our healthcare transformation page at www.carefirst.com/transformationor follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Where instagram.
Headway expands access to networked mental health care by removing barriers faced by providers, health plans and the patients they serve. Through personalized technology, the Headway platform simplifies how providers, patients, and health plans work together to deliver measurable, value-driven care. More than 15,000 accredited mental health providers of all races, genders, ethnicities and specialties provide quality care through Headway, which currently operates in 14 states and the United States. District of Colombia. Patients can book treatments with one click on headway.co, with most attending their first appointment in less than six days. Headway has received venture capital funding from leading investors including Andreesen Horowitz, Accel, Thrive Capital and GV (formerly Google Ventures). www.headway.co
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