SoNE HEALTH Enables Behavioral Health Support Through Primary Care Collaboration with Concert Health

Author: Sarika Aggarwal, MD, MHCM is Chief Population Health Officer at SoNE HEALTH

For many, accessing mental and behavioral health care can be challenging—whether it’s a lack of providers, high out-of-pocket costs, or a lack of access to appointments. To further pursue the mission of SoNE HEALTH to continually improve quality and patient outcomes, SoNE HEALTH is kicking off a collaboration with a leading behavioral health medical group, Concert Health, to integrate behavioral health support within the primary care setting.

Since 2019, we’ve been partnering with health systems across Connecticut to bring evidence-based treatment for behavioral health symptoms to thousands of residents,” said Kathryn Sacks-Colon, LCSW-R, Concert Health Regional Director. “With over ten years of experience scaling collaborative care, we’ve seen over half of the patients’ symptoms of depression or anxiety significantly reduce within the first 90 days. We’re so excited to bring this model to the SoNE community and team up with more providers throughout the state.”

Together, SoNE HEALTH and Concert Health will be delivering Collaborative Care—an evidence-based model proven to identify and treat patients with depression and anxiety within the primary care setting. Beginning September 2021, SoNE HEALTH’s primary care practitioners will have the support to provide patients with immediate access to Concert’s network of 130 Behavioral Care Managers and Psychiatric Consultants. These expert clinicians will work directly with SoNE HEALTH practices to connect patients to care within 24 hours from the privacy of their homes, develop behavioral health care plans, review symptom reduction, and make any necessary adjustments.

SoNE HEALTH views this collaborative model as essential in our strategy to integrate behavioral health into our primary care offices. The care team jointly supports both the patients and primary care providers in building a unified whole-person care plan based on patient needs.

This collaboration places the SoNE HEALTH network at the center of all physical and behavioral aspects of patients’ care. The implementation of Collaborative Care is specifically designed to increase access to evidence-based behavioral healthcare.

Working together, SoNE HEALTH primary care teams and Concert Health will deliver high-quality, behavioral health services at scale in the following ways:

  • Patients will be screened for depression and anxiety using evidence-based tools: Without screening, over half of the people who struggle with depression and/or anxiety do not get the care and treatment they need.
  • Instead of external referrals, primary care providers make warm handoffs to behavioral health providers: SoNE HEALTH’s primary care providers will work closely with a dedicated team of Concert’s behavioral health care managers to provide support in less than 24 hours.
  • Patients receive evidence-based clinical interventions: Behavioral health care managers provide a mix of medication adherence, goal setting, symptom monitoring and talk treatment. Patients are given the choice of engaging via video visit or telephone.
  • The care team is aligned around measurement-based care: A core part of Collaborative Care includes regularly assessing behavioral health symptoms, much like is done for diabetes (A1Cs) or hypertension (blood pressure). Concert Health’s team regularly assesses patients’ symptom severity using evidence-based tools like the Personal Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ9), General Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD7), and Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and works with patients to update goals and care plans which will foster symptom reduction.
  • Psychiatric consultations support the primary care provider:  Concert’s consulting psychiatric providers speak weekly with the care managers to review patients who are not experiencing symptom reductions.

SoNE HEALTH has taken a strategic approach to identify key collaborations to increase efficiency and quality in health care delivery, leading to improvement in patient experience and health care outcomes. SoNE HEALTH is excited to bring Concert’s evidence-based model to screen and treat patients through the comfort of their primary care provider.


Sarika Aggarwal

Sarika Aggarwal, MD, MHCM is Chief Population Health Officer at SoNE HEALTH