Belong Health Adds Medical Group Focused on Helping D-SNP Beneficiaries

Jan. 9, 2024
Regional insurer MVP Health Care is the first to offer Belong Medical Group’s Mental Health Connector to its members

Belong Health, which partners with health plans to deliver care to underserved and complex populations in Medicare Advantage and Special Needs Plans, has created its own medical group to help partners address chronic care gaps.

The Philadelphia-area company, which launched in 2021, said its Belong Medical Group supplements existing care infrastructure with virtual and community-based resources to care for every member – even those that are historically hard to reach. The team includes operators, clinicians, registered nurses, licensed clinical social workers and community health workers with extensive experience serving high-needs populations.  

Belong Medical Group was built to serve high-needs patients, including the 11 million Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) members with complex issues, low incomes and pre-existing conditions. 
 
"The clinician shortage in the U.S. continues to worsen and existing care delivery models fail to meet the needs of patients, particularly those that are dually eligible,” said Belong Health CEO J. Patrick Foley, in a statement. “Belong Medical Group is an innovative new model of care delivery that ensures the full integration of services, reduces fragmented care and drives operational efficiencies.” 

Foley was formerly president of Cigna's $1.5 billion revenue Medicare Advantage and Special Needs business in the Mid-Atlantic. Belong Health launched with a Series Seed investment from Maverick Ventures.

 By providing transitional care, Belong Medical Group said it helps plans serving D-SNP beneficiaries and providers participating in CMS’ ACO REACH model by: 
• Bridging gaps in care through home-based and virtual specialty care services delivered by members of Belong Medical Group’s Clinician and Care Management team.
• Ensuring equitable access to care in urban and rural areas by meeting patients where they are.
• Seamlessly integrating with the provider community to ensure that care is coordinated with their local provider for longitudinal care. 
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Mental Health Connector is the first clinical solution available through Belong Medical Group. It serves patients without a current mental health provider or those with worsening chronic mental illness. These patients are identified during health risk assessments or hospital and ER admissions as having unmet mental health needs that require follow-up. 

MVP Health Care, a regional nonprofit health insurer serving New York and Vermont, is the first to offer Mental Health Connector to its members.

"Since the inception of our pilot program with Belong Medical Group, we have witnessed notable improvements in the depression scores of our members who have sought care from our dedicated Mental Health Connector clinicians,” said Carl Cameron, MVP Health Care’s chief medical officer, in a statement.


Patients enrolled in Mental Health Connector receive treatment from Belong Medical Group's clinicians for up to 90 days. The treatment plan put in place by Belong Medical Group’s psychiatrist or mental health specialist is then transitioned to either the patient's primary care provider for ongoing management, or to a longitudinal mental health clinician in the community. The goal is to both diagnose and address unmet mental health needs when patients need it most and then to triage the right level of care for the patient long-term once the issues are stabilized, the company said. This bridge to longitudinal care not only reduces the cost of care, it improves quality scores.

 

 

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