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Centene, Quartet Extend Ties for Mental Health Solutions

Centene Corporation CNC and Quartet Health have expanded their existing partnership forged in June 2019 to help members effortlessly access the behavioral health care they need.

While initially both companies served members in Illinois and Louisiana, with the extension of this alliance, they will be catering to the entire nation. The company will also be providing virtual care facilities for members who wish to access healthcare solutions from the comforts of their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remote consultation will be possible through the utilization of Quartet's national network of care options, which includes virtual tele-psychiatry and tele-therapy. Virtual care is most preferred as patient chooses to avoid health care services in person. In May 2020, nearly 80% of the appointments that Quartet scheduled for patients were for online care.

The ongoing worldwide crisis aggravated mental illness and behavioural issues. In March, more than two-thirds of Americans reportedly complained of anxiety or depression, per a McKinsey & Company survey. In April, three times as many adults reported psychological distress as they did two years prior.

Favorable industry and legislative trends also prompt Centene to deepen its toes in the behavioral market. Per a 2018 poll conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA), 19.1% of adults in the United States, aged 18 years or above, registered as patients with mental illness in 2018 while 4.6% showed symptoms of a serious mental condition.

Further, approximately 7.8% people — aged 12 years or older — in 2018, required substance use treatment. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 20% of adolescents, either currently or at some point in their life, had a severe debilitating mental disorder. The market for behavioral services will consistently expand on the growing awareness of mental health and substance abuse as well as treatment options available to address such complications.

Increasing awareness and a widespread social acceptance of comportemental health problems will offer health suppliers an avenue of market opportunities. Clinical developments lent an enlightened perspective to both psychological and detoxification therapies. The advancement in the behavioral health industry is driven by distant consulting and day care. Novel approaches to mental health management programs and a favorable supply-demand chain are some other factors that bode well for the behavioral healthcare market, which will aid the company’s growth eventually.

Another major player in the behavioral health care market is Acadia Healthcare ACHC, which set up a unit with Tower Health to expand its reach in the industry.

The stock of Centene has gained 4.34% year to date against the industry’s decline of 4%.

The company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently. Better-ranked stocks in the same space include Humana Inc. HUM and UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) each at present. Earnings of the Humana and UnitedHealth company surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 10.13% and 11.64%, respectively.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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