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                                                                                          City Commission News:

New Partnership Creates Opportunity for High-End, Cost-Effective Mental Health and Substance Abuse Care Options for Veterans and First Responders

UpHealth, Inc. announced credentialing with New Directions Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida at its Olympus Recovery facility, a mental health and substance abuse recovery center in Delray Beach, Fla. that specializes in curriculum-based programs created with decades of experience in substance abuse treatment. The facility also features a highly specialized program for veterans and first responders that provides a safe place for these communities to recover from mental health issues and substance use disorders.

Olympus Recovery is now partnered with eight insurance providers in the state of Florida, including Cigna, Magellan, Bright Healthcare and Multiplan. The program is also in the process of being credentialed with six additional payers in the coming months to offer cost-effective, high-quality care. Blue Cross Blue Shield's statewide network, Florida Blue, is one of the state's largest insurers, covering more than 4 million patients.

"The continued expansion of credentialing at our Olympus facility continues our efforts with UpHealth's behavioral health services business to deliver high-quality and cost-effective care," said Ramesh Balakrishnan, CEO of UpHealth. "The partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield expands opportunities for the facility to offer its specialized care programs to more patients, especially to our nation's first responders and veterans, at a lower cost with high quality of care."

Unique to the Olympus Recovery Center is its First Responder Care Program, a treatment service designed specifically for military veterans and first responders. Many veterans and first responders face similar challenges, such as PTSD. Men and women in these professions are subject to higher levels of physical, emotional and mental stress, and as their jobs have become even more demanding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, studies show they experience some of the country's highest rates of substance abuse, depression and suicide. A study published in the journal Cognitive Behavior Therapy found that COVID-19 first responders reported higher alcohol use during the pandemic and first responders reported having more anxiety, depression, and greater rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than the general public surrounding COVID-19 overall. 

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns about mental health and substance use grew significantly and access to facilities like Olympus are more important now than ever. The goal of any treatment program is complete, long-term recovery and we are proud to be serving our nations heroes in ways that are proven to be most helpful to them," said Lisa Fluxman, president of behavioral health at UpHealth. "Our program has successfully treated many veterans and first responders nationwide, setting them on the path to healthy lives. The addition of Blue Cross Blue Shield into the Olympus facility's network makes access to this critical care even more available to these individuals and many others who are in need of safe spaces for their recovery journeys."

First Responder Care Program gives these individuals a better chance at successful recovery with treatments tailored to their needs within a small group setting, combining behavioral and mental health treatments to achieve lasting recovery. The program includes specialized treatment for issues like trauma management, anger management, PTSD management and resolution, stress and anxiety resources and rebuilding family relationships. Upon completing the program, patients can access additional resources to help manage stress and ensure their ongoing overall wellness.

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