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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Expands Behavioral Health Crisis Services to Medicare Population

Teddy Wingert

| 3 min read

DETROIT, Nov. 14, 2023 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are expanding crisis services to the Medicare population for those in behavioral crises to receive prompt and appropriate health treatment.
Blue Cross has been developing crisis services for three years with success in HMO and PPO lines of business. It expanded access to commercial members in November 2022 and continues to grow by serving Medicare Advantage members starting in January 2024.
Through partnerships with community organizations to manage urgent crisis needs, Blue Cross covers crisis services across the lower peninsula of Michigan with providers who serve patients face-to-face or virtually. Combining crisis services with traditional behavioral health care creates a streamlined continuum of care, designed to effectively coordinate care over time. Facilitating individualized care enables providers to deliver the right care in the right setting at the right time with the goals of achieving short and long-term remission.
“The emergency room has been a go-to resource for behavioral crises for well-over 70 years, but some do not need that level of care, or the environment can be inherently less settling even though lifesaving in many circumstances,” said Dr. William Beecroft, medical director of behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Having access to a safe, specialized facility that accurately assesses, diagnoses, plans and modifies treatments as needed makes the world of difference when needing stabilization during a crisis. The public and private partnerships that make these services possible are extremely beneficial to our members and we’re thrilled to expand crisis services to the Medicare population in the new year.”
Services are available at participating facilities and include psychiatric urgent care, mobile crisis assessment, crisis stabilization and residential crisis treatment.
Psychiatric Urgent Care: Urgent walk-in service to address immediate assessment and treatment needs for patients that cannot wait for routine outpatient treatment and care.
Mobile Crisis: Emergency mobile mental health assessment and intervention for adults and children in immediate crisis. Mobile unit can be deployed to home, office or emergency department.
Crisis Stabilization: 24/7 recovery-oriented crisis center that offers emergency assessment, intervention and stabilization for urgent/emergent situations.
Crisis Residential: Designed for short-term residential crisis treatment for adults ready to actively participate in recovery.
Expanding crisis care to Medicare members is just one step of many to come in the projected growth of behavioral health care services. BCBSM is actively working to expand crisis services and recruit providers in Southeast and West Michigan in order to reach larger populations. In 2024 and beyond, Blue Cross aims to expand services statewide including expanding to Michigan’s upper peninsula.
For a current list of provider facilities, please visit the bcbsm.com/crisiscare. To learn more about crisis services, go to MIBluesPerspectives.com.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, provides health benefits to nearly 5.2 million members. The company is committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses and individuals. Based in Detroit since 1939, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care across Michigan. BCBSM is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.

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MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association