Transcarent launching behavioral health offering

Transcarent is rolling out a behavioral health offering that aims to boost access to care, a major challenge for people with mental health needs.

Jeff Dobro of Transcarent
Jeff Dobro (Transcarent)

The new program ensures that members who need therapy can access an appointment in person or virtually within three days. However, it's designed to address a spectrum of behavioral health needs, both high and low acuity, Jeff Dobro, M.D., chief innovation officer at Transcarent, tells Fierce Healthcare exclusively.

For example, a person who is dealing with stress or mild anxiety may be able to manage their condition on their own with the help of an app or peer coaching. However, someone with more severe depression or a substance abuse disorder will be connected with psychiatry that can treat those needs, Dobro said.

"The program allows the members to get the right treatment and the right diagnosis at the right time," Dobro said.

The program represents a significant opportunity to slash wait times for behavioral health, which is a central concern for employers and patients who work with Transcarent. On average, Americans wait more than 21 days to see a mental health professional.

Transcarent has built direct connections to providers' scheduling systems that allows it to ease the process of actually scheduling an appointment, the company said. 

In addition to decreasing the wait time to see a professional, Transcarent will aggregate solutions to address behavioral health concerns across the spectrum. Transcarent will conduct "dynamic" intake assessments to help guide members to a personalized care plan and the right providers.

Dobro added that Transcarent's telehealth providers are trained to screen for behavioral health concerns, which also helps direct people to the services they need. Primary care doctors will ask open-ended questions about mental health during a visit, even if it's for an acute health need, to help identify challenges.

He said that discussing mental health during these visits can minimize stigma and make patients feel more comfortable seeking care.

The behavioral health program is also designed to feed back into Transcarent's broader program, providing greater information about the member to personalize their care. It also connects directly to other offerings the company has launched, such as its oncology program, as those conditions can also worsen mental health.

"We think it's so foundational to any other part of our program," Dobro said.