Friday, November 08, 2019
National telehealth leader American Well® announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Aligned Telehealth, a leader in the provision of behavioral telehealth and telepsychiatry services to hospitals and health plans. Combining Aligned Telehealth's ability to access a network of clinical experts with American Well's digital care delivery platform, the companies will deliver programs that hospitals, health plans and the industry at large can leverage to address the mounting challenges of clinician shortages, fragmented care and societal stigmas impeding adequate behavioral health access and treatment.
Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults — about 44 million — experience mental illness in a given year. In the emergency department alone, behavioral health conditions account for 1 out of every 8 visits or about 12 million visits annually. Additionally, nearly 25 percent of Americans with a behavioral health diagnosis are enrolled in Medicaid, making Medicaid the main provider of mental health services for people affected by serious mental health conditions.i Overall, the Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that only about one quarter of the nation's mental health patients' needs are met.
"Aligned Telehealth is the leading player in on-demand telepsychiatry services, supporting major medical centers and Medicaid plans in their efforts to meet the needs of patients," said Ido Schoenberg, M.D., Chairman and CEO, American Well. "By adding the Aligned clinical network and expertise, American Well can further expand and enhance our virtual behavioral health programs, an exciting and important endeavor that will positively impact patients, their families, and the treatment teams providing their care, while advancing clinical outcomes and reducing overall costs."
"We've long believed that by applying powerful technology and the right clinical expertise we can improve access to mental health services for those who need it," said Nitin Nanda, M.D., Founder and CEO, Aligned Telehealth. "Within the hospital space and in service of the Medicaid population, we've proven this belief to be true. We're excited to join forces with American Well to help patients further overcome the barriers of access, cost, time, and stigma when it comes to getting the care they need and reducing the burden on providers."
The addition of Aligned Telehealth brings many advantages that complement American Well's presence in the hospital, broader acute care and health plan market, as well as will accelerate the development of future solutions, including:
"The increased utilization of telehealth is re-shaping the healthcare landscape and there is no area that has been more affected than behavioral health," said Jason Close, System Director of the Dignity Health Telemedicine Network.
"Our goal is to transform healthcare by backing highly strategic and profoundly impactful organizations," said Michael Balmuth, Managing Partner at SV Health Investors, Aligned's sole institutional investor. "Aligned Telehealth has delivered proven results in the behavioral health space generally and telepsychiatry specifically. We're delighted to see Aligned join forces with American Well and to be stakeholders in this combination of two mission-oriented, results-driven companies. Together, we expect they will advance the cause of mental health treatment and more broadly change the way we all think about telehealth."
"American Well is focused on building the most comprehensive platform to enable digitally enhanced care services, online and in person, across the full continuum of care. We aim to connect and provide value to all healthcare ecosystem partners including providers, payers, consumers and the industries that support them. With this acquisition, we're yet another step closer to realizing our mission," added Schoenberg.