Millions of Americans suffer from repeated panic attacks (panic disorder or PD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is often accompanied by panic attacks. Among the most life-impairing behavioral health conditions, PD and PTSD are the top two causes of missed workdays, according to the World Health Organization. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) reports 40% of adults are having anxiety and depressive conditions during the pandemic, and PTSD has increased 55% since the pandemic began according to Employee Benefit News (EBN).
Behavioral health and clinical leaders increasingly support innovative mental health treatments that can improve member outcomes.
Digital therapeutics for panic attacks and PTSD symptoms are adjunctive to existing treatments—generally psychotherapy and medications—which do not address the underlying physiological component of these conditions. Numerous peer-reviewed studies have shown that chronic dysregulated breathing, due to an underlying hypersensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) in some people, sets the stage for panic attacks, which can appear suddenly or during exposure to stress or triggering situations. Augmenting traditional therapies means more members may have access to treatments that help them reduce or eliminate anxiety attacks.
For health insurance providers today, it’s critical to evaluate digital partnerships for proven and enduring outcomes beyond the hype. How did one leading plan use data to evaluate the impact of a new behavioral health digital therapy? Highmark partnered with Freespira for a real-world innovation pilot, and later made Freespira’s FDA-cleared digital therapeutic for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic disorder a broader covered benefit.
Discover some of the hidden indicators of panic disorder and PTSD across your members and learn about new innovations in telehealth treatment. Hear how Highmark used the Freespira program to address behavioral health priorities alongside cost, clinical and accessibility goals. Find out how you can apply the learnings to your behavioral health and engagement strategies.
Demetrios Marousis, MA, MBA, LPC
Director, Behavioral Health
As Director of Behavioral Health for Highmark, Demetrios Marousis leads a team of licensed mental health professional and nurses to perform utilization management activities and case management for Highmark’s insured lives, and is a contributor to Highmark’s parity compliance objectives. He is a creative solution-focused executive leader and clinician with experience providing strategic clinical, operational, compliance and quality leadership.
Demetrios is responsible for the creation and execution of strategies related to the Highmark response to the opiate epidemic, for designing and implementing processes and changes in response to legislative activities, and for coordinating and supporting enterprise behavioral health integration activities in the areas of provider relations, provider contracting, compliance quality, fraud/waste/abuse, and value-based reimbursement.
Robert Cuyler, PhD
Chief Clinical Officer
Robert N. Cuyler, PhD, is the Chief Clinical Officer of Freespira, Inc., which offers Freespira, an innovative intervention for the treatment of panic disorder, panic attack and PTSD. Dr. Cuyler is also the President of Clinical Psychology Consultants, LLP, his Houston practice.
With more than 15 years activity in behavioral health telemedicine, Dr. Cuyler previously served as Chief Executive Officer of JSA Health Telepsychiatry, as well as Clinical Advisor to MDLive/Breakthrough Behavioral and BrainCheck. His telemedicine activities have included implementation, reimbursement policy, practitioner training, technology choice, and business development. He is an author and presenter on telemedicine and technological innovations in behavioral health. He has co-authored one book and four book chapters on psychiatric telemedicine.