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The company connects patients to behavioral health services through a primary care doctor or OB-GYN
(On May 19, Vator, along with UCSF Health Hub and HP, will be hold the Future of Behavioral and Mental Health virtual event. Find out more here)
America’s behavioral health crisis has been written about for years now. Yet, for some reason, a solution seems out of reach. We've tried increasing medication, as well as increasing access, but it's not enough.
So what should we do? The way Spencer Hutchins, co-founder and CEO of behavioral health medical group Concert Health, sees it, what's needed is "an entirely new approach, with a new type of medical group that can deliver great behavioral health care to patients through the doctor they already see."
"We founded Concert to build the nation’s largest behavioral health medical group using a proven model that connects behavioral health services directly to primary care and women's health."
On Thursday, the company announced that it raised $14 million in Series A funding in a round led by Vertical Venture Partners with participation from Town Hall Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank, along with early investors including Healthy Ventures and Clearvision Equity.
Since 2018, Concert Health has partnered with medical groups and health systems to connect patients with behavioral health services through their primary care doctor or OB-GYN. Its licensed providers, behavioral care managers, and psychiatric consultants, are teamed up with a small number of practices and essentially become part of the patients’ core care team.
Behavioral care managers then work in concert with the primary care providers and patients to deliver care, track how they’re doing, and make adjustments as needed. Psychiatric consultants review high-priority cases, and make recommendations to the PCP so that they stay in the loop on how the patient is doing. Concert Health clinicians are all suicide safer-care trained.
"At a time when we are seeing worrisome trends in the number of death by suicide, Concert Health is equiped to identify, assess, and reduce suicidality among the patients we serve," Hutchins explained.
Concert Health, which recently treated its 10,000th patient, is currently partnered with 44 medical groups, including CommonSpirit Health and Women’s Health USA, as well as a number of smaller independent practices. The platform supports over 800 physicians in seven states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, New Mexico, New York, and North Carolina.
In terms of ROI, the company says that over 60 percent of Concert patients see a 50 percent reduction in their depression or anxiety symptoms (PHQ, GAD) within 90 days of identification.
"Unaddressed behavioral health conditions exacerbate other chronic conditions, and studies show that it increases health care expenditures by over 2.5 times more than patients whose behavioral health conditions are addressed," said Hutchins.
The funding will be used to grow Concert’s clinical, technology and commercial teams; the company currently has more than 100 employees, the majority of which are licensed behavioral health professionals including social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Concert expects to double in size this year.
The new money will also go toward scaling Concert’s behavioral health services in primary care and women’s health settings.
"When we as patients feel unwell, it’s our tendency to go to a doctor we know and trust. For most people, that doctor tends to be their primary care provider or for many women, their women’s health provider, so that’s where we want to be," said Hutchins.
"If we look at this from the provider’s point of view, most providers are already seeing a large volume of patients who have behavioral health conditions, and whose healths are being affected by it. However, providers often don’t have the support, tools, or compensation they need to effectively intervene and help the patient."
What Concert Health is doing is redesigning behavioral health so that every patient has access to behavioral health services when they need it, and doing that by meeting patients and providers where they already are.
With a greater focus on the healthcare space, the space has itself has been transforming over the past few years. That has included companies building better pathways from patients to specialists, helping many Americans get the care they otherwise wouldn’t find. There have also been many venture-backed behavioral health businesses that have been able to scale.
What separates Concert from others in the space is that it is taking an integrated approach to healthcare, rather than separating physical and mental health into their own separate categories.
"Most of these solutions separate patients’ mental health care from their physical health care. To truly treat patients’ overall health more effectively and ultimately deliver better outcomes for the health care system, we need an integrated approach to care," said Hutchins.
"Integrated care is gaining traction because it works. Concert is effectively scaling this approach and implementing a reimbursable model of care for health systems of any size, with an integrated team of expert clinicians who connect with both patients and providers."
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