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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Expands Behavioral Health Care Access With Thousands of Additional Providers

With nearly 4,000 Headway providers now in-network, BCBSTX members receive two to three times faster access to first appointment

RICHARDSON, Texas — Following a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) network expansion in January, BCBSTX members now have access to nearly 4,000 in-network behavioral health providers through Headway and are able to receive care two to three times faster than average.

BCBSTX’s network expansion comes at a critical moment. A recent Gallup survey indicates that depression in the United States is at an all-time high, with one third of Americans diagnosed with depression in their lifetimes.

By significantly increasing the number of in-network behavioral health providers for BCBSTX members, via in-person and telehealth options, BCBSTX leaders are taking a multi-pronged approach to enhance behavioral health initiatives.

“We always want to improve access to behavioral health care — it’s extremely important. When time is critical, and someone needs help, making it fast and simple to see a provider for that first appointment is a top goal,” said Dr. Frank Webster, BCBSTX’s chief medical officer for behavioral health. “I’m so pleased to hear our efforts to expand the network with Headway have moved the needle on first appointment times. We owe that to our members.”

For BCBSTX members that live out of state, there are more than 21,000 high-quality credentialed behavioral health providers now in-network across 26 states practice as a part of the Headway network, with 42% of providers identifying as Black, Hispanic, Asian or multiracial and more than 80 languages spoken.

Headway also stated that 76% of BCBSTX members see an improvement in a clinical assessment in the first 30 days. Members can schedule care directly in as soon as 48 hours a one-click booking experience at or can obtain care through a referral.

Headway is now available to fully-insured group plans both in Illinois and Texas.

Telehealth as a site of care

In addition, BCBSTX is focused on making behavioral health care more accessible through increased access to telehealth overall.

Until 2020, telehealth represented one 0.5% of all BCBSTX members’ behavioral health appointments. Today, telehealth represents as much as 50% of all members’ behavioral health appointments. The change began with the COVID-19 pandemic, after BCBSTX expanded its behavioral health care offerings by broadening access to virtual appointments, and as more people sought alternatives to in-person care in the wake of the pandemic. 

Multipronged approach

BCBSTX also supports initiatives to improve mental health for members and people in the communities it serves by:

  • Supporting local non-profits through BCBSTX Blue Impact ® grants. In the 2022-2023 grant cycle, BCBSTX gave more than $820,000 to 21 non-profits across Texas to tackle gaps in behavioral health care.
  • Launching BCBSTX’s 13th outdoor fitness courts this month. Through a partnership with the National Fitness Campaign, BCBSTX helps fund sites that provide a free, full-body workout in only 7 minutes using your own body weight in local communities across Texas. BCBSTX leaders are committed to building nearly 40 total outdoor fitness courts in the next few years to improve overall mental and physical health and well-being for all Texans.



About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with more than 140,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 520 hospitals to serve more than 7 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico). Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association