WWLP

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts reports doubling of mental health visits

(Credit: Getty Images)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts offered new statistics Wednesday that punctuate the national trend of more people seeking treatment for depression and anxiety disorders.

The big health insurer reported 8 million in-person and virtual behavioral health visits in the third quarter of this year, up from 4 million in 2019. The insurer has expanded its mental health provider network by about 46 percent over the last five years, and announced Wednesday that it is partnering with several national mental health provider groups to increase the number of clinicians available to members and to provide specialized services for specific care needs.

Blue Cross added Talkiatry, a national provider focused on telehealth psychiatric therapy, in-person therapy and medication management, to its network after earlier this year partnering with Thriveworks, Headway, Refresh Mental Health and Valera Health. The specialty mental health providers joining the Blue Cross network are And Still We Rise and DynamiCare.

Blue Cross said it also plans in the coming months to add to its network specialty mental health provider groups focused on severe eating disorders and autism. “As the need for mental health services continues to grow, access to convenient and affordable care is critical,” Blue Cross President and CEO Andrew Dreyfus said. “By expanding and diversifying our mental health network, we’re ensuring that our members are able to find and receive the high-quality care they need, when they need it.”