Valera Health secures $44.5 million to expand its virtual mental health capabilities - MedCity News

Virtual Behavioral Health Provider Hello Valera aims to be a ‘one stop shop’ for those who need mental health support. The company provides care regardless of age, severity or type of insurance.

“We see both children and adults,” CEO Dr. Thomas Tsang said in an interview. “We see mild, moderate and severe [mental illness] … We accept all lines of business, including commercial, Medicare and Medicaid, which not many companies accept.”

Now Hello Valera, based in New York, will work to advance its care after receiving $44.5 million in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to about $70 million. The funding round was led by Heritage Groupand included participation from the investment divisions of insurers such as Cigna Ventures and Trinnovate Ventures of Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona.

Heritage Group chose to invest in the company because of its concern for a broad range of people, said Lauren Brugen, a partner at the firm.

“Valera’s ability to engage patients, improve outcomes and reduce the overall cost of care for populations ranging from the lower wit to the seriously mentally ill population has established the practice as a leader in behavioral health,” Brugen said in news release.

Meanwhile, Cigna invested in Valera because of its use of evidence-based care, said Tom Richards, global leader of strategy and business development at Cigna. The payer is one of Valera’s insurance partners.

“Valera’s focus on evidence-based care and its holistic approach to treatment enables providers to deliver exceptional care, including for those suffering from high-acuity conditions,” Richards said in the release.

With the funding, the company will invest in analytics and data science, technology and growing its staff, Tsang said. The latter includes investing in more suppliers, leads and business development professionals.

The startup provides a combination of therapy, care management and medication management, Tsang said. It currently offers patient care in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Arizona, Washington and Connecticut. Valera’s insurance partners include Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare. However, those without insurance can also access the company’s services, starting at $59 per therapy session, according to website.

Valera study found that patients who used its application showed significant improvement in depression and anxiety scores and remission rates. Additionally, user engagement was 68% when technology adoption among the Medicaid population is typically 30%.

Ultimately, the company aims to serve those who often struggle to get mental health care, Tsang said.

“Our overarching mission is to bring access to those who really need it the most,” he said. “Especially patients with severe mental illness and people who traditionally have very little access to care.”

Other virtual mental health providers include Brave Healtha company primarily focused on Medicaid patients, and Brightline, which takes care of families. Brave also recently announced a funding round, insurance 40 million dollars.

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