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Integrated System of Care Program: Treating the mind and body for better health outcomes

As many people continue to struggle with mental health conditions or Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), and even more so as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, many physicians expect the need for mental health care services to increase. Now, more than ever, it is clear that behavioral health is a core component of overall health.

With this in mind, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) created the Integrated System of Care (ISC) Program - the first of its kind in New Jersey. This program strives to improve the delivery of holistic behavioral health care for those who need intensive mental health and SUD treatment.

How the ISC Program works

The ISC Program uses a virtually integrated care delivery system to deliver timely, coordinated and outcome-driven care for our members with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Each Horizon BCBSNJ member who is part of this program is assigned a care coordinator from the participating Horizon BCBSNJ behavioral health providers that are part of the ISC Program. The care coordinator helps manage a patient’s unique behavioral, physical and social health treatment needs with health systems, primary care practices and social services. A treatment plan is created with a full picture of the patient’s health. Through dedicated care management, patient navigation and coordination with physical health providers, the ISC Program helps to ensure patients get the services they need to achieve remission or recovery from their behavioral health conditions.

The ISC Program:

  • Enhances the integration of care among behavioral and physical health care professionals and social services for the member.
  • Helps members access care and navigate the health care system.
  • Focuses on follow-up care for the mind and body.
  • Gets members the right care, including behavioral and physical health care, and social services
  • Improves quality outcomes and reduces the total cost of care.

Resources for you and your patients

The ISC Program will help you connect your patients to additional resources beyond their benefits and traditional behavioral health care by addressing any issues related to social determinants of health, including access to food, transportation, child care, etc. The program is designed to help patients get and stay healthy with the peace of mind that comes with knowing all their needs are addressed.

Proven outcomes

Horizon BCBSNJ studied 500 Commercial market members who were part of the ISC Program pilot and found that these members reported significant reductions in hospital admissions, Emergency Room visits and days of reported alcohol and drug use. In addition, preliminary claims data showed a significant reduction in members’ total cost of care.

Horizon Health Works, a monthly video series highlighting innovations and initiatives to improve health care in New Jersey, recently highlighted this program in action.

Success leads to expansion

The ISC Program currently includes patient access to health care providers operating in Burlington, Camden, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey. We will be expanding this program statewide 2021 and 2022.

Horizon Behavioral Health’s response team is available to help

The Horizon Behavioral Health team supports you and your eligible patients already receiving mental health and SUD treatment, and helps new patients get access to the care they need. If you or your eligible patients have questions about this program, behavioral health benefits, provider access, program support and services, call 1-800-626-2212.

Published on: March 22, 2021, 10:45 a.m. ET
Last updated on: April 22, 2021, 05:27 a.m. ET