Headspace, Intermountain's Castell team up to expand behavioral health access

Digital mental health company Headspace is teaming up with Castell, Intermountain Healthcare’s value-based care subsidiary, to expand access to virtual mental health services.

The partnership will provide members of select insurance plans in Utah access to Headspace’s self-guided content, behavioral health coaching and therapy in an outcomes-based payment model. Headspace is now the first digital mental health provider in Castell's network. 

The collaboration aims to address the growing mental health crisis by integrating Headspace’s offerings into Castell’s value-based model of care. Castell was launched in 2019 by Intermountain Healthcare to boost value-based care capabilities among providers and payers.

“Our goal with patients is to help them have the most holistic view of their health. Being able to better address and integrate a patient’s mental health status is critical to treating the whole person and elevating the quality of care they receive,” Jay Zerwekh, CEO of Castell, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to partner with Headspace to give patients access to behavioral health coaching and tools that can be tailored to meet their individual needs.”

Castell’s care coordinators will be able to assess eligibility and refer members to Headspace for behavioral health services and support. The company’s behavioral health coaches respond to outreach in two minutes or less to provide care in moments of need. They help build coping skills and manage daily stressors, while licensed therapists are trained in a variety of treatment modalities. This approach lets members step into higher or lower levels of care as needed.

The program will also be an opportunity to explore behavioral health coaching—which Headspace holds as an important avenue to support members between high-acuity visits—as a viable care modality in a value-based arrangement.

A majority of its members can have their needs met through this less costly care avenue, the company said in the announcement, and the highest likelihood of symptom improvement, it has found, is when teletherapy and coaching are used in conjunction.

Headspace has pursued other value-based care contracts in the past, partnering with Blue Shield of California. On the first day Headspace was available through the plan’s Wellvolution program, thousands of members signed up to access its offerings. 

A few months later, Blue Shield onboarded partner Ginger, a teletherapy provider that merged with Headspace in 2021. Earlier this year, Blue Shield opened up its Wellvolution program to Medicaid members in the state.

"We’re proud to be selected as Castell’s partner to expand access to mental health care offerings in value-based care. Headspace and Castell have a shared belief in outcomes-based care that promotes positive clinical experiences and engaging, compassionate care for members," Katie DiPerna Cook, senior vice president of partnerships at Headspace, said in the announcement. "Together, we are tackling the mental health crisis by providing individuals with the right support at the right time—bridging access gaps to ensure everyone has the opportunity to receive high-quality care."