CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield introduced a collaboration this week with Headway, a tech firm that goals to simplify the method for accessing psychological well being care.
Via the partnership, New York Metropolis-based Headway is offering its software program platform to psychological well being suppliers on CareFirst’s community, which companies individuals in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia, mentioned Brian Wheeler, CareFirst vp of supplier collaboration and community transformation.
CareFirst at present has 1000’s of impartial psychological well being practitioners that members have entry to. With Headway, which was based in 2019 and likewise works with Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare, these practitioners have the chance to hitch the corporate’s software program platform for free of charge. Via the platform, members can search based mostly on the care they want, and Headway will present all of the suppliers in CareFirst’s community that joined the platform and meet members’ preferences.
A big behavioral well being follow sometimes has a web site, on-line scheduling, receptionists and different options that simplify accessing care. Solo practitioners don’t all the time have that, Wheeler mentioned.
“It’s a problem for our solo practitioners as a result of they’re making an attempt to run their enterprise as a solo practitioner and help their purchasers, their sufferers, however they don’t have the infrastructure and it’s exhausting for our members,” Wheeler mentioned. “As a result of in the event that they have been going to attempt to discover entry to a kind of social employees, for instance, or psychologists, they could need to make a dozen telephone calls and go away voicemail messages to have an appointment that may go well with their wants.”
Members of CareFirst can entry Headway by going by the well being plan’s supplier listing. They will then go to Headway’s web site by way of laptop or telephone and discover a supplier that may be a match for them. Members can choose sure preferences — together with race, language, geography, in-person/digital — and Headway’s platform will give them a listing of choices in CareFirst’s community. If members discover a practitioner they’re considering, they will ebook instantly from Headway’s platform. By including insurance coverage particulars, members can see the price of care upfront and are billed after the session by the software program.
Beneath the partnership, CareFirst pays Headway for its companies. Headway engages in value-based contracts with its payers, which means it will get paid based mostly on efficiency, CEO Andrew Adams mentioned. CareFirst is keen to entrance the prices so its impartial practitioners can develop their care, Wheeler mentioned.
CareFirst started looking for a associate to assist impartial behavioral well being suppliers by know-how in Fall 2021 and finally chosen Headway as a result of it provided the easiest-to-use know-how, Wheeler mentioned. He declined to share what different firms CareFirst evaluated. Different psychological well being startups embrace Ginger and Trendy Well being, however most contract with employers on to cowl digital remedy companies as a profit, whereas Headway focuses on the executive course of, MedCity beforehand reported.
“Headway had the know-how suite that was essentially the most user-friendly,” Wheeler mentioned. “We have been trying to create a win-win for each our supplier companions and our members and Headway introduced all of it collectively in essentially the most revolutionary method.”
Inside a yr, the hope is to have a number of hundred to 1,000 practitioners signed up on Headway’s platform, Wheeler mentioned. It additionally hopes so as to add practitioners to its community by working with Headway.
“There are a selection of impartial practitioners within the behavioral well being area that don’t take part with insurance coverage firms simply due to the executive work … Maybe we are able to get some people who haven’t participated with insurance coverage networks to come back into the community by Headway as a result of it’s simpler that method,” Wheeler mentioned.
Along with rising its community, CareFirst’s final purpose by working with Headway is to make entry to behavioral healthcare simpler for its members and enhance well being outcomes, Wheeler mentioned.
“If we are able to do this and actually develop the variety of impartial practitioners which might be organized underneath the umbrella of Headway over the following 12 months, it should have been an ideal success.”
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