BCBSMA offers members OneHealth's behavioral health app-enabled program

By Brian Dolan
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OneHealthOnTheGoEmoticonCheckinBlue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has added a mobile and online offering, called OneHealth, to bolster its mental health and behavioral health programs. OneHealth offers members 24/7 structured peer support, education and tools to aide in the recovery from substance abuse, according to the health insurance company. The program uses social media and real-time tracking to monitor emotional states and to provide anonymous peer supports to help the member or their dependents stay sober.

Last summer Boston Medical Center, a safety-net hospital and affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine, began using the OneHealth system -- which was originally designed to treat substance abuse, depression and other behavioral issues -- to its patient-centered medical home initiative. Boston Medical Center offers low-income patients access to the OneHealth online and mobile platform to promote self-management of chronic diseases, offer peer support and engage them in between office visits.

In April 2013 OneHealth announced a $9 million second round of funding from existing investor Lemhi Ventures to expand its services and help support its growing list of customers, which at that time included deals with Cenpatico, healthcare management organization Magellan, insurer Amerigroup, and food and drug retailer Safeway.

OneHealth was founded in 2008 as OneRecovery, and initially focused on working with addiction treatment centers to use social and gamification methods to help people dealing with addiction. Once it proved out the model it began applying its program to other mental health and behavioral conditions.

BCBSMA cited data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that stated 42.5 million adults in the US, or about 18 percent of the country's adult population, have some kind of behavioral or mental health disorder.

“Life can be challenging at times,” Dr. Ken Duckworth, Medical Director for Behavioral Health at BCBSMA said in a statement. “People cope very differently with obstacles - often impacting their mental health. One of our highest priorities at Blue Cross is the health and wellbeing of our members which is why we have a comprehensive and integrated Behavioral Health Program and are introducing new tools to support our members through their entire continuum of care.”