Vermont Blue Advantage strengthens access to mental health care

News Release

For Release July 20, 2022

Contact: Sara Teachout
(802) 371-3254
[email protected]

Vermont Blue Advantage Strengthens Access to Mental Health Care

Berlin, Vermont – With the pandemic straining access to mental health services and substance misuse at an all-time high, Vermont Blue Advantage announces a new partnership with the Brattleboro Retreat and Vermont Collaborative Care to build support for Medicare-eligible Vermonters that integrates the management of substance use disorder and mental health with physical health care.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, between 15,000 and 20,000 Vermonters with opioid use disorder are in need of treatment. A recent presentation to the Green Mountain Care Board noted that 58% of emergency department patients have a mental health diagnosis, yet only half of those referred with mental health problems receive follow up care. The gap can be bridged with proactive care management and expanding points of care.

“Isolation and stress have had a critical impact on Vermonters,” says Pam Getsie, Plan President of Vermont Blue Advantage. “We have been working to build our network to ensure our members can access key supports that connect substance misuse, mental health and physical health care.”
Vermont Collaborative Care is a non-profit partnership between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and the Brattleboro Retreat. By utilizing health claims and clinical data, care managers are able to support members across providers with different expertise to help an individual to access and maintain the care that works for them.

“Navigating the complex health care system alone can be daunting, even for seasoned providers seeking their own care,” says Dr. James Benton, a clinical psychologist and the Director of Psychology Training at the Brattleboro Retreat. “Having a care advocate in your corner who understands the layered system can make all the difference in quality outcomes.”

As of July 1, Vermont Blue Advantage members have access to services at the Brattleboro Retreat, and in 2023, will have care management available through Vermont Collaborative Care. Other providers are available in the network. For more information, contact Vermont Blue Advantage at 800-516-8021. Current members can contact the customer care team at the number on the back of the member ID card.
Vermont Blue Advantage is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit vermontblueadvantage.com.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is Vermont’s only local, not-for-profit health plan. For over 30 years, the company has been enhancing the health and well-being of the Vermonters by offering innovative plans to individuals, seniors, and businesses. Our employees are dedicated to developing new ways to support high-quality care and programs and events that promote wellness. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsvt.com.

Connect with Vermont Blue Advantage:
Facebook: @vermontblueadvantage
Instagram: @vermontblueadvantage
LinkedIn: @vermontblueadvantage
Twitter: @Vtblueadvantage

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