As part of its effort to encourage entrepreneurs to enter the Medicaid market, CHCF co-sponsored the ACAP Medicaid Innovation Challenge, whose winner, AbleTo, receives $100,000 and a pilot opportunity.
The Association of Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) today announced that AbleTo, Inc., a technology-enabled provider of behavioral health care, won the inaugural ACAP Medicaid Innovation Challenge. AbleTo was selected from a pool of more than 70 companies eager to scale their technology solutions in the Medicaid market. The diversity of applicants' products, which included transportation solutions, substance use disorder programs, and risk stratification tools, illustrates the wide scope of the innovation opportunity within Medicaid.
AbleTo is a technology-enabled provider of behavioral health care that treats people for depression, anxiety, and stress associated with co-morbid medical conditions and life events. The company has experience working with regional and national health plans for over five years. The four key barriers to behavioral health care that AbleTo seeks to address are especially relevant for Medicaid populations: accelerating identification of those in need, improving access to high-quality care, enhancing care coordination, and increasing medical cost savings.
The ACAP Medicaid Innovation Challenge, a partnership with the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) Health Innovation Fund and Village Capital, focuses on helping private market companies succeed at improving access and quality for Medicaid plans and their members. The challenge winner receives $100,000 to work with an ACAP-member safety-net health plan.
"The depth and breadth of our entrant pool demonstrates that entrepreneurs are increasingly recognizing the immense opportunity that Medicaid, which covers one in five Americans, presents. Medicaid's beneficiaries face a disproportionate number of barriers to achieving better health outcomes, meaning that innovators have an outsized opportunity for impact in this market," said Melissa Buckley, director of CHCF's Health Innovation Fund.
AbleTo identifies and engages members with unmet, often undiagnosed, behavioral health needs. A proprietary platform connects individuals with licensed providers who deliver weekly sessions by phone or video supported by an integrated digital experience. The platform allows for scheduling, treatment, care coordination, and structured data capture for measurement of outcomes. After determining the appropriate resource, the company offers patients access to evidence-based, structured treatment of depression, anxiety, and stress. Their programs are available around the clock in English and Spanish.
Peer-reviewed studies have found that successful completion of the program leads to shorter and less frequent hospital stays; reductions in depression, anxiety, and stress by 50%; greater stability in blood glucose levels for diabetics; and increased work productivity. AbleTo most recently published a peer-reviewed study showing that participants of its chronic pain program experienced reductions in depression symptoms.
"There's a direct connection between early intervention and 'bending the cost curve' in health care. AbleTo's work is a natural fit for the care management activities of our safety-net health plans," said ACAP CEO Meg Murray. "Their virtual appointments hold a great deal of promise for improving access to needed behavioral health services to low-income patients by addressing issues of provider scarcity and transportation in one stroke. We’re excited to work with them."
"AbleTo aims to help people overcome their behavioral health challenges, so that they can live in as happy, healthy and productive a way as possible, regardless of their income," said AbleTo President and CEO Rob Rebak. "We look forward to extending our solution to increase care options for low-income populations and empower these individuals through proven, high-quality behavioral health care."
ACAP represents 61 nonprofit safety-net health plans in 29 states, which collectively serve more than 21 million people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other public health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
About AbleTo, Inc.
AbleTo, Inc. is a market leader in providing technology-enabled behavioral health care. AbleTo has been treating patients for six years, and improves patient outcomes and lowers costs by providing treatment that integrates behavioral and medical health care. AbleTo's structured therapy programs strengthen medical recovery and self-care among members with chronic or complex clinical needs. AbleTo analytics, coupled with our multi-channel engagement platform, identify and engage members with unmet, often undiagnosed, behavioral health needs. A proprietary platform connects individuals and their care teams with AbleTo licensed providers who deliver weekly sessions by phone or video supported by an integrated digital experience. AbleTo programs are clinically proven to improve both behavioral health and medical outcomes while lowering overall spending for higher-cost, higher-risk members. AbleTo's investors include .406 Ventures, Sandbox Industries, HLM Venture Partners, Horizon Health care Services, Inc., Bain Capital Ventures, and Aetna Ventures. Follow AbleTo on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About the California Health Care Foundation
The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.
The CHCF Health Innovation Fund brings entrepreneurial innovation to support the CHCF mission by investing in new and emerging technologies in the safety net. Find out more at www.chcf.org/innovation-fund.