Addressing the Demand for Mental Health Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On this episode of Managed Care Cast, we speak with Gregory Harris, MD, MPH, DFAPA, senior medical director for behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, about the challenges of meeting the demand for mental health service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented boom in telehealth use, especially when it comes to services provided for mental health. With the combined toll of a global pandemic, economic hardships, and protracted grief, Americans’ mental health has jumped to the forefront of the national conversation.

A recent analysis, published by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, illustrates this seismic shift in care delivery and demand for mental health services. Researchers compiled claims data from March through December of 2019 and compared it with the same time frame in 2020.

To learn more about the report’s findings and to understand the challenges of providing these services to patients during a pandemic, we spoke with Gregory Harris, MD, MPH, DFAPA, the senior medical director for behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

On this episode of Managed Care Cast, Harris describes his experience as a psychiatrist and offers some solutions to meet the growing demand for this field in the months and years following COVID-19.

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