Two experts in mental health care for the Medicaid market stop by to help us get smart on the challenges facing patients and providers alike in this critical area of care. It’s not just the payment model that is different; stigma is different, patients are more racially and culturally diverse than those in commercial plans, support systems vary, and even the normalization of seeking mental health care manifests itself differently when it’s individually-driven as opposed to part of an “employer group.”
Anna Lindow, CEO of digital-first mental health startup Brave Health, and Vik Bakhru, Chief Health Officer of new managed Medicaid plan Circulo (the one built on Olive’s health tech platform) share what they know about this patient population, including what they are learning via the partnership they share to provide Brave Health’s services to Circulo’s members in Columbus, Ohio and Albany, New York.
The top of this conversation starts with the trend-talk and identification of the key issues facing Medicaid mental health care, then we get into some updates from Brave and Circulo, including how Circulo is examining “what it means to be a payer of care” and looking to innovate just one-year after launch.
Healthcare startups serving the Medicaid population are FINALLY catching the attention of investors and, this time, it’s for improving access to mental health services. Brave Health’s CEO Anna Lindow and I catch up in-person at HLTH 2021 – under super-secret embargo – to talk about Brave’s $10M Series B funding which was just announced today.
We get into Brave Health’s virtual-first approach to therapy, psychiatry, and outpatient addiction services, its tech underpinnings (which Anna hopes makes her services feel like “magic” to patients and providers alike), and the best-and-most-challenging parts about working with Medicaid plans.
This funding round, which takes Brave Health’s total funding to over $20M, should help with surmounting one of Anna’s biggest challenges: the extra effort required to expand to new states and the new set of Medicaid requirements and regulations that meet her every time she crosses state lines. Still, Brave Health has already expanded into 10 states in two years and, when utilized by Medicaid case managers, providers, and plans, is making a real impact on outcomes and cost of care. We dive into the details about meeting the mental health needs of a population that has typically been misunderstood and marginalized, and talk more about the nuances of supporting innovation and investment in solutions for people with Medicaid.
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