Skip to main content

#LIVINGPROOF

The difference you can make when you're all for health.

Helping your mind helps your body like clockwork

David had been following his passion — repairing clocks — for 40 years. Then heart surgery forced him to stop.

A difficult recovery led him to feelings of worry and despair.

He was anxious about his business and his finances. And he wondered if he would ever fully heal.

"I've had breathing difficulties since the surgery," David added. "I usually get anxious and lose my breath at the same time."

Through Highmark's partnership with Quartet, David was able to get the care he needed. Quartet identified David's problem and helped his primary care physician (PCP) get him an appointment with a behavioral health specialist. That way his mental and physical health could be treated together.

"I'd never seen a counselor," said David. "I decided to go because I didn't know whether my health problems were causing my anxiety or if my anxiety was causing my health problems."

After treating body and mind together, David's symptoms improved. He no longer has frequent panic attacks, and his depression has lifted.

He's back to fixing clocks — and enjoying every minute of it.

"Highmark saved his life!" said his wife Karen.

David is living proof that helping the mind heals the body.

Working together to improve access

Highmark works with partners like Quartet to clear away roadblocks and get members the specialized care they need.

Quartet uses data to identify Highmark members who might benefit from behavioral health support. And their easy-to-use technology platform makes it simple for PCPs to make referrals to the right behavioral health specialists for their patients.

Quartet works to:

Through the platform, doctors can also identify members who are at risk or may have undiagnosed mental health conditions and get them the treatment they need. It will also flag members who have been diagnosed but are not in treatment. Doctors can then provide additional support.

Connecting the dots between physical and mental health helps get members into care faster.

Before, it could take months to get an appointment with a behavioral health specialist. Too often, members get discouraged by the wait and never get the care they need.

Now, it might only take days.

Helping members with chronic conditions

Increasing access to mental health care is especially important when chronic health conditions like heart disease are involved.

Growing evidence shows close ties between chronic disease and mental health, according to Barb Gray, RN, and senior vice president of Clinical Services at Highmark.

Two thirds of adults with asthma, diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also have a mental health issue, according to a recent IMPACT Study.

That complicates their care.

So Quartet screens members for warning signs when they visit their PCP offices. And they follow up with the members if there are concerns.

Connecting physical and mental health

In the first year of the partnership, Highmark and Quartet have connected thousands of doctors, behavioral health specialists, and members in the Pittsburgh area.

"I had always been reluctant to talk to people about personal issues, but it's good that I'm talking to someone now," said David. "Highmark and Quartet helped me get here. I'd recommend it to other people."

Download the Quick Start Guide to Emotional Well-Being

Additional information

Share This

Twitter