ReKlame Health, a telehealth startup focused on BIPOC communities, is now an in-network mental health provider in New York, New Jersey and Florida.
These are the three states where ReKlame currently operates. The provider is also in-network with Optum, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Oxford and Oscar. The Black-founded and Black-led company aims to bring quality, culturally appropriate telepsychiatry and addiction treatment to historically marginalized communities.
“ReKlame Health is a mission-driven company that is advancing behavioral health equity by lowering barriers to access care for an underserved population,” Evans Rochaste, N.P., founder and CEO of ReKlame Health, said in an announcement provided first to Fierce Healthcare. “By joining Cigna’s network, we’re now able to reach thousands more BIPOC patients who are in dire need of mental health and addiction care services.”
As the U.S. is in the throes of a mental health crisis, people of color face disproportionate barriers to accessing care. This is driven by cultural stigma, medical discrimination, wealth gaps and a lack of mental health practitioners who are Black, Latino or Indigenous. What’s more, not all therapists accept insurance, creating another barrier to seeking care.
ReKlame creates customized plans that integrate multiple therapeutics and modalities to treat patients holistically. Its current team of four providers is trained in cultural competency so their patients can feel safe and heard, and the company prioritizes recruiting providers who are focused on equity or have unique lived experiences, Rochaste told Fierce Healthcare. Providers screen for social determinants of health (SDOH) on every visit and may refer patients to community-based organizations as needed, he added.
“At the end of every visit, our care teams are collaborating to be able to provide that unique service,” Rochaste said.
The company tracks, among other things, clinical outcomes -- over a five-week period, 70% of ReKlame patients report a reduction in symptoms for anxiety, depression and ADHD.
In an effort to be an affordable option, the company says it provides cash pay visits at half the national average and also offers a sliding scale pay option for those in need. Approximately 88% of ReKlame’s patients have insurance, according to Rochaste.
Though most patients can be seen virtually, ReKlame does have a location in New York City for those who require in-person appointments, Rochaste noted. Approximately 10% of ReKlame’s patients are receiving addiction treatment or medications for opioid use disorder.
Launched near the end of 2020, ReKlame has expanded beyond New York in the past year. Looking ahead, the company hopes to lock in a Medicaid contract in New York by the end of 2023. Given existing disparities among the population it serves, ReKlame is focused on serving these three states before expanding elsewhere.
“Here and now, we’re just really prioritizing the markets that we’re currently in,” Rochaste said.
ReKlame is actively hiring clinicians in all the states where it operates and is looking to add another 10 clinicians to its practice by May.