Independence Blue Cross (Independence) Senior Medical Director of Behavioral Health Ryan Connolly, M.D., was recently featured in a Mental Health Caucus roundtable hosted by the Pennsylvania House and chaired by Representative Mike Schlossberg (D-Allentown). The panelists talked about the link between physical and behavioral health and how innovative solutions are needed to bridge the gap.
During the roundtable discussion, Dr. Connolly explained how Independence’s collaborative care models aim to support providers while they provide high-quality and sustainable behavioral health care. “Collaborative care is vitally important. Roughly half of all behavioral health care occurs in primary care settings,” Connolly said.
To increase access to behavioral health care, Independence’s strategy is to contract with previously out-of-network providers, support emerging providers in the field, and close gaps with telemedicine and virtual care.
The event was held virtually on September 29, 2022. Besides Dr. Connolly, those included in the roundtable were Dr. Michael Shepard, Jennifer Tyler, and Michael Rose of Geisinger; Dr. James Schuster and Heather Hallman of University of Pennsylvania Medical Center; Sam Marshall, Jonathan Greer, and Noah Karn of Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania; Dr. Bradley Karlin, Nicole Wilbourn, Mike Yantis, and Mike Warfel of Highmark; Representative Dianne Herrin (D – Chester) and Representative Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks).