• Thriveworks recognizes the surging demand for mental health solutions alongside the persistent barriers of access and affordability.
  • Recent discussions at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference underscore the vital role of trust, collaboration, and integrated care in achieving improved behavioral health outcomes.
  • Thriveworks emphasizes the need to rebuild confidence in healthcare systems, citing declining trust exacerbated by rising costs, limited communication, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Thriveworks advocates for simplifying the complex U.S. healthcare system by leveraging technology while maintaining human connection, emphasizing the importance of care coordination in mental health treatment.
  • To address barriers to access and affordability, Thriveworks highlights the need for hybrid care models, offering both virtual and in-person options with broad insurance coverage, to extend the reach of established healthcare systems.

As a leader in mental healthcare delivery for over 15 years, Thriveworks has seen mental healthcare demand skyrocket and explosive growth in behavioral health solutions. Despite this growth, lack of both access and affordability continue to plague consumers while trust in the system erodes. 

Themes from the stage at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference mirror conversations we are having every day with provider and payer partners – the path to improved behavioral health outcomes is through trust, collaboration and integrated care. 

Build Back Confidence in Healthcare

Trust in the U.S. healthcare system has declined during the past half century, with many reasons to cite including rising costs, limited time for communication, highly public conflicts of interest within the system, and consumerism. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this decline.

Deloitte research has found that not only did mistrust result in negative patient experiences, but it also resulted in skipped or avoided care, and irreparable damage to patients’ viewpoints of the particular provider or group. 

In mental healthcare, where it can take up to 11 years for a patient to seek care, we simply cannot afford to lose patients once they finally take the difficult step of accessing care. To build patient trust in both providers and in the healthcare system at large, we must deliver a seamless patient experience and enforce the highest quality standards. 

As a clinician-founded and clinician-led mental health provider since 2008, Thriveworks is rooted in evidence-based practices. Our clinicians are consistently trained to high quality standards and supported in their daily clinical efforts to increase their clinical care time and give their full attention to the delivery of patient care.

Simplify the System 

One issue fueling the lack of confidence is how deeply complex the U.S. healthcare system is. Leaders are keen to strike a balance between leveraging technology and maintaining human connection.   

Emerging technology solutions like generative AI, ambient documentation for clinicians and voice inflection are being explored as opportunities to remove inefficiencies in operational activities, improve illness detection and ultimately improve patient outcomes. 

With 6 in 10 adults in the US living with a chronic disease and 4 in 10 living with two or more,  coordination of care also adds to the complexity. Recent AAPA research showed that U.S. adults spend on average one working day per month coordinating care for themselves or others. 

When caring for patients who are experiencing mental health challenges, coordination of care is the cornerstone to ensuring that patients do not fall through the cracks in a complicated system. 

At Thriveworks, we prioritize care coordination and the technology needed to achieve operational efficiency, through our Center of Excellence, a dedicated team of care coordination specialists who are the glue between our patients, providers, and payer partners. 

Improve Access & Afordability 

Barriers to access & affordable healthcare continue to prevent Americans from seeking care and the prevalence of these barriers is higher among people with mental health conditions. 

Research has shown that in the U.S., there are an estimated 350 individuals for every one mental health provider. Major healthcare systems report glacial speed to mental health care, with average wait times for behavioral health services hovering around 6 weeks nationally. This is anticipated to persist and perhaps worsen due to a significantly smaller pipeline of clinicians by 2030. 

When care is within reach, affordability presents a barrier with 42% of the population expressing that cost and lack of insurance coverage are top barriers to accessing mental health care. The cost of care leaves 1 in 4 Americans to choose between mental health and paying for daily necessities. 

As consumers grapple with these difficult day-to-day decisions, healthcare systems struggle to scale in-house behavioral health units due to rising operational costs and declining reimbursements. This is driving an acceleration in asset-light outpatient partnerships with trusted mental health organizations to extend access to patients. 

Hybrid care models, offering virtual and in-person care with broad insurance coverage, like Thriveworks, can help extend the footprint of established healthcare systems while remaining an affordable solution for in-network care. 

Crack the Value-Based Care Code 

While value-based care has been difficult to accomplish, particularly in behavioral health, due to misaligned incentives for health systems and the need for specialized resources such as data and member engagement, small steps forward are finally taking place.  

Large health systems are doubling down on payvider structures with a focus on improving the mix between plan and care delivery. Payers are locking in on improving MA Star Ratings through improvements to member experience. 

While there are more behavioral health companies than ever before, the landscape is volatile. Providers and payers must have reliable external networks in place to grow alongside them in measurement-based care models. 

Setting the Stage for Collaborative Care  

These interrelated challenges will not be solved in a year’s time, but progress can be made with collaborative care ecosystems at the helm. Vertical integration of care teams, diversification in outpatient care, and a steadfast focus on patient experience and quality will move the needle on behavioral healthcare transformation. 

As a trusted leader in mental health care delivery, Thriveworks develops strategic partnerships with healthcare organizations and payers to offer expanded choice, accelerated access, elevated experience and consistently deliver a higher quality of care to patients. 

Whether your organization is seeking a collaborative partner in behavioral health or you are simply seeking a partner who can help to fill the gaps of today, we encourage you to reach out to our partnerships team at enterprise@thriveworks.com to learn more about how we can help.