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Cigna adds two tech companies to its behavioral health program

The collaboration with Happify Health and iPrevail is being offered to employers starting in 2019.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Cigna is expanding its behavioral health offerings by adding the digital platforms of technology companies, Happify Health and iPrevail.

The collaboration's activities and chatroom are aimed at helping beneficiaries improve their mental health and wellbeing through offering ways to deal with stress, anxiety and depression.

Beginning January 2019, Happify and iPrevail will be available to employers as part of the Cigna Total Behavioral Health program.

Happify supports emotional health needs from well-being and prevention to diagnosable mental health conditions. It offers personalized activities such as 3,000 science-based activities and games and 300 guided meditations.

iPrevail provides a private chat platform staffed by trained peers and wellness coaches for people experiencing stress. For members who are experiencing more serious issues such as depression or substance abuse, the digital platform offers personalized mental healthcare guidance.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Both hospitals and insurers are more frequently talking about and addressing the need to care for the whole person, mentally and emotionally, not just physically. It's the natural outcome of the shift to value-based care.

THE TREND

Hospitals such as Montefiore are investing in housing, food and transportation services for patients who must meet these needs to be able to pay attention to their medical care and prescriptions.

Rather than costing the system money, Montefiore said that addressing the social determinants of health has resulted in a 300 percent ROI.

Insurers gain from wellness investments that may prevent more serious, and expensive conditions.

The Humana Foundation recently invested $1.8 million to address the social determinants.
                       
ON THE RECORD                                                                              

"By enhancing the connection between mind and body, we can help people prevent serious health conditions and improve overall health and well-being," said Dr. Scott Josephs,national medical officer at Cigna.

"We are continuing to expand and evolve our behavioral health solutions to support the wide and varying mental well-being needs of the people we serve," said Julie McCarter, vice president, product solutions at Cigna. "It's our hope these new digital tools will help empower people to actively engage in their mental health, and make it easier to get support when they need it."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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