Magellan Healthcare, NeuroFlow partner to close gaps in behavioral health care

Magellan Healthcare, Magellan Health’s behavioral division, is partnering with NeuroFlow, a health tech company, to make behavioral health care more accessible and better coordinated.

The collaborative care model is intended for health plans and healthcare providers and aims to “better deliver behavioral health services to those who need them in the primary care setting or specialty care setting,” Caroline Carney, M.D., chief medical officer of Magellan Health, told Fierce Healthcare.

It improves that access with behavioral health screenings and care through NeuroFlow’s app. The goal is to help providers identify underdiagnosed and undertreated mild- to moderate-risk conditions before they worsen.

One benefit of the technology is that screening results are saved to a dashboard in the patient’s electronic health record, which the provider can easily access and discuss during the visit. The patient also has access to clinical content throughout their treatment. And the technology enables continuity of care, Carney said, something that has kept collaborative care from truly flourishing in the past. 

A bonus of the technology is how quickly it can be implemented, Carney noted, with the time frame being as little as a few days. Licensed clinical social workers, who act as care managers, monitor the app’s dashboard and can escalate patient concerns or behaviors to a Magellan psychiatrist or the patient’s primary care provider. Working together, they create a “triangle of care” that takes the screening burden away from the provider, according to Carney.

While it may be challenging for providers to see this model as complementary to their own work, so far the response has been “tremendous,” Carney said, adding that they “want that kind of support.” And, since they can bill payers for collaborative care, it’s a “win-win.”

RELATED: Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic teams with NeuroFlow to offer mental health app to workers

Payers are also enthusiastic about the model, Carney said, because it has been shown to decrease the overall cost of care, which means fewer reimbursements as well as wider accessibility to care for their members who need it most. 

“Data from validated questionnaires completed on NeuroFlow’s platform showcase the clinical impact made for a multi-practice clinic; 67% of patients that enrolled in collaborative care experienced a 50% reduction in depression within 4 to 8 months,” said Chris Molaro, CEO of NeuroFlow, in the press release. 

Magellan’s clinical team will use NeuroFlow’s cloud-based platform to receive various kinds of support, including communication channels, electronic medical records, reports on at-risk patients assisted by artificial intelligence and personalized clinical content.