Bicycle Health announces 5 new payer partnerships, including BCBS Texas

Bicycle Health, a virtual provider for opioid use disorder, is partnering with five additional payers, it said in an announcement provided exclusively to Fierce Healthcare.

The partnerships are with Molina Healthcare and McLaren Health Plans in Michigan, UHC Community Plan in Arizona, Health First Colorado (the state’s Medicaid program) and Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas. In total, these payer partnerships have the potential to reach more than 8 million patients, the company said. Coverage will include medication management, behavioral health (individual or group psychotherapy, medical care), support groups and care coordination.

“From high costs to significant time commitments, many traditional OUD recovery programs just aren’t realistic options for the vast majority of patient experiences,” Bicycle Health CEO and founder Ankit Gupta said in a statement. “We are committed to making science-based, holistic OUD treatment accessible to all who need it—and these partnerships are an exciting step towards that goal.”

Despite existing bias in telemedicine that the medium is intended for more stable patients, that is not the case, cautioned Gupta. Just because a patient is on Medicaid at a given period, for instance, does not mean they will be forever. In determining eligibility for telemedicine treatment, “it’s less about what insurance someone has and more about what is the acuity of their condition and the social support system that they have,” Gupta told Fierce Healthcare.

The company’s 30-day retention rate is 75%; among insured patients, it's 86%, according to recent published data. Both are estimated to be better than the industry average. Its no-show rate is 9.5% compared to a 23% average. Bicycle Health provides its services through its virtual platform, where clinicians oversee treatment and prescribe medication. Clinical support specialists are also available on-demand to patients to help navigate their care journey.

Bicycle Health is available in 23 states.