Equality Health Deepens Support of Primary Care Behavioral Health Services in Arizona with Concert Health Partnership

Medical practices in Equality Health network to gain access to evidenced-based, primary-care-driven model to treat depression and anxiety 

PHOENIX, ARIZ. – April 20, 2021 – Equality Health, a whole-health delivery system, announced today that it is augmenting the behavioral healthcare services it offers to Arizona-based primary care practices participating in its network through a partnership with Concert Health, a leading behavioral health medical group.

Under the terms of the agreement, primary care practices in Equality Health’s Arizona network will have the ability to offer remote behavioral health services to patients in their practice through Concert Health’s turnkey services designed for primary care. Concert’s expert Behavioral Care Managers and psychiatrists work directly with practices to provide patients immediate access to behavioral health treatment and support providers in effectively diagnosing and treating these conditions to improve both physical and mental health. The new behavioral health services are available as part of Equality Health’s comprehensive, integrated platform that bundles technology, services and support to enable the delivery of value-based, culturally competent, quality whole-person care.  

“Our patients love that behavioral health services are now connected to their primary care,” noted Joseph Wieleba, administrator at Surprise Health Center and participant in the program. “We have embraced the Concert team as part of our own. Consequently, a growing number of our patients have become more open to participating and seeking the behavioral health support that we can offer.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, surveys have consistently shown a deterioration in Americans’ self-reported mental health. Approximately 4 in 10 adults nationwide during the pandemic have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder – a four-fold increase from pre-pandemic levels, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The report also found that communities of color have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic, with Non-Hispanic Black adults (48%) and Hispanic or Latino adults (46%) more likely to report symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder than White adults (41%).

The collaboration between Equality Health and Concert Health is based on Collaborative Care Management, an evidence-based model proven to improve behavioral health conditions such as depression and anxiety within the primary care setting. Collaborative Care is already a covered benefit for Medicare, most commercial insurance, and under Medicaid in 18 states. Collaborative Care is well-suited for individuals with uncontrolled physical health conditions and low to moderate behavioral health conditions. Individuals with more severe behavioral health needs will benefit from Equality Health’s network of behavioral health providers. 

By assisting PCPs in the management of their entire patient populations with behavioral health needs, the model enables PCPs to improve clinical outcomes, succeed in value-based care agreements, save time and reduce administrative burden. Delivering Collaborative Care also decreases medical costs by adequately addressing behavioral health conditions in a timely, integrated setting. Notably, over 60% of Concert patients see a 50% reduction in their depression or anxiety symptoms within 90 days of identification.

As a result of the partnership, patients seeing PCPs in Equality Health’s network will have the convenience of receiving both physical and behavioral health care from the same provider. Delivering behavioral health support as an extension of primary care reduces the stigma for patients who are resistant to seeing a behavioral health provider. Patients meet regularly with their licensed therapists via phone, video visit, or in-person at their primary care location.

“Delivering whole-person care requires that we prioritize and treat behavioral health needs with the same urgency and attention as physical health,” said Tasneem Doctor, EdD, Lic. Psychologist and vice president of behavioral health, Equality Health. “We are excited to collaborate with Concert Health to enable our primary care partners to leverage an evidence-based model that has proven to have a positive impact on behavioral health conditions.”

“As Americans continue to experience high rates of depression and anxiety stemming in part from the isolation and economic pressure brought on by COVID-19, many primary care practices have struggled to find the resources needed to treat these patients,” said Virna Little, PSyD, LCSW-r, SAP, CCM, COO of Concert Health. “We are proud to advance behavioral health in primary care in Arizona through our partnership with Equality Health.”

About Equality Health

Equality Health, LLC is a Phoenix-based whole-health delivery system focused on transforming value-based care delivery with population specific programs that improve access, quality, and member trust. Through an integrated technology and services platform, culturally competent provider network and personalized care model, Equality Health helps managed care plans and health systems improve outcomes for diverse populations while simultaneously making the transition to risk-based accountability. For more information about Equality Health, visit www.equalityhealth.com or follow @EqualityHealth on Facebook, @EqualityHealth on Twitter, and @EqualityHealth on LinkedIn.

About Concert Health

Concert Health is building America’s best and largest behavioral health medical group. Through Collaborative Care Management, an evidence-based model for treating depression and anxiety in primary care settings, Concert makes it easy for primary care physicians to deliver high-quality behavioral health care and improve clinical outcomes. Concert’s turnkey behavioral health services, which include an expert clinical team and a powerful technology platform, are available through partnerships with medical groups and health systems in seven states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, New Mexico, New York, and North Carolina. To learn more about Concert Health’s approach, visit concerthealth.io.

Concert Health, Inc. is an administrative and managerial services company affiliated with several professional corporations that deliver medical services. Together, these organizations operate under the “Concert Health” brand.