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United States : WellCare offers Behavioral Health Care via Online Programs to Increase Access, Convenience and Engagement for Florida Members.

Approximately 43 million adults experience mental illness in a given year, according to Mental Health America. In Florida, more than 2.5 million adults suffer from mental illness. Because behavioral health issues can frequently accompany or complicate physical health issues, WellCare of Florida, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), offers its Medicare Advantage and Staywell Medicaid members free behavioral health care services via online cognitive-based therapy programs to address common behavioral health conditions. Through a computerized cognitive behavioral therapy suite of programs called COBALT, WellCare and Staywell members can use their computers, tablets or smartphones to focus on problem-solving and skill-building to identify thoughts, modify beliefs and change behaviors, all from the comfort of their homes. This convenient option eliminates the time and cost associated with traveling to appointments and missed work or school. COBALT is available with live support from trained behavioral health professionals. WellCare and Staywell members can sign up for self-guided, self-paced online programs for depression and mood disorders (MoodCalmer); anxiety, panic and phobias (FearFighter); sleep difficulty and insomnia (RESTORE); and substance and alcohol misuse (SHADE).

"We are continually looking for convenient and innovative new ways to help our members get the care and services they need," said Dr. Nicholas Abid, behavioral health director, WellCare of Florida. "COBALT's suite of programs is just one additional way we are helping our members manage their behavioral health care needs from the comfort of their own homes."SHADE has been evaluated in two randomized controlled clinical trials and is associated with reductions in depression as well as alcohol and cannabis use. This is equivalent to a therapist-delivered program and greater than a brief intervention or supportive counseling program.COBALT programs have received the highest rating from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). In its review, SAMHSA stated that the program "is effective (and) yielded strong evidence of a favorable effect."

As of Sept. 30, 2016, WellCare serves approximately 779,000 Medicaid members, 62,000 Florida Healthy Kids members, 93,000 Medicare Advantage members, and 29,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Florida.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Nov 18, 2016
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