CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has selected behavioral health company ValueOptions to assist its bid efforts to serve as the managed care organization in TennCare’s East and West regions. ValueOptions, the nation’s largest independent behavioral health care company, specializes in disease management for all mental health and chemical dependency diagnoses. The company serves 24 million members and has more than 70,000 network practitioner locations across the country and in Tennessee.

“Behavioral health is a vital aspect to the overall care received by many in the TennCare population,” said Ron Harr, senior vice president of government programs for BlueCross. “ValueOptions has some unique and innovative ways of integrating behavioral services with medical services. When coupled with our 14 years of experience in TennCare, we think ValueOptions’ nationwide experience will allow us to be the very best at managing care.”

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that approximately one in four adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness. These disorders can result in the same premature death and lost productivity caused by cardiovascular disease or cancer. In fact, up to 90 percent of mental illnesses are treatable with medication or other therapies.

“Behavioral care is only one component of good mental health. An organization must also bridge the gaps between medical and pharmaceutical treatments,” explained Barbara Hill, CEO of ValueOptions. “Through this partnership, our organizations can take a holistic approach and positively impact the mental health of Tennesseans.”

According to Harr, BlueCross and ValueOptions have devised a seamless handoff and improved coordination between medical and behavioral health providers, efforts that will serve TennCare members well.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.