Telebehavioral health services have become vital amid the pandemic, with social distancing recommendations prompting behavioral health providers to take things virtual. However, telebehavioral health has been a focal point for Array Behavioral Care for more than two decades.
Founded in 1999, Mt. Laurel, New Jersey-based Array partners with health care providers and payers to deliver virtual behavioral health services to their patients and members, particularly those in underserved, remote areas.
Since then, being ahead of the curve has paid off. Today, the company formerly known as InSight Telepsychiatry bills itself as the nation’s largest provider of telepsychiatry services — and it has its sights set on even more growth in the year ahead.
Origin story, services
Array’s roots can be traced back to James Varrell, a New Jersey psychiatrist who started using video to conduct sessions with patients at his brick-and-mortar practice, the Center for Family Guidance, located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.
Looking to expand his practice, Varrell eventually connected with Geoffrey Boyce, who was fresh out of business school.
“I was a newly-minted MBA, and he was a very busy psychiatrist looking to take this idea out to a broader audience,” Array CEO Geoffrey Boyce told Behavioral Health Business. “He hired me to write the original business plan, … which I did. He ultimately offered me the job … to slowly carve those telepsychiatry services that he was doing out of his onsite practice … into a distinct company.”
These days, Varrell serves as Array’s chief medical officer.
Array’s virtual services are supplied by a mix of full-time, part-time and contract therapists, psychiatrists and social workers.
“We see ourselves as a behavioral health care practice, first and foremost,” said Boyce. “What we focus on is employing and managing clinicians and getting them set up to serve those folks who need them most.”
Array delivers its all-virtual care through three service lines. Those include OnDemand Care, which brings one-time telepsychiatry services to patients in facilities such as emergency departments (EDs); AtHome Care, which delivers services to patients in the privacy of their homes or other places; and Scheduled Care, which assigns a single clinician or a group of clinicians to serve a regular caseload during scheduled hours at various community organizations.
Array provides care to a diverse population of patients, from those in hospitals, care homes and clinics to individuals in residential care facilities, at colleges and universities, on Native American tribal lands and at correctional facilities.
“We have multiple kinds of services and delivery mechanisms that allow us to move from the most acute point in that continuum [of a patient’s care] to the least acute,” Boyce said. “We see value in providing additional continuity and consistency in how the services are delivered as a patient moves through that continuum.”
While the digital behavioral health space has exploded as of late, Boyce said he still remembers the early days of Array, when many people were skeptical about behavioral health’s ability to be effectively delivered by virtual means.
“For the first five or six years that I worked in this space, I spent the majority of my time trying to convince folks that this was an acceptable and reliable means of delivering services,” he said.
He kept the faith by leaning into literature supporting telehealth. And then finally, people started to catch on.
“Five years or so ago, I felt a light switch go off,” Boyce recalled. “I said, ‘They get it. It just makes a lot of sense.’”
COVID-19 has supported that logic even further.
Telehealth has become critical as the pandemic has necessitated social distancing measures to reduce the spread of the virus. On top of that, telehealth has been regarded as a potentially novel way to close the workforce shortage gap in behavioral health, particularly as some cross-state restrictions have been waived due to the pandemic and calls to make such waivers permanent have grown.
“[Telehealth] is… clinically validated and accepted,” Boyce said. “Within the last year, that has… become more obvious.”
Array’s evolution, growth plan
In December 2019, the company — which was still known as InSight at that time — merged with Chicago-based Regroup Telehealth to become InSight + Regroup, forming the nation’s largest telepsychiatry provider. This January, the combined company rebranded itself as Array Behavioral Care.
“I think we were all looking for a bit of a renewal,” Boyce said. “We wanted a brand that represented the diversity of the services that we offer, the diversity of people that we serve and the clinicians that we work with. We all really quickly lobbied around the name Array.”
Since its merger, Array has hired more than 320 new clinicians. Array’s team currently provides services for individuals in over 40 states, and Boyce said the company is looking to be in all 50 by next year.
To help make it happen, Array recently scored a $24 million growth investment from Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, Health Velocity Capital and other existing investors.
“We think we’ve found some great partners that bring not just capital to the equation, but … expertise and strategic value,” Boyce said. “We’re really focused on using [the funding] to pursue new opportunities, to finetune some of our systems and platforms that we operate on and [to] ultimately get our services to as many people as possible.”
And as telehealth continues to become more popular across the behavioral health landscape, Array plans to cement its place as a pioneer — and powerhouse — in the space.
“We’re targeting more than 30% growth this year, and probably even more growth in the years after that,” he said. “It’s about putting those resources in the right places that are going to help us.”