Alma is a membership-based network for mental health care providers to scale their practices
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco Roizen speak with Harry Ritter, Founder & CEO of Alma, a membership-based network for mental health care providers to build and scale their practices.
The company raised two funding rounds in 2021, first $28 million, followed by $50 million to bring its total funding to $90.5 million.
Our overall goal is to understand how technology is radically changing healthcare: the way we screentreat and measure progress and outcomes. How we’re empowering the consumer. Whether we’re creating productivity that drives economic costs down? And how tech advancements change the role of the doctor.
Highlights from the interview:
- There are two critical things that set Alma apart from other companies in the mental space, the first being its focus on the provider and the provider experience. The company has a strongly held view that when the provider has the support that they need, the system gets better for everyone, especially in mental health. The second is that the company seeks to bring these providers into the healthcare system through insurance reimbursement, so that patients can have their care covered.
- 90% or more of mental health clinicians are solo practitioners and the challenges of running a business, including implementing technology, thinking about brand and marketing, how to connect with the right clients, dealing with the administrative challenges of taking insurance, is really difficult for many of them. Alma sought to create a platform that gives providers access to the technology, the services, and the backend support, and then also brings them together into a community.
- With Alma, the average clinician will save over 30 hours a month in administrative time that they can invest back in their own self care, and in patient care. There's over a million mental health professionals licensed in the United States today, but it's a very inefficient system when these providers don't have that support. Alma helps create more access.
- COVID has created net new need for mental health but the bigger impact is actually the extent to which it helped reveal the existing need in mental health that made it okay to talk about. These challenges existed before COVID and there is more need now than ever before.
- There are 4,000 clinicians on Alma, and 40% of them self-identify as people of color, including Asian, Black and Hispanic/LatinX providers. This reflects the population of the patients on the platform, and the company put a lot of effort and emphasis into making it a space that seeks to build inclusivity and honor the shared experiences of its community members.
- Alma matches patients and providers and it measures that through client satisfaction, such as if they come back for a second visit and if they report that they have gotten what they needed out of care. There are also aspects that Alma looks for over time, including ongoing prevention or ongoing kind of care relationships.
- Alma does work around continuing education so that providers can get credits from free courses that they take on the platform. Some of those are courses are developed by Alma and some are done in partnership with other organizations. In some states, the company has even developed its own accredited courses.
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