Talkspace Targets Teens and Seniors in Payer, Enterprise Push

In 2024, Talkspace (Nasdaq: TALK) will focus on expanding its services to teenagers and seniors via new partnerships with schools and municipalities, as well as broadening its reach within the Medicare program. Talkspace, which started as a direct-to-consumer company, continues to double down on its payer partnerships and direct-to-enterprise (DTE) strategy. Part of that strategy […]

CMS Launches ‘Revolutionary’ New Behavioral Health, Primary Care Integration Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to improve access to behavioral health with a new initiative designed to integrate behavioral health with physical health. The newly launched program, called the Innovation in Behavioral Health (IBH) Model, will connect adults with mental health conditions or substance use disorders (SUDs) to physical, behavioral […]

Talkspace To Make Long-Held Medicare Expansion a Reality in 2024

Talkspace Inc. (Nasdaq: TALK) continues to push into new payer partnerships and new patient populations by announcing that it will serve traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage members. The move marks yet another level of progression in the New York City-based tele-mental health company’s evolution into a company that generates business by working with enterprises that […]

How Biden’s Anti-Competitive Merger Plan Could Impact Behavioral Health

The federal government could begin scrutinizing private equity-owned behavioral health practices. The Biden-Harris administration announced new initiatives to thwart anti-competitive mergers and practices that could increase health care costs for patients. Private equity firms, health insurers and health systems will be subject to additional surveillance to foster competition in the behavioral health sector.  Although still […]

Mental Health Now Top Comorbidity for Highmark Members

Highmark Wholecare reports that over a third of its members have been diagnosed with at least one mental health condition. That’s according to a recent analysis of over 420,000 Highmark Wholecare members, which found that mental health disorders have become the most common health condition among its members, surpassing common conditions like diabetes, hypertension, tobacco […]

What Potential Humana-Cigna Tie Up Means for Behavioral Health

An industry-redefining merger of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and The Cigna Group (NYSE:CI) is reportedly in the works. The deal, if completed, would create a massive company that spans nearly every segment of the health insurance industry. It would also create a formidable clinical and health services division prominently featuring behavioral health. Late Tuesday, a […]

‘Where the Money Goes Drives Action’: Florida Blue, SCAN Incentivize VBC Behavioral Health Integration

Payers are trying to figure out how behavioral health fits into the value-based care paradigm as the demand for innovative contracting grows. One of the main places payers are pushing for integration is with primary care. Still, integrating primary care and behavioral health in a value-based care arrangement can be difficult. Primary care providers often […]

Medicare ACOs’ Approach to Mental Health Treatment Found Lacking 

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have become the “de facto” strategy for traditional Medicare. Their incentives for proactive care were designed to improve quality and access to care by aligning incentives among clinicians, hospitals and behavioral health providers. But a new Health Affairs study found that being enrolled in an ACO was not associated with any […]

Telehealth-Focused Practices Offer Medicare Patients With SMI 13% More Visits

During the pandemic, Medicare patients with serious mental illness who accessed care at practices that mainly used telehealth had 13% more mental health visits than those mainly receiving in-person care. However, researchers found no changes in these patients’ medication adherence, hospital and emergency department use or mortality, according to a recent study published in JAMA. […]

New Bill Aims to Cut Down on Behavioral Health ‘Ghost Networks’

Almost half of Medicare Advantage online provider directories have at least one inaccuracy – with issues often related to behavioral health services. A new bipartisan bill would protect seniors from the consequences of these inaccuracies, if passed.  And by doing so, the bill could also lead to MA plans strengthening their provider networks, which could […]