As the US communities experience an increased need for behavioural health services, providers nationwide are expanding their treatment modalities and delivery mechanisms. Digital behavioural health companies are also gaining market share. These businesses offer convenient virtual therapy sessions with credentialed professionals.
aptihealth is an innovative digital behavioral health services provider serving the New York State market. The company effectively addresses patients’ base, medium, high, and severe-acuity care needs on a fast-turnaround basis. While aptihealth remains virtual-first, the company does also have a physical location in NY state, allowing patients the opportunity to see providers in-person as needed.
Equally importantly, aptihealth serves New York State physicians’ and group practices’ needs. On occasion, a primary care physician may determine that a behavioral health services provider will best meet patient care needs. Here, aptihealth’s streamlined referral process ensures that patients receive care in an expedited manner, and that their primary care physicians can monitor their progress with aptihealth.
The US’ current behavioural health landscape
In early January 2023, industry publication Behavioral Health Business published its projections on the top industry trends for 2023. The publication predicted that the year would bring several transitions that would require providers to retool their operations accordingly.
To begin, the Covid pandemic public health emergency (or PHE) is scheduled to end in 2023. The PHE’s expiration means that the federal government will likely implement more lasting regulations regarding telehealth and associated medication-assisted treatment (or MAT). Digital behavioural health providers working with controlled substances may also receive close scrutiny.
Next, Behavioral Health Business expects mergers and consolidations to continue in 2023. These anticipated business transactions will result from a maturing industry and continued demand growth. Finally, well-capitalized major insurance companies and national retail leaders are increasingly entering the behavioral health arena.
Spotlight on higher-acuity care
The Covid pandemic’s lockdown-related isolation contributed to widespread behavioral health challenges. Since then, numerous well-funded initiatives and startups have been working to address these issues. However, most of these newer behavioral health firms have concentrated on mild to moderate behavioral health challenges.
In 2023, more providers are adding or expanding higher-acuity care programmes. Newer companies are also entering this rapidly growing field. By the year’s end, Behavioral Health Business predicts numerous innovations and partnerships in this sector.
The substantial need for behavioural health services
Millions of people throughout the US are impacted by at least one behavioural health concern. In fact, approximately one-fifth of United States adults were affected by a behavioural health issue in 2020. Three common behavioural health disorders make up a large segment of this cohort.
- Anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders collectively impact more than 42 million US adults. These conditions include generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Depressive disorders. Approximately 21 million US adults are affected by varying degrees of depression. Surprisingly, depression also impacts a substantial portion of the teenage population. Among the 12 to 17 group, 3.7 million teens have major depression while 2.5 million teens have severe depression.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder. Roughly 12 million US adults are affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (or PTSD). Causes of PTSD include harassment, sexual assault, kidnapping, or other traumatic incident during which someone fears for their life.
aptihealth offers convenient behavioural health solutions
Creating evidence-based behavioral health solutions, and designing a business model that effectively delivers them, are key to driving large-scale change. New York-based virtual-first aptihealth offers tailored behavioral health solutions from credentialed providers.
The aptihealth vision and mission
From its 2017 inception, aptihealth has developed a crystal-clear vision: To be the nation’s preeminent provider of mental health services. aptihealth’s five-part mission is designed to bring the company’s vision to fruition:
- Expand evidence-based care access via virtual-first care utilizing best-in-class technology.
- Personalise patient care by leveraging aptihealth’s proven clinical science, driving improved clinical outcomes with continuous performance assessment.
- Eliminate financial impediments to care by teaming with payers on pay-for-value reimbursement, thus replacing ineffective services with feasible alternatives.
- Enable care providers to deliver superb care that drives optimal patient outcomes.
- Execute with the highest level of integrity and compliance.
The aptihealth behavioural health care model
As a value-based care provider, aptihealth offers fast, convenient access to quality virtual-first behavioral health services. As part of the virtual-first ethos, aptihealth places the patient at the center of comprehensive, precise, personalized care. New York State residents 5 and older are eligible to receive these services. aptihealth integrates a range of services for patients with mild to moderate behavioral health issues. Unlike some other providers, however, aptihealth also serves patients with severe, ongoing behavioral health challenges.
aptihealth operates within the larger healthcare ecosystem, avoiding a solely direct-to-consumer model. The company partners with health plans, health systems, physician groups and community-based organizations to enable a comprehensive approach and continuity of care. aptihealth offers patient-specific care programs, including primary care, therapeutic services, and medication management regimens. aptihealth’s proprietary digital assessment tools facilitate each patient’s targeted care plan. The company’s proprietary screening/assessment (A5/A30) assigns an Acuity Index (Base, Medium, High, Severe) and result in a care program unique to each individual and better outcomes.
aptihealth typically places patients into care within a few days (and often within the same day). Most payers consider aptihealth an in-network provider, increasing the patient affordability factor. During the admission process, aptihealth’s providers comply with all HIPAA guidelines that mandate respect for patient privacy..
