Behavioral health has played an integral role in boosting Elevance Health Inc.’s (NYSE: ELV) effort to provide health care services.
Elevance’s health care services entity, Carelon, grew revenue by 18% and operating income by 6.8%. The organization Carelon Behavioral Health is in charge of its behavioral health services.
“Carelon Behavioral Health extended its leadership position through multiple external business wins with new and existing customers,” Elevance CEO Gail Boudreaux said Wednesday on the company’s second-quarter earnings call. “New business awards and successful execution in these fast-growing, high-cost areas of trend underscore the value Carelon provides to health plans and the expanding earnings power and attractive growth profile of the Carelon services business.”
Carelon Behavioral Health is a rebrand of Beacon Health Options. Elevance acquired Beacon in March 2020. The organization’s services integrate behavioral health services with physical health, social support and pharmacy services.
In May, Carelon opened its first clinic ever in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The clinic acts as a one-stop health care shop. It offers physical and behavioral health services. Its behavioral health offerings include marriage counseling, veterans transition services, substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and other mental health services.
The company picked Fayetteville, in part, because of its proximity to Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield.
Boudreaux said Carelon’s success to this point has been in serving government customers, but recently, that has included more commercial health plan customers. She pointed to Carelon’s behavioral health crisis management and integrated approach as a differentiator for Elevance.
Elevance Health and AI
Boudreaux also highlighted some ways the company plans to use artificial intelligence across its business. At least in part, there will be a behavioral health component.
The company seeks greater efficiency and insights by using AI to automate or support certain business processes. These could include initial depression screenings and assessments of social determinants of health, Boudreaux said.
It also presently includes a digital concierge care program, a cloud-based care management platform that connects a member’s entire care team to help track and manage a member’s health.
“Fully digital enrollment, engagement and support — alongside key behavioral health components — provides members with highly personalized proactive concierge-like experiences while reducing the overall cost of care for members with chronic conditions,” Boudreaux said.
Other AI uses include supporting call center employees and systems.