Digital behavioral health provider Headspace has inked a new deal with Intermountain Health’s value-based care subsidiary Castell to offer virtual coaching and therapy to select health plans in Utah.
Castell can refer members with behavioral health conditions or concerns to Headspace Health. This value-based care collaboration aims to reduce the cost of care and improve clinical outcomes.
“Castell and Headspace will also be conducting a cost of care study as part of the partnership that will examine service utilization, potentially including metrics like the number of hospital admissions, number of emergency visits, number of PCP visits, etc., to see how overall healthcare costs are impacted,” Katie DiPerna Cook, SVP of partnerships at Headspace, told Behavioral Health Business in an email. “With previous research having shown positive results, we’re excited to see how our partnership with Castell can improve outcomes and cost savings for the system and its members.”
Patients referred to the service can access a continuum of mental health support depending on their needs.
For example, members will have access to behavioral health coaches who can support patients in building “coping skills and managing day-to-day stressors.” If the patient has a higher acuity need, they can meet with a licensed therapist.
Headspace was formed in 2021 when digital meditation platform Headspace merged with virtual mental health company Ginger in a deal valued at $3 billion. It has since released a unified enterprise mental health and well-being offering to members. Its integrated care product offers Ginger’s on-demand coaching, therapy and psychiatric services, as well as Headspace’s meditation and mindfulness services.
Headspace is no stranger to value-based care contracting. It previously signed a value-based care contract with Blue Shield of California (BSC) via its Wellvolution program to offer its services.
The deal between Headspace and Castell is based on a pay-for-engagement and outcomes model with increasing risk over time.
“Risk-based contracting has not gained as much traction in the mental health world as it has in other areas of healthcare, but we believe our full spectrum of care offerings is a great fit for outcomes-based arrangements because it supports the member at every stage of their individual healthcare journey, keeping them engaged along the way,” Cook said. “While this partnership is not our first pay-for-value contract, it is part of a concentrated effort to triple down on value-based care arrangements moving forward.”
Headspace sees a future in value-based care and plans to grow its efforts working with payer partners.
“As a field, behavioral health is still in the early stages of value-based care. By working with Intermountain’s Castell, who is a trailblazer in the space, Headspace is expanding access to mental health offerings available via alternative payment models,” Cook said. “The partnership also marks the first time that Headspace’s clinical offerings, inclusive of behavioral health coaching and therapy, will be offered to both commercial and Medicaid populations.”