Evergreen Health, a Maryland-based consumer-operated and oriented plan known as a CO-OP funded by the federal government under the Affordable Care Act, has gone where few other health plans have dared to go. It is taking a collaborative or holistic approach that fully integrates behavioral health with primary care for more meaningful results.

Examples include the use of a health “coach” who screens each member for depression, anxiety and substance use, while primary care practitioners provide medication management of routine psychotropic medications. In addition, the CO-OP has responded to a nationwide shortage of psychiatrists through a tele-psychiatry service on Skype in 2015 aimed at reducing wait times for appointments and enabling providers to operate more efficiently.

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