Quartet Health Collaborates with Blue Cross NC for Value-Based Behavioral Health Payment Model

Quartet Health, a technology platform services company for behavioral health providers, has reached an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) to establish a new value-based payment model for the Tar Heel State insurer.

The goal is to ensure people get high-quality mental health care in a timely manner while improving efficiency, performance and patient health outcomes.

Under the arrangement, Quartet will construct the platform within Blue Cross NC’s existing payment program, Blue Premier, which would allow payers like Blue Cross NC to bundle payments to providers according to the cost and quality of services delivered to behavioral health patients.

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Such payment structures have become an increasingly preferred payment method of federal agencies and insurers as opposed to traditional, unbundled fee-for-service payment structures.

Based in Durham, Blue Cross NC is North Carolina’s largest health insurer and serves nearly 3.9 million customers.

Founded in 2014, New York City-based Quartet has raised more than $160 million in funding from a number of investors, who include Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC), health care venture firms like Fidelity Investments’ F-Prime Capital Partners, and diversified venture firms such as GV, which is owned by Google’s parent, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL).

Quartet also has plans to implement value-based payment models for other payers nationwide, according to the press release

“Our technology will help people get the right mental health care for their needs, and allow mental health providers to be recognized and rewarded for improving patients’ health,” Quartet CEO David Wennberg said in a press release announcing the news. “This work acknowledges what we’ve long known: Mental health care is health care.”

“It’s time for our health care system to treat the patient as one person, not as someone with physical health needs and someone with behavioral health needs,” Blue Cross NC behavioral health chief Kate Hobbs Knutson said the press release. “Blue Premier Behavioral Health will expand access, improve coordination with primary care and help achieve better health outcomes.”

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