JERSEY CITY, N.J., Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — After cinching over 6,000 providers in its high-value network, HealCo has formalized a partnership with TalkSpace competitor Choosing Therapy, empowering its community of healthcare professionals to offer patients expedited and quality hybrid telemedicine for mental health and wellness. Choosing Therapy seeks to help the 141 million US adults looking for or meaning to look for mental health treatment.

How concerned should we be about mental health? Very concerned. Well before the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Americans have recognized a rise in unhealthy habits, binge drinking, and depressive and anxious thoughts. In fact, mental health concerns cost American employers $200B+ in lost wages annually, making mental health the single greatest cost for employers.

More than 1 in every 8 emergency room visits can be attributed to mental health issues, with patients twice as likely to require hospitalization than other emergency room visits. Exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, there is undeniably a mental health pandemic. Knowing that primary care physicians are already strapped for resources, HealCo and Choosing Therapy have decided to step in.

Choosing Therapy’s impressive roster of professionals, who offer coverage to over 60% of the US, address issues like anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, eating disorders, or sexual dysfunction – all of which have become far more common over the last year due to increased stress, lack of sleep, disrupted routines as home, and isolation. As the engine that powers a connection between providers and specialists, HealCo highlights the availability of mental healthcare to populations who would otherwise overlook it, or not have the resources to receive it.

How does it work? Virtual Host Providers who are part of the Health System Without Walls use HealCo as a hub service – plugging in their patients to Choosing Therapy’s network of mental healthcare professionals through an introductory client navigator call. Patients then explore their options and decide their path of treatment with a licensed therapist. The therapy appointment is scheduled and either takes place immediately in the primary care provider’s office, or later if the patient chooses. Around 33% of patients do not follow-up with a specialist when referred, and that number is suspected to be even higher when the provider specializes in mental health due to a long history of stigmatization. HealCo and Choosing Therapy’s navigation process prevents drop off in the patient journey by facilitating appointment booking in real time.

«The traditional brick-and-mortar, inpatient-focused, health care system has created a fragmented environment – making it difficult for physicians to ‘do the right thing’ and coordinate care for patients from within their office. By virtually integrating mental healthcare into our network of value-based medical offices, we are able to increase access to specialist providers, like Choosing Therapy, and make it simple for patients to follow through with the care that they need,» says Kirat Kharode, HealCo Co-Founder and CEO. 

No longer needing to search through their Rolodex for a mental health specialist, primary care and other referring providers have one simple step when they determine their patient requires mental health care: notify HealCo.

«Primary care physicians and other specialists have always been in a unique position to recognize the mental health needs of their patients. Traditionally though, finding a therapist was left to the patient and the process could take weeks and be so frustrating that many would give up before getting the care they needed. Choosing Therapy and HealCo have now made it easy to see a licensed psychotherapist in as little as 12 hours, reducing the time to first appointment and increasing access to mental healthcare,» says Marc Prosser, Choosing Therapy CEO.

If you’re a provider interested in becoming a host with HealCo’s Health System Without Walls, contact [email protected] and let us streamline the care coordination process with the support of our new partners. Experts say, «Every time we talk about public health, we should talk about mental health.» Every time we talk about mental health, we should talk about HealCo and Choosing Therapy.

Contact: [email protected]

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