The Northeast Business Group on Health began looking at depression care several years ago, spurred by high rates of antidepressant prescription claims paid by employers and low rates of depression reported by health plans. In 2012, the group launched One Voice, a plan to integrate behavioral health into primary care.
The initiative was modeled after a collaborative approach made popular in markets such as Minnesota, where large group practices and regional nonprofit health plans dominate.
But in New York, where small physician practices and for-profit health plans are common, paying for behavioral health services in primary-care settings, was “very challenging,” said Laurel Pickering, the health coalition’s president and CEO.
Though the initiative didn’t pan out as planned, it lives on as part of a statewide primary care transformation project, Ms. Pickering said.
Meanwhile, NEBGH is working to raise CEO awareness of depression in the workplace, while some of its member companies are focusing on employee education and access to care.