CommonSpirit Health's CEO announces partnerships with Concert Health, Docent Health

hospital building with a sign that says outpatient
Lloyd Dean, CEO of Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, announced partnerships with Concert Health and Docent Health during the HLTH 2020 virtual conference Wednesday. (Getty/Mark Winfrey)

CommonSpirit Health will soon begin offering behavioral health care services such as support for depression and anxiety within the primary care setting through a partnership with virtual care provider Concert Health.

Lloyd Dean, CEO of the Chicago-based health system, announced the partnership at the HLTH 2020 virtual conference Wednesday.

At the same time, he announced an expanded partnership between CommonSpirit and virtual care navigator program provider Docent Health to extend its virtual care navigators to more patients around the country. 

The common thread? The two virtual care offerings should help address the glaring racial disparities in healthcare and patient outcomes that have come into the spotlight in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dean said.

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"Using innovation and using technology and taking it to the community, particularly to the most underserved—particularly people of color who had a disproportionate impact and more deaths from this pandemic—we can make a difference," Dean said. 

The partnership with Concert Health is aimed at putting primary care physicians at the center of a patient's physical and behavioral health care, officials said. The model will connect patients with Concert Health’s remotely located behavioral health care managers who provide therapy and develop a behavioral health care plan for each patient, they said.

"When you think about the tension, when you think about the pressure, when you think about what people are experiencing, particularly people of color, but also communities at large with the stress of just being in this environment, the stress of being at home and the stress of not knowing what's going to happen in the community, this is a vital partnership for us," Dean said.

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Meanwhile, the expanded partnership with Docent Health will build on success CommonSpirit has had with the company's virtual care navigator program in improving health outcomes for maternity and orthopedic patients.

The health system and Docent have partnered since 2016. A multiyear study of the outcomes of 10,000 CommonSpirit patients using the program found a 37% reduction in preterm births among mothers on Medicaid and a 71% drop in 30-day readmission rates for orthopedic patients.

"If we can help them navigate through the system and connect with them from a virtual standpoint and be there for them, we know and we can track and we can document we can effectively make a positive impact," Dean said.