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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Brattleboro Retreat Plans Collaborative With Health Insurer

AP/Toby Talbot

Vermont's largest health insurance provider and the largest private psychiatric hospital are working together and creating what they believe will be a better way to deliver both traditional and mental health care.

Officials from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and the Brattleboro Retreat say they've created a new business called Vermont Collaborative Care designed that will integrate mental health and substance abuse care with traditional health care.

Officials say the new organization will be most valuable for patients who have medical conditions and mental health needs at the same time.

Brattleboro Retreat CEO Rob Simpson says the need to integrate services has been discussed for years, but little progress has been made until now.

Vermont Collaborative Care will begin operations July 1.