Humana Inc., one of the country's leading health and well-being companies, and Quartet, a mission driven technology company, today announced that they will work together to advance the integration of mental and physical health care for New Orleans residents – part of Humana's Bold Goal initiative to improve the health of their member communities by 20 percent by 2020.
Quartet teams up with insurers and physicians to help their patients in need of mental health care. The company's platform allows primary care physicians to initiate their patients into a proven collaborative behavioral program.
Resources available through the Quartet platform include a highly curated group of local behavioral health providers, live psychiatry consults for providers, data driven insights through adaptive learning algorithms, and concierge support for patients.
Through this new arrangement, Humana expects to improve access to care for its Greater New Orleans Medicare Advantage members living with anxiety, depression and addiction, which are most often connected to other physical health conditions. An initial launch of the Quartet platform in March is expected to serve Humana Medicare Advantage members.
"Although the connection between physical and mental health is well understood among physicians, the resources haven't been there for primary care physicians to appropriately screen and connect patients to care," said Dr. Shelly Gupta, Humana Gulf States Medicare Medical Director.
"Humana has been working to improve priority health issues in communities across the Southeast, each with its own unique barriers to care," said Dr. Gupta, who also serves as co-chair of the Humana New Orleans Health Advisory Board. "We are excited to work with Quartet on mental health integration in one of our most important Bold Goal communities."
Humana has launched its Bold Goal community health program in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and access to mental health care has been identified in both Louisiana markets as one of the top barriers to improved health care.
An estimated $48.3 billion could be cut from the total cost of health care in the United States each year by effectively integrating physical and mental health services, according to a 2014 study by leading actuarial firm, Milliman Inc.
Quartet provides a scalable, evidence-based solution to integrate physical and mental health care that reduces costs and improves health outcomes.
"Quartet is dedicated to improving access and integration of mental health services. The system has been siloed for too long," said Arun Gupta, founder and CEO of Quartet. "We are excited to work with Humana, a leader in care for aging populations that deeply understands the impact poorly treated mental health has on overall health, especially among seniors."
Humana is one of Louisiana's leading Medicare health benefits companies with more than 225,000 Medicare members statewide.
Louisiana scores lowest in the nation for overall population health given a high incidence of chronic physical conditions and concomitant mental health concerns, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.1 People living with chronic physical health conditions are at a higher risk of depression. Conversely, those with depression have a higher risk of developing chronic physical conditions that can lead to worse health outcomes if not treated.2
"In New Orleans there is so much need, yet a scarcity of resources. Integrated, tech-enabled approaches that support primary care and provide access to mental health in the primary care setting may be the only way we can get patients the care they need," said Patrick J. Kennedy, former Rhode Island congressman who championed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and now sits on the Board of Quartet.
In April 2016, Quartet raised $40 million in its Series B from GV (formerly Google Ventures), with participation from existing investors Oak HC/FT, F-Prime Capital Partners, and Polaris Partners. Quartet is using the investment to further build its team of engineers, data scientists, and clinicians, and expand into at least five new markets in 2017.
For more information on Humana's Bold Goal, visit www.humana.com/boldgoal.