Technology-driven care with a human touch
aptihealth’s secure video platform provides a convenient venue for patients’ therapy sessions. The platform accommodates computer, smartphone, and tablet interfaces, and the aptihealth app is offered on both iOS and Android operating systems for patient convenience and enhanced engagement.
Once registered, a patient can schedule a session, track their progress, and/or send direct messages to their therapist.
Each online video therapy session is designed to suit the patient’s individual needs. If aptihealth determines that medication should be part of a patient’s treatment plan, a prescriber will be added to the care team. This healthcare professional is also accessible via the video platform.
Although technology plays a key role in aptihealth’s patient interactions, therapists and prescribers remain focused on each patient’s well-being. By combining empathy with a professional demeanor, providers deliver effective care that sets the stage for optimal outcomes.
aptihealth’s Care Program Produces Positive Results
The aptihealth care programme has been shown to reduce hospital admissions, readmissions, and Emergency Department encounters. In addition, surveyed patients say aptihealth is helping to produce favorable outcomes.
For perspective, 95 percent of aptihealth’s surveyed patients say the company’s services are improving their lives. Similarly, 91 percent of patients feel that aptihealth’s care has served as an encouragement for positive change. After only 60 days of care, 70 percent of aptihealth’s patients are experiencing fewer depressive symptoms.
In addition, the company surpasses national benchmarks for FUA, FUH, FUI, and FUM HEDIS 5-Star Performance. Combined with data-driven insights, these results are enabling rapid progress in behavioral health diagnoses, treatment, and outcomes. Notable expense reductions have also been realized.
Equally importantly, aptihealth’s patient care team has collectively received a 4.8 out of 5 service rating. This exemplary metric reflects team members’ unwavering dedication to quality service and optimal patient outcomes.
Physicians’ behavioural health services challenges
Access to high-quality behavioral health services will ideally be spread throughout the United States. However, many smaller and/or relatively remote communities have little (or no) access to qualified behavioral health services providers. In fact, it’s not uncommon for patients to drive two or more hours for behavioral health appointments.
An American Academy of Family Physicians (or AAFP) 2018 position paper noted that approximately two-thirds of primary care physicians cannot provide their patients with outpatient behavioral health services referrals. As a result, primary care physicians often take the lead in providing their patients with behavioral health services.
While not minimising primary care physicians’ efforts, the AAFP recommends that the physicians seek to partner with behavioral health services providers. These collaborative programs can take varied forms. However, the goal should always be to provide patients with the best possible behavioral health care.
aptihealth provides physicians with integrated solutions
Fortunately, aptihealth’s business model enables fast, streamlined access to licensed behavioral health therapists. If needed, medication management and/or care management services are also available. Patients typically receive access to services within 24 hours, and some are even onboarded the same day.
Perhaps best of all, patients and their families will find it easy to use the aptihealth platform. Immediate access to virtual care is available from the patient’s computer, smartphone, or tablet. This easy accessibility ensures that the patient can receive care regardless of their New York State location.
Throughout the state, patients 5 and older are eligible for aptihealth’s services. This includes patients who are experiencing severe and/or persistent behavioural health challenges. aptihealth is within most payers’ networks, and some patients will not have a required copay.
The 2023 behavioural health investment arena
On 01 January 2023, the American Psychological Association published its predictions for 2023 behavioral health investments. As a backdrop, 2020 and 2021 behavioural health apps and technologies benefited from accelerated behavioral health needs throughout most of the Covid pandemic. The increased adoption of telehealth therapies, and less stigma about behavioral health issues, also played key roles in this rise in investments.
In 2023, overall behavioural health investment has somewhat declined. Stephen M. Schueller, PhD is a University of California, Irvine professor of science and informatics. Dr Schueller felt that investors are more closely evaluating candidates’ offerings.
“I don’t think funders’ excitement is necessarily cooling, but I think they’re getting a bit more realistic in their expectations and more thoughtful about the ‘value added’ of a given product,” he noted.
Investors seek innovative niche markets
Today, investors are also strongly focused on certain areas of innovation, and they are funding these growing companies accordingly. To illustrate, businesses that address high-acuity behavioral health challenges have debuted dedicated platforms and apps. The rapidly growing youth behavioral health market is another focus, with a 15-fold investment increase in just four years.
Funders are also becoming more interested in offerings that address broad-spectrum behavioral health issues. Stated another way, this definition could include platforms that address mild, moderate, and high-acuity behavioral health challenges.
aptihealth’s business model attracts investor support
The aptihealth business model has attracted its share of investment dollars. Since its 2017 market launch, the company has completed three funding rounds, during which it has raised a total of $60.8 million.
The company’s April 5, 2023 Series B-II funding round garnered a total of $10.8 million in investor dollars. The round’s funders include H/L Ventures, Takeda Digital Ventures, and other undisclosed investors.
aptihealth gears up for an expanded market outreach
As aptihealth prepares to scale its operations, the company is enhancing its infrastructure and expanding its provider network. These adjustments will enable aptihealth to maximize its impact in the youth and high-acuity behavioral health issues sectors. The firm’s leadership is confident that its credentialed therapists will be instrumental in providing much-needed behavioral health services to an ever-growing market.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.