Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey and CarePlus Join Forces to Improve Behavioral Health Care through Increased Access, Better Outcomes and Innovative Contracting

The recent focus on behavioral health care has put pressure on both health insurance companies and service providers to find the best way to provide coordinated care to their members.

Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey (HRINJ) and Care Plus NJ, Inc. (CarePlus) will address these issues in a joint presentation at this year’s National Council for Behavioral Health (NATCON) Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey is a health insurance Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) that is exploring care coordination methods to meet its members’ needs, specifically for behavioral health services. The CO-OP currently serves approximately 40,000 members statewide. CarePlus is a community-based behavioral health center that is a leader in providing integrated services to individuals and families in Northern New Jersey.

Entitled, “Innovative Contracting Arrangements: Payment Reform at the Health Plan/Provider Interface”, the presentation focuses on how integrated care coordination can increase access to services, improve outcomes, and reduce expenses in behavioral health care. The presenters are Dina Melendez, an Advocate at Health Republic, and Kathy Bianco, VP of Clinical Services at CarePlus.

“New Jersey’s Behavioral Home Health model (BHH), which provided a person-centered system of care that addressed the various needs of the individual, had great outcomes, but it only benefitted the Medicaid populations,” explained Bianco. “That’s what inspired our approach to expand the reach of those services for people who do not qualify for the state BHH model.”

The presentation focuses on barriers to providing behavioral health care, defined as both mental health and substance abuse challenges. Integrated behavioral health covers four important aspects of holistic health care: primary health care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and access to social services.

“Our goal is to continue to set the standard and lead by example through our work at CarePlus. Working with Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey gives us the ability to do so on a much larger scale than what we can do on our own,” Bianco added.

The two organizations share numerous goals, and are collaborating specifically to reduce costly ambulatory utilization, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations. The BHH model at CarePlus has successfully created positive outcomes in these areas through their integrated care coordination. By addressing the gaps in services and focusing on “super-utilizers,” the CarePlus Health Management Solutions team has innovated a new way for insurance payers to support their most complex cases.

The 2016 National Council for Behavioral Health Conference will be held in Las Vegas, March 6-9. The CarePlus and HRINJ presentation will be on Tuesday, March 8, 3:15 p.m.

For more information, contact Caitlyn Yerves, Advocacy Specialist at CarePlus, at

About Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey

Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey is a non-profit, Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) that provides cost-effective and comprehensive healthcare coverage to individuals and small employer groups in New Jersey. HRINJ is a mission-and–health-based organization built to serve the best interests of its members. With no private shareholders, profits go towards ensuring individuals and small businesses served get the healthcare they need while providing ample services and reduced premiums. The majority of its board of directors are members of the plan, offering opportunities for input about the best way for HRINJ to deliver healthcare and attain optimal outcomes for members.

For more information, please visit You can also follow HRINJ on Facebook at or Twitter at

About Care Plus NJ, Inc.

CarePlus ( is a northern New Jersey provider of recovery-focused mental health, primary care, substance abuse, and family services that addresses the unique needs of individuals with a holistic approach to recovery and overall wellness. Operating out of 23 sites – including three outpatient centers located in Paramus, Fair Lawn, and Montclair, ten residential facilities, offices at three local hospitals, and seven community offices – their services are convenient to clients located throughout Northern New Jersey. They also provide educational programs on mental health-related topics to schools, organizations, and community groups; training topics including certified Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Prevention, Bullying Prevention and Crisis Planning and Intervention Strategies for Schools.