Cigna Behavioral Exec: Virtual Care Access Will Continue to Accelerate Post-Pandemic

The health insurance giant Cigna (NYSE:CI) has long expressed interest in remote behavioral health care delivery. It’s first big commitment came back in 2017, when the insurer rolled out its virtual care network, creating a system of thousands of behavioral providers able to deliver care remotely. In the years that followed, Cigna slowly continued to […]

Acadia CMO, Behavioral Stakeholders: Payment Reform Necessary to Improve SMI Treatment

People with severe mental illnesses (SMIs) often end up homeless, hospitalized or incarcerated. To change that, federal and commercial payers need to reimagine the way they reimburse for the treatment of SMIs, behavioral health stakeholders say.  “Our mental health care payment system is really not geared toward people with serious mental illness,” psychiatrist and documentarian […]

Anthem Executive Shares Tele-Behavioral Ambitions, Data Priorities

Slowly but surely, insurers appear to be shifting from using process measures to outcome measures when it comes to assessing quality in behavioral health care. Now, it seems the coronavirus could help accelerate that movement, thanks in large part to the momentum the virus has given telehealth. At least, Stephen Friedoff — SVP of clinical […]

Digital Mental Health Company Cerebral Lands $35M in Series A Funding

Digital mental health company Cerebral has closed on $35 million in Series A funding, the startup announced Wednesday.  The on-demand mental health care provider will use the money to expand its services to all 50 states, develop partnerships with insurers and build out a new mobile app, according to a press release announcing the news.  […]

[UPDATED] HHS Opens Relief Funding for Previously Ineligible Behavioral Health Providers

Certain behavioral health providers who were previously ineligible to receive federal funding to help offset the financial impacts of COVID-19 are now allowed to apply for financial relief. Those who have already received payments may also be eligible to apply for additional funding. The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced the next phase […]

California Law Expands Behavioral Coverage, Could Set Stage for National Change

California has passed a law to improve residents’ access to behavioral health care coverage. It’s a move that could set the stage for nationwide change. The law in question defines “medical necessity” for mental health and substance use disorder treatment, no longer leaving it up to insurance companies to create their own definitions. California Gov. […]

OIG Recommends CMS Make It Easier for Medicaid Beneficiaries to Get Naloxone

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) says Medicaid beneficiaries deserve better access to naloxone, a medication that rapidly reverses opioid overdoses. In a new report, OIG called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement changes to help make it happen.  An OIG study of state-reported Medicaid data and manufacturer-reported sales data […]

Nearly 40% of Behavioral Providers on Brink of Financial Collapse

Nearly 40% of behavioral health organizations say they can only survive six months or less given the current financial situation they are facing. At the same time, more than half of all providers have seen an increased demand for services since the pandemic hit. Those are just a few key takeaways from the National Council […]

Care Integration Framework Aims to Help Behavioral Providers Improve Outcomes, Entice Payers

Care integration is often viewed through the lens of physical health care: How can primary and urgent care providers blend behavioral health care services into the medical treatment they provide? However, addressing patients’ physical health needs during behavioral health treatment can be equally as important. Studies suggest that behavioral health providers can improve patient outcomes […]

Amid Growth, Pinnacle CEO Pushes for Methadone MAT Flexibilities

The last five months have been hard for behavioral health providers to weather, with many being forced to cut back services as a result of COVID-19-related financial strain. Some are even facing the risk of closure. Then there’s Pinnacle Treatment Centers, which has actually been expanding. Pinnacle is one of the largest substance use disorder […]