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Carenet Health and ProtoCall Services Establish Partnership to Meet Demand for Behavioral Health Crisis Support


SAN ANTONIO, Texas, July 15, 2020 – Carenet Health, one of the nation’s largest providers of 24/7 telehealth and healthcare engagement solutions, and Oregon-based ProtoCall Services, the leading contact center for specialty behavioral health services, have joined forces to offer a crisis support line model that triages both physical and mental health needs from a single point of contact.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, at least one in five adults experiences mental illness each year; the statistic is one in six for ages 6-17. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the problem, with studies finding at least half of all American adults report the crisis is harming their psychological wellbeing. Meanwhile, Medicaid and Medicare managed care plans and commercial health plans alike have been seeking ways to improve behavioral health crisis support.

Vikie Spulak, Chief Client Officer at Carenet, said there has been immediate demand for the offering— which is a natural extension of Carenet’s 24-hour virtual care model.

“With our nurse triage center as the cornerstone of our telehealth offerings, we see ourselves as an on-demand front door for healthcare consumers to access a multitude of care types and specialties,” she said. “A patient shouldn’t have to contact two or three different support lines to receive the level of support they need.”

The combined Carenet Health-ProtoCall crisis support model allows their health plan and health system clients to provide one dedicated contact number for medical symptoms or behavioral health issues. Upon initial triage, those determined to be facing a behavioral health crisis are routed to ProtoCall’s licensed behavioral health clinicians who assess the crisis, coordinate activities needed to de-escalate situations and connect patients to resources for longer-term solutions.

If individuals are experiencing physical medical-related symptoms or have non-emergency medical questions, they are placed in a typical nurse advice/triage workflow for assistance. Many clients also choose to include direct access to virtual physician e-consults, as well.

“This model delivers a number of benefits … cost-effective resource management, a seamless patient experience, appropriate utilization of specialty services and the highest-quality care,” Spulak said. “It wouldn’t be possible without ProtoCall’s more than 25 years of experience in telephonic crisis assessment, intervention and stabilization services.”

ProtoCall CEO Phil Evans noted the two companies share a strong dedication to providing 24-hour access to meaningful, evidence-based care. “At ProtoCall, we’ve long been committed to closing the gap between personalized behavioral health care and immediate, on-demand access when and where it’s needed. With the evolving pandemic, that’s becoming an even more urgent requirement, and our partnership with Carenet is another important step forward not just for us, but for the industry.”


About Carenet Health: Carenet Health is one of the healthcare industry’s leading consumer engagement and telehealth partners—providing member and patient engagement, clinical support, virtual care and advocacy solutions on behalf of 250+ of the nation’s premier health plans, providers, health systems and Fortune 500 companies. One in five Americans have access to Carenet’s services, and in the first six months of 2020, Carenet’s nurse triage center handled more than 2.2 million calls—one every 8.6 seconds. The company’s innovative Virtual Clinic sets the standard for a seamless navigation model for consumer-centric telehealth care. Carenet is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with additional campuses in New Mexico, Maine and the Philippines. For more information, please visit

About ProtoCall Services: Founded in 1992, ProtoCall Services is now the nation’s largest provider of behavioral health call center services. More than 400 organizations utilize their services, and the company’s 140+ experienced clinicians, counselors, care associates and certified peer support specialists respond to 600,000+ calls annually. ProtoCall’s masters-level clinical professionals respond to callers 24 hours a day, with immediate support, crisis intervention and stabilization. Numerous accreditations and licensure assure all services meet best-practice standards for crisis assessment and intervention. ProtoCall is a past recipient of the National Council for Behavioral Healthcare’s “Excellence in Service to the Behavioral Healthcare Industry” award. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Skip Dampier, 210-595-2016,

Laura Schaefer, 877-819-0287,


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