Two Montana Companies Partner to Curtail Rising Rates of Suicide and Mental Health Crisis Statewide
BOZEMAN, Mont., August 19, 2020 (Newswire.com) - In a few short weeks, Frontier Psychiatry connected Montanans across the state to psychiatry services. This was accomplished by the CrossTx Care Coordination Platform, recent recipient of the MT Innovation Grant in response to COVID-19.
“Montana has consistently posted among the worst suicide rates in the U.S. over the last 30 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has, unfortunately, amplified the mental health crisis among Montanans by worsening social isolation and making access to mental health services more difficult,” said Eric Arzubi, MD, a founding partner of Frontier Psychiatry. “We need a different approach to care if we’re going to bring our suicide rate down.”
According to “Suicide in Montana,” the most recent report published by Karl Rosston, the State of Montana’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator, the annual suicide rate was 25.9 per 100,000 people. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Montana’s rate has risen by 38% since 1999 and is nearly double the national rate.
Dr. Arzubi and his partners founded Frontier Psychiatry in 2019 with a mission to make psychiatric care accessible to all Montanans by 2025. “We are confident that the Frontier-CrossTx partnership will give our journey to that ambitious goal a big boost,” he added.
Before Dr. Arzubi and his partners launched an all-virtual, Montana-focused psychiatric practice, he served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Billings Clinic for five years, during which time he led the creation of the state’s first psychiatry residency training program and the opening of the state’s first emergency psychiatry stabilization unit. Dr. Arzubi has also served as President of the Big Sky Regional Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
CrossTx, also a Montanan-owned company, envisions Montana as a place where health care professionals are able to communicate effectively about their patients without wasting one of our most precious resources — time! Their mission is to improve the overall patient experience with seamless communication across the care continuum. Their cloud-based platform enables patient-relevant communication to be transferred safely from one provider to other providers and community resources. All correspondence is in compliance with HIPAA and the unique levels of consent appropriate for the situation, while aligning with the patients’ wishes.
“CrossTx is excited to bring our nationwide healthcare communication expertise home to our beloved Montana,” said Chad Nybo, CEO of CrossTx. “The partnership with Frontier Psychiatry is presenting our experienced team with an innovative opportunity to address statewide behavioral health challenges with novel telehealth solutions.”
CrossTx was able to build a communication infrastructure to Frontier Psychiatry’s network. Communities that have expanded access to telepsychiatry services as a result of this partnership include Big Timber, Culbertson, Ekalaka, Forsyth, Miles City, Glendive, Roberts, Billings, and Bozeman. Of note, Culbertson and Forsyth are located in counties that posted two of the highest suicide rates in Montana, according to “Suicide in Montana,” at nearly 40 annual suicides for every 100,000 people.
Outside of Gallatin and Yellowstone counties, the network is serving a population of about 36,000 Montanans who live in rural and frontier communities, however, both companies do not plan to stop there. The combined visions of CrossTx and Frontier Psychiatry will significantly impact behavioral and mental health across Montana.