PHOENIX — Banner Health and Phoenix-based evolvedMD are partnering to place mental health providers at Banner’s primary care clinics in metro Phoenix, Banner Medical Group announced Tuesday.
The move is to make it easier for patients to receive mental health services they may need, according to Banner Health.
Mental health services will be phased in at Banner Medical Group sites throughout metro Phoenix starting at Banner’s East Mesa and Queen Creek locations.
A licensed behavioral therapist will work with the patient’s primary care providers to provide mental health expertise, psychiatric consultation, ongoing clinical support, case management and insurance support and navigation.
“In traditional health care models, a patient’s therapist and primary care physician rarely work together or even know each other,’’ Erik Osland, co-founder and co-CEO of evolvedMD, said in a press release.
“That doesn’t help the patient, and it doesn’t help medical professionals understand the full picture. With this, everyone is onsite, on the same page, supported, and focused on the patient.”
Addressing the mental health epidemic
Dr. Shiva Birdi, CEO of Banner Medical Group, said there is an epidemic of mental health issues right now including depression anxiety and people facing overwhelming stress.
“Our patients need these kinds of services, and we are excited about the opportunities this partnership can bring,’’ Birdi said in a press release.
“There is such a strong connection between mental and physical health and now our providers can refer patients to our on-site evolvedMD partners. It will be a seamless, convenient way for our patients to access critical behavioral health care services.’’
One in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Oslan emphasized the last few years have demonstrated a clear need for integrating behavioral health into modern primary care.
“With Banner, we will be accelerating access to care for thousands of patients. This partnership means expanded access for thousands and thousands of patients,’’ Oslan said.