KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) launches Mindful by Blue KC, a new, enhanced initiative dedicated to making much-needed behavioral health services more accessible and affordable for members. Mindful by Blue KC builds on Blue KC's commitment to care for the health and wellness needs of the whole person.
Behavioral health conditions in patients, including major depressive disorder, tobacco and substance use disorders and anxiety, have seen notable increases since 2014, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Those numbers have risen even more sharply since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, almost forty percent of adults in the U.S. have said worry and stress related to the COVID-19 outbreak has had a negative impact on their mental health, according to this Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll.
"The launch of this program comes at a critical time. In the last several months, we have been challenged as a community and as individuals by events that have had a direct impact on our behavioral health. Access to affordable behavioral healthcare has never been more important," Blue KC President and Chief Executive Officer Erin Stucky said. "Since taking over as CEO, addressing the behavioral health needs of our members has been a top priority. Mindful by Blue KC demonstrates our commitment to delivering innovative solutions to an escalating health issue and to improve the overall health and well-being of our members."
Mindful by Blue KC offers tools and services to help members address behavioral health conditions like stress, depression, anxiety, substance use and more, all readily available beginning July 1:
Mindful Advocates – Licensed behavioral health clinicians available 24/7 by phone trained at navigating care, crisis management, benefits guidance and connecting members to appropriate services.
Online Therapy – Text or scheduled live chat, phone or video therapy to help with conditions like depression, anxiety and stress.
Expedited Access Network – Expedited response service to find an appointment with a behavioral health provider in the earliest window possible for a Blue KC member in crisis.
Employer Workshops and Resources – Workshops on Mental Health First Aid at Work and how to build an emotionally healthy workplace.
Online Self-Guided Tools – Interactive, individually-tailored applications to address depression, anxiety, stress, substance use, chronic pain and sleep challenges.
Well-Being Resources – Resources and support services including three visits per issue, at no cost, for help with major life events (divorce, adoption, loss), stress, financial issues, childcare and other everyday challenges.
"It's estimated that one in five U.S. adults live with a behavioral health condition, and half do not receive necessary treatment," said Blue KC Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Greg Sweat. "We estimate more than 100,000 members may have an untreated behavioral health condition, and we aim to remedy that by offering Mindful by Blue KC to address barriers to behavioral healthcare, such as access, affordability and stigma associated with using services — and we strive to empower our members to make behavioral healthcare part of their normal care routines."
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.