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In its latest effort to address critical mental health needs in North Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) today announced it is expanding its network of behavioral health providers through a collaboration with Headway, a mental health care company that works with insurers to deliver high-value mental health care. Together the two companies will make it easier for Blue Cross NC members to quickly access – as soon as 48 hours – in-network therapists and psychiatrists who meet their specific needs.

The focus of the collaboration is on improving access to care for underserved communities, including rural and socially vulnerable counties, children and adolescents, and individuals across diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. This collaboration will help solve a significant health care challenge in North Carolina – the shortage of behavioral health specialists. North Carolina ranks 38th in access to mental health care,1 and 61 of the state’s 100 counties have no psychiatrists treating children and adolescents.2

The two companies began working to expand in-network providers in May. Blue Cross NC members may find a provider and set up an appointment either through Blue Cross NC’s online provider directory or at https://headway.co/bluecrossnc.

“Too many North Carolinians have difficulty finding mental health services for their specific needs, especially given the overall shortage of mental health providers,” said Dr. Nora Dennis, lead medical director of behavioral health and health equity at Blue Cross NC. “Working with Headway gives us the ability to quickly add to the number of providers who accept Blue Cross NC insurance and allows more members to find convenient, appropriate care.”

For more details on this update, read the full press release