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Anthem Blue Cross and Motivo are Expanding Access to Counseling Services in California

November 01, 2021

Anthem Blue Cross of California has selected Motivo to receive a grant to help communities throughout California increase access to mental health and substance use disorder counseling services.
Anthem Blue Cross, one of California’s largest coordinators of Medicare and Medicaid benefits, has engaged Motivo, a leading healthcare technology developer, to increase access to mental health and substance use disorder services for Californians. Anthem has provided funding to Motivo to expand access to counseling services throughout the state. Motivo will utilize Anthem funding to roll out their technology solution to increase the number of licensed behavioral health counselors who are available to help Californians experiencing mental health or substance use disorders.
 
“COVID-19 introduced new barriers to addressing mental health and substance use disorder for individuals as well as counselors across California, and many communities continue to face barriers to accessing quality mental healthcare,” said Rachel McCrickard, Founder and CEO of Motivo. “We are beginning to understand the impacts of the pandemic on individuals’ mental health and well-being, and we are prepared to respond with solutions that effectively address barriers before they are exacerbated. Thanks to Anthem Blue Cross, we are able to launch those solutions across California to help build stronger, healthier communities.”
 
A recent study showed that 84 percent of surveyed health professionals saw an increase in the volume of patients they believe required mental health and substance use disorder services since the start of the pandemic. Also, nearly 75 percent of health professionals believe that negative mental health effects will linger for up to three years or longer after the pandemic subsides.
 
This increased demand is putting a strain on existing counseling services, and there are barriers that are keeping qualified therapists from helping to address this demand. There is a pool of pre-licensed therapists who are close to earning licensure to serve communities in need, but to earn their licenses, they have to first complete two years of work under the supervision of a licensed therapist. The barrier is that there is a very limited pool of supervisors within driving distance who can help them complete this prerequisite.
 
Motivo has developed an online platform that can connect pre-licensed mental health therapists with clinical supervisors through online videoconferencing. This approach can expedite the path toward licensure and increase access to critically needed care, so Anthem has stepped-up to fund the launch of this technology across the state.
 
“Anthem Blue Cross is living its commitment to listening to those on the front lines of behavioral healthcare to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of our communities – as demonstrated by Anthem’s inaugural State of the Nation’s Mental Health report, which documents a dramatic increase among individuals seeking mental health services,” said Les Ybarra, President of Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal health plan. “Through our partnership with Motivo, and investments in their innovative technology platform, we can succeed in addressing some of California’s most pressing needs, including increasing access to mental healthcare, enhancing workforce and eliminating disparities.”
 
Motivo will work directly with behavioral health organizations to extend their solution across the state, starting in California’s most underserved areas. The outcome is expected to be an increased pool of qualified therapists who will offer the needed counseling services that address the mental health and substance use disorder crisis, which continues to grow across the state.
Media Contact:
Michael Bowman
Michael.Bowman@anthem.com
Ph: (916) 584-6043