Norfolk, Va. and Boston, Mass., June 27, 2012 — ValueOptions®, a health improvement company that specializes in emotional wellbeing and recovery, and American Well™ today announced a partnership to bring critically-needed behavioral healthcare to patients wherever they are, whenever they need it. Using American Well’s industry-leading Online Care telehealth solution, ValueOptions will transform behavioral healthcare by offering members immediate, live and clinically meaningful consultations.
With American Well technology, ValueOptions will develop a first-of-its-kind, national network of telehealth-enabled providers. Through Online Care, ValueOptions members will have secure and private access to skilled behavioral specialists from home, work or any location where they have Internet connectivity. Telehealth removes many barriers to healthcare such as distance, mobility and time constraints and can help lessen the stigma sometimes associated with behavioral health.
Online Care provides ValueOptions an efficient and convenient solution to dramatically enhance behavioral healthcare access and quality for its diverse membership, which includes both commercial and public sector employees and their families; military servicemen and women and their dependents; as well as Medicaid, Medicare and dual eligible populations.
“With over 130,000 provider locations, we have one of the nation’s largest behavioral health networks. However, the reality is that there are still not enough providers to serve the growing demand for quality behavioral health services in every corner of the United States. Access to care is an issue for many,” said Heyward Donigan, president and CEO of ValueOptions. “Growing demand for telebehavioral health services is evidenced by the speed at which reimbursement is accelerating. Today, 34 state Medicaid programs have recognized the need and the value of telehealth services. These 34 states already reimburse for such services, and 14 states are mandating telehealth reimbursement. Additionally, we continue to witness increased demand for telehealth in the Federal marketplace as well as a growing interest in our commercial business segments.”
“Online Care telehealth allows us to bring behavioral health directly to our members,” adds Dr. Hal Levine, chief medical officer of ValueOptions. “Whether location or transportation inhibits access, or perhaps a member is simply having trouble taking that important first step toward engaging available services, telehealth enables us to connect with the member where they are – not just where they are located, but where they are in mindset when it comes to seeking treatment.”
ValueOptions will harness telehealth to reduce the rate of missed appointments and increase compliance. Moreover, with Online Care, ValueOptions will build a more efficient, more convenient model for care delivery that will complement existing in-person services, lead to better health outcomes for members, enhance the bottom line for providers, and eventually, reduce costs for the system of care.
“We look forward to joining forces with ValueOptions to increase access to the highest quality behavioral health,” said Roy Schoenberg, MD, MPH, CEO of American Well Systems. “Behavioral health has become one of the most challenged areas in healthcare, and in parallel one of the most fertile grounds to benefit from telehealth. Higher patient need exacerbated by socio- economic vulnerabilities and geographical mismatch between supply and demand, position telehealth to play a transformative role as a much-needed solution. We are honored to partner with ValueOptions – an industry pioneer – in moving the needle on the availability and accessibility of behavioral health services from coast to coast.”
ValueOptions is a health improvement company that serves more than 32 million individuals. On behalf of employers, health plans and government agencies, we manage innovative programs and solutions that directly address the challenges our health care system faces today. A national leader in the fields of mental and emotional wellbeing, recovery and resilience, employee assistance, and wellness, ValueOptions helps people make the difficult life changes needed to be healthier and more productive. With offices nationwide and a network of more than 130,000 provider locations, ValueOptions helps people take important steps in the right direction. We help them live their lives to the fullest potential. Visit www.valueoptions.com for more information.