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Collaborative Partners Bring New Virtual Care Option to Midstate

Virtual Behavioral Health Integration Available to Midstate Residents

When Charlotte-based Atrium Health and Macon, Ga.-based Navicent Health announced their strategic combination in January 2019, one primary objective of the partnership was to improve the depth and breadth of services offered to healthcare consumers in the Georgia market, particularly in the area of virtual care.

At that time, the two health systems announced that Atrium Health would invest capital and work with Navicent Health’s clinical experts to enhance services, particularly implementing innovative treatment models like virtual care and telepsychiatry to create the next generation of behavioral healthcare for Georgians. Now, one year into their combination, that goal has become a reality.

Working together, the partners have established the virtual behavioral healthcare integration (vBHI) program at outpatient clinics throughout the midstate. Healthcare consumers visiting Navicent Health’s outpatient clinics, and in need of behavioral healthcare, may be referred directly to a behavioral health professional, in a non-stigmatic fashion, and participate in a real-time virtual care visit while at their physician’s office, with no need to make a second appointment or delay care. Through virtual health technology, the patient and physician in Georgia can consult with the behavioral healthcare provider in North Carolina, and receive a real-time assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan.

“One of our primary concerns, not just at Navicent Health but throughout the state, is the stunning lack of behavioral health options for Georgians. Atrium Health is renowned for their method of providing real time behavioral care in their outpatient clinics, and one of our goals from the beginning was to bring those services – together with Atrium Health’s depth of knowledge – to Georgians. We are pleased with the initial success of this program, and look forward to assisting many who have needed care, but haven’t had the option until now,” said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, President and CEO of Navicent Health.

Currently, the system is averaging three referrals per provider per month. To date, almost 250 patients have been referred to the program. vBHI is currently provided at the following clinics, with more to come in the near future:

Central Georgia Family Medicine (120 N. Lee Street, Forsyth)

Family Health Center, Navicent Health (3780 Eisenhower Pkwy, Macon)

Primary Care Associates Baldwin, Navicent Health (2803 North Columbia Street, Milledgeville)

The addition of vBHI is but one of a number of virtual health initiatives that Navicent Health and Atrium Health plan to implement in order to dramatically improve access to high-quality, reasonably priced care and elevate hope and healing for healthcare consumers in the Georgia market. The announcement of the vBHI program follows the announcement of the virtual critical care and virtual patient observation programs.

About Navicent Health

Navicent Health, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Navicent Health provides care for healthcare consumers’ through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Navicent Health is dedicated enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.


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