U Squared Introduces Industry First ROI Calculator For Health Plan Investment in On-line Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Beta Test Partners To Be Announced


PITTSBURGH, PA., Feb. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Last week, U Squared Interactive, a joint venture between UPMC Insurance Services and Ultrasis PLC, officially introduced the Beating the Blues US CCBT ROI Calculator, a tool to enable health plan executives estimate and track return on investment (ROI) of providing computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT). The announcement was made during a national executive web briefing, "On-Line Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: The Return-On-Investment For Health Plans," hosted by UPMC Executive Sharon Hicks and OPEN MINDS CEO, Monica E. Oss.

The ROI Calculator was the culmination of more than six months of research sponsored by U Squared Interactive and conducted by OPEN MINDS. "The CCBT ROI Calculator was created to allow health plan executives to use their own plan data in the estimation of potential financial return from investing in CCBT – and also track that financial return. Our approach was a very conservative one – focused on the cost-offset only of therapy and medication for depression and anxiety. But we have designed the model to allow health plan partners to not only use their own plan data, but add evaluation components," said Ms. Oss.

"With increasing focus on integrated care management and delivery models – ACOs, medical homes, integrated service delivery – for consumers with complex needs, CCBT is of increasing interest to health plans. CBT is the 'gold standard' of therapies for depression and anxiety disorders – and CCBT is the most cost-effective way to provide wide access to highly effective treatment," said Ms. Hicks.

In the recently released U Squared white paper, "On-Line Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: The Return-On-Investment For Health Plans", an update on health plan spending patterns for depression and anxiety reported that seven percent of Americans suffer from depression, while 18 percent are affected by anxiety. The impact the U.S. economy is significant, costing more than $52 billion annually, half in medical expenses, the other in lost productivity for depression and $40 billion annually, the majority of expenses associated with general medical costs, not psychiatric treatment for anxiety.

Interestingly, the data also shows 60 percent of patients diagnosed with a chronic physical illness also have depression or anxiety; respectively 20-50 percent of patients with a co-morbid medical condition, such as cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, cancer and solid organ transplant experience similar symptoms.

U Squared Interactive is now making the Beating the Blues US ROI Calculator available to payers and care managers. Interested organizations can email info@U2interactive.com.

And, John Smith, COO, announced U Squared Interactive will be seeking five health plan or care manager partners that are interested in participating in a longitudinal study of CCBT impact on health plan utilization and spending. Additionally, U Squared Interactive is offering Beating the Blues US at a reduced 'set up' cost to willing partners. Interested organizations should contact Mr. Smith at info@U2interactive.com.

"Research findings and cost-savings projections from The Beating the Blues US ROI Calculator make CCBT products an intriguing option for any U.S. health plan, EAP, or provider organization," said Smith. "The next step is to find some forward-thinking health plans to partner with to further validate, in a documented case study, the extremely high return-on-investment this revolutionary treatment has to offer."

To view the full executive briefing on the Beating the Blues US ROI Calculator, please visit, http://www.openminds.com/library/012914-usquared-cbt-roi.htm.

U2 Interactive's mission is to support all healthcare stakeholder communities in creating innovative and cost effective computer based solutions for everyday health problems, lifestyle issues, and long-term conditions. U2 Interactive believes in delivering evidenced based treatment via interactive and easy to use software programs. U Squared is jointly owned by UPMC & Ultrasis PLC and head quartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

CONTACT: John Smith, Chief Operating Officer, 412-864-4141, info@U2interactive.com

Source: Open Minds