Today We

treat physical and behavioral health as one.

Physical and behavioral health go hand in hand. Our goal: building a health care system to match.

Millions of North Carolinians live with behavioral health issues. These include mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, ADHD and schizophrenia, as well as substance use disorders. Though physical and behavioral health are connected, care is often separate. For example, a patient may have diabetes and depression but see two different health care providers who don’t coordinate with each other. As a result, treatment plans are created in a vacuum without a full picture of the patient’s overall health. Compounding the problem: affordable behavioral health care can be difficult to come by. And social, cultural and other disparities can further limit access to care.

Access to behavioral health care is essential. So is connecting the dots of patients’ total health. Behavioral health disorders are strongly linked to the risk and progression of serious physical conditions including diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer.1 And the health care costs of a patient with a chronic health condition and a behavioral health disorder are two to three times more than a chronically ill patient without a behavioral health disorder.2

See how we’re looking at patients’ total health, and the total health care system, to transform behavioral health care.


Increasing access to care.

For starters, we’re better integrating behavioral health into primary care.

Research shows that doing so improves patient health and reduces health care costs.4 That’s why we’re working with a leading mental health care technology and services company, Quartet Health, to help accelerate primary care/behavioral health care integration. Learn what else we’re doing to help North Carolinians get access to the right care when they need it.

Creating solutions that break stigma.

Science has proven that substance use disorders are chronic brain diseases that can be managed with medical treatment.

That’s why we’ve made substantial investments in proven programs that treat those with substance use disorders. We’re also supporting a national nonprofit in creating a rating system that provides accurate information on high-quality addiction treatment programs. This system will ultimately enable North Carolinians to discover the best care and the best experience for lower costs.

  1. Mental Health.” (2019) The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Accessed July 2019.
  2. Potential economic impact of integrated medical-behavioral healthcare.” Milliman Research Report, 2018. Accessed January 2019.
  3. Evaluating State Mental Health and Addiction Parity Statutes: State Report Card, North Carolina.” The Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity, Well Being and Parity Track, 2018. Accessed August 2019.
  4. What is Integrated Behavioral Health?” Agency for Research Health and Quality, US Department of Human Health and Services. Accessed September 2019.