The Impact of Connective Care

Ayòbámi Olúfadéjì MD, MBA
September 14, 2023

Earlier this year we launched Connective Care in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Since introducing this integrated model, patients have had greater access to providers as well as services like mental health care. 

The model advances our mission to make great healthcare accessible to everyone – for example, when a patient can virtually meet with a provider during a lunch break, or walk into a clinic for a blood draw. In fact, nearly half (about 45%) of our patients in Massachusetts have utilized both virtual and in-person modalities at Carbon Health so far.


In Massachusetts, where wait times can be several weeks before seeing a provider, there is a great need for primary care access. So far 90+% of patients have seen a virtual primary care provider in less than a week, and 47% of patients have been able to get an appointment within 24 hours of their booking. 

“I had tried to address the issues with my [former] provider in person but the wait times for an appointment were 4-6 months - whereas with Carbon I was able to book the next day. In-person appointments always felt so rushed - so much so that I was often unable to bring up my concerns.”  - Carbon Health patient

Furthermore, our teams are proactive in ensuring follow-up after our patients establish care — 65% of the time, patients are able to conveniently book their follow-up at the conclusion of their first visit. This proactive approach exemplifies our dedication to ensuring patients have access to uninterrupted care. 

Integrated teams

One of the standout components of the model is Collaborative Care, which integrates mental health with primary care. This has resulted in the ability to provide mental health services to patients in days (rather than months) and in an affordable way covered by their primary care insurance benefit. 90% of patients were able to get access to a behavioral health specialist within seven days of a referral from their clinician. So far, ~17% of our primary care patients in MA have been referred to our mental health program, of which more than 80% have enrolled and are undergoing treatment.  

We have observed a 27% decrease in PHQ-9 and a 28% decrease in the GAD-7 scores for this cohort. On average, 41% of patients with PHQ-9 greater than 10 and 42% of patients with GAD-7 scores greater than 10 have a 5+ decrease in their scores (which is deemed to be clinically significant). For those who have completed at least two months in the program, 53% of patients have had a 5+ point reduction in their PHQ scores and 60% have had a 5+ point decrease in GAD scores. This comprehensive care model ensures that we can seamlessly work with patients on their physical and mental health goals.  

“Virtual primary care has allowed me to actually take care of my health. Going into doctor's offices has given me anxiety since I was a kid.  So much so that I avoided going for many years. Additionally, working with a collaborative care model has helped ease my health anxiety as all aspects of health including mental health are considered.” 

Measurement-led care

Beyond PHQ-9, we believe capturing data from patients in between visits with connected blood pressure cuffs and self-reported data from symptom logging can drive a more continuous care model that yields higher engagement and ultimately better outcomes.  

Through the Carbon Health app, patients can log symptoms like cough or pain, share PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores with their primary care and mental health providers, and see how their food and activity choices affect their continuous glucose data.  

So far, we have collected four log entries per patient this year, and have seen a profound impact where the logged data allows providers to rapidly change medications between visits.  Log entries also help confirm that a care plan is yielding symptom improvements and that the patient is on track with recovery.  

Happy patients

Patient satisfaction with Carbon Health's Connective Care model is nothing short of remarkable, with an astounding Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 96. Patients consistently report that their experience with the program is the best they have had in healthcare. The attentive and compassionate nature of our providers, supported by the presence of care guides to enhance communication, has contributed to this high level of satisfaction.

“I love this setup and I don't want to leave it for any reason at all.  I love my team and they have been great to work with.  It honestly makes 'going to the doctor' a joy for us.” 

As we grow the program for our patients in Massachusetts, we’re focused on continued engagement that yields positive clinical outcomes. Based on the success of our program in Massachusetts, we launched Connective Care in California earlier this year. Learn more about what the program can do for you. 

Ayòbámi Olúfadéjì MD, MBA

Ayòbámi Olúfadéjì MD, MBA is an emergency physician who is passionate about developing systems of healthcare delivery. He is the Vice President of Clinical Innovation at Carbon Health where leads the design and implementation of the Connective Care model and additional service lines.

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