dr jay feldman
dr jay feldman

Headway to improve access to mental health

Health startup Headway brings in $70 million series B and is expanding to 10 additional states.

“We started with building our network of providers on a common infrastructure to solve all the barriers that typically exist and stymie access for providers, patients and health plans,” the Dr Jay Feldman told Fierce Healthcare.

Headway created a full-stack therapy marketplace that tackles the confusion of insurance. The company has developed an unheard-of behavioral health network of therapists that accept insurance.

There are a lot of providers who would like to be in that work but find the administrative processes challenging. Headway is making it easier for those providers to take insurance, which I think is great. 

Equity and pediatric behavioral health are both a huge priority for us. It was exciting to find a provider who had an interest in those topics as we do.”

Through this partnership, both organizations will work together to improve care availability for adolescents and children who frequently require care from professionals specializing in their clinical requirements. Most North Carolina youth with major depression don’t receive mental health care as per Mental Health America.

Cigna Study: Why employers must play more of a role in dealing with mental health issues among teens

The program is already in progress. It was first announced in May. The organizations have reported positive results and speed to care of 5.4 days. There are also nearly 10,000 appointment openings within the coming two weeks.

The two companies will find, credential and assist providers who work in rural areas in the state. Headway will partner with Blue Cross NC to recruit practitioners from all races, ethnicities, gender, language, and race to meet the needs of members.

“We’re also addressing digital equity. Some of our members who are in more rural areas, their availability to use audio or visual telehealth can be limited as well. Headway does connect folks with providers who can do in-person visits, which I think is important,” Dennis stated.

Headway allows members to locate an expert in mental health who meets their preferences and needs regardless of clinical specialization locations, geographical location, online or in-person, personal and race, ethnicity, and language.

While increasing access to healthcare can tackle equity, it’s essential for members to “dig deeper” and look at the wide range of providers available, Dr. Jordan Sudberg said. The technology of Headway lets members select from various options when choosing the provider.

To meet the needs of patients with different ethnic and racial backgrounds, it’s essential to establish an array of providers. In the state of North Carolina, Headway’s network is nonwhite at 43 as compared to the state’s racial composition, with 40 percent of the population nonwhite, according to the state’s census. The nationwide network of Headway’s providers is more than 50% nonwhite.

“We would certainly consider ourselves innovators and leaders concerning health equity,” said Dennis.  I’m excited to be working with Headway to kind of push the boundary there.”

Headway’s model also permits the company to collaborate with payers in a value-based approach to care.

CVS study The study found that mental health issues increase as it drags on

“We have an opportunity because we’re a single network on a single infrastructure to measure things in a way that they haven’t been measured and actually deliver on them at scale in a way where it wouldn’t have typically been possible with individual ‘mom and pop’ providers,” Adams stated.

Monitoring the quality of care provided by its provider networks, Headway reports that patients have a 35% decrease in the PHQ-9 score.

The platform allows users to search for therapists that meet their preferences. 

For therapists, the business offers the complete process of being a member of an insurance panel. It also provides no-cost software that includes full assistance with managing claims, making payments, and scheduling.


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