BCBS NY Affiliates Launch Telephone Consult Service to Support Doctors Treating Members With Behavioral Health Challenges

BUFFALO, N.Y. and TAMPA, Fla., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York (BCBSWNY) and BlueShield of Northeastern New York (BSNENY), and Health Integrated, a leading provider of Health Management Solutions for health plans, have launched a behavioral health support service for affiliated primary care providers (PCPs) treating patients with numerous behavioral health conditions.  The service, a Physician Behavioral Health Support Line, is staffed with board-certified psychiatrists and available to support PCPs 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

"In today's health care environment, PCPs have ever-increasing case loads and expanding care coordination responsibilities," says Karen Blount, BCBSWNY/BSNENY's vice president, Health Care Services.  "With convenient access to Health Integrated's board-certified psychiatrists through this new consult line, PCPs in our network will have deeper support and resources to increase their knowledge and expertise with the latest developments in behavioral health medications and available therapies."  

The Physician Behavioral Health Support Line, to be launched April 15, 2010, leverages proven strategies to support PCPs in treating behavioral health conditions and assessing patient issues.  Clinicians and health care experts from both BCBSWNY/BSNENY and Health Integrated have formed an Innovation Committee which meets regularly to establish a discipline around creative problem solving and the sharing of best practices.  

"Mental health specialists are in short supply, and as a result, PCPs are often without adequate information sources to support their management decisions regarding patients with behavioral conditions," says Sam Toney, MD, chief medical officer, Health Integrated.  "We are pleased to be able to offer, with BCBSWNY/BSNENY, a new and exciting resource for these physicians, as they are usually the first stop on a patient's journey through the health care system and are critical in the integration of physical and behavioral care management approaches."

About BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York/BlueShield of Northeastern New York

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York are divisions of HealthNow New York Inc., one of the Northeast's leading health insurance and employee benefits companies that provides quality health care and innovative solutions for members throughout upstate New York and beyond.  Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the Company's revenues exceeded $2.45 billion in 2009.  BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York are independent Licensees of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.

About Health Integrated

Health Integrated is the leading innovation partner for health plans, providing evidence-based solutions to accelerate achievement of health management goals for clinical outcomes, quality measures and cost containment. For more information, visit www.healthintegrated.com.




Karen Merkel-Liberatore, BCBSWNY/BSNENY


716-887-8811 or [email protected]



Mike Miniati, Health Integrated


813-388-4030 or [email protected]