Premera Blue Cross taps Quartet for behavioral health services

By Jonah Comstock

Quartet Health, a behavioral health startup that raised $40 million in a round led by Google Ventures in April, has struck a deal with Premera Blue Cross in Washington, the largest health plan in the Pacific Northwest.

As it has in previous payer partnerships, Quartet Health will help primary care physicians pinpoint which patients may need behavioral health support. Primary care physicians can then use the service to refer patients using Quartet’s referral network. Members can use Quartet Health's app to communicate with a psychiatrist via video or phone, participate in online treatment programs to help manage conditions, view resources and health information to learn about cognitive conditions, and connect with peers.

"There is a fundamental connection between behavioral and physical health; however, we often diagnose and treat these conditions separately. When we do so, the patient suffers from fragmented and siloed care,” Dr. Phil Colmenares, SVP and chief medical officer at Premera Blue Cross, said in a statement. “At Premera Blue Cross, we are committed to improving our customers’ lives by making healthcare work better and are excited to partner with Quartet, a company that makes behavioral health more accessible and integrated into primary care. This partnership is a major investment into that commitment as it will ensure that our patients with behavioral health conditions can more easily access the care they need to get better.”

It's been a busy few months for Quartet. In addition to the Google funding announced in April, this deal with Premera follows a similar one with Highmark, a large BCBS payer that serves Pennsylvania.

“The Premera team understands the value of integrating behavioral health into the primary care setting, and the importance of behavioral healthcare to the overall health and well-being of its members,” Arun Gupta, founder and CEO of Quartet, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with such a market-leading innovator to bring Quartet’s services to the state of Washington.”