| December 1, 2019

American Well is buying Aligned Telehealth to tackle mental health issues

Anca Spanu

Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at... Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at various media outlets all over the world. At Healthcare Weekly, Anca writes about current events, innovations in the healthcare space and events/ conferences with a focus on investing & startups.

National telehealth leader American Well® announced November 7th it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Aligned Telehealth, a leader in providing behavioral telehealth and telepsychiatry services to hospitals and health plans.

Telemedicine, the new bright star of the medical world

Telemedicine or telehealth is a collective term for using digital avenues and a series of other telecommunication technologies to facilitate long-distance healthcare access for patients and improve the quality of care.

Telemedicine has grown exponentially in the last few decades thanks to the digital evolution of the healthcare industry. It has been proven to decrease healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.

Now, over 70 percent of healthcare businesses have implemented telemedicine in some way in order to diversify their practices and connect with patients in ways that better suit them.

Telemedicine usage is as diverse as the technology itself, with telemedicine being used for patient interactions ranging from monitoring health conditions to online consultations, and even to fulfill medication.

This recent deal will combine Aligned Telehealth’s ability to access a network of clinical experts with American Well’s digital care delivery platform. The two companies plan to deliver programs to help hospitals, health plans and the industry at large address the increasing challenges of clinician shortages, fragmented care and societal stigmas impeding adequate behavioral health access and treatment.

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“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,” said Ido Schoenberg, M.D., Chairman and CEO, American Well.

Aligned Telehealth is the leading player in on-demand telepsychiatry services

Mental health is a serious matter in the U.S., with nearly 1 in 5 adults throughout the country — about 44 million — experiencing mental illness in a given year. About 12 million visits to the E.R. annually, or 1 out of every 8 such visits, are due to behavioral health issues. Of the Americans with a behavioral health diagnosis, nearly 25 percent are enrolled in Medicaid, making it the primary provider of mental health services for people affected by serious mental health conditions. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that only about one-quarter of the nation’s mental health patients’ needs are met. American Well’s purchase of Aligned Telehealth might improve on those figures.

“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.”

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“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.”

Future solutions to give patients access to better, broader care

Aligned Telehealth – which raised a total of $12.9 million in funding over four rounds and has an estimated revenue of $4 million, according to Crunchbase – brings many advantages that complement American Well’s presence in the hospital. The combined team hopes to accelerate the development of future solutions to give patients access to better, broader care, including:

  • Differentiated Behavioral Health Services – The Aligned Telehealth acquisition brings access to a suite of behavioral telehealth and telepsychiatry capabilities with industry-leading response times.
  • Growth and Scale of Clinical Expertise – Aligned Telehealth brings access to a dedicated, talented team of professionals and doctors with renowned healthcare and clinical expertise. By complementing and growing American Well’s network of partner providers, Aligned Telehealth will provide clients with an increased array of clinical program options to scale their telehealth offerings.
  • Strong Customer Base and Client Satisfaction – Leading healthcare organizations, such as Dignity Health, Christus Health and many others have had success using Aligned Telehealth’s behavioral telehealth and telepsychiatry services.
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“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.”

About American Well

American Well is a leading telehealth platform in the United States and globally, connecting and enabling providers, insurers, patients, and innovators to deliver greater access to more affordable, higher quality care. American Well believes that digital care delivery will transform healthcare. The Company offers a single, comprehensive platform to support all telehealth needs from urgent to acute and post-acute care, as well as chronic care management and healthy living. With over a decade of experience, American Well powers telehealth solutions for over 160 health systems composed of 2,000 hospitals and 55 health plan partners with over 36,000 employers, reaching more than 150 million patients.

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About Aligned Telehealth

Aligned Telehealth, Inc. is a leading national provider of telepsychiatry services to hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, and correctional programs. The company provides customized programs for accountable care organizations (ACOs) and health plans tailored toward delivering high-quality and cost-effective behavioral health solutions that put the patient at the center of care. Through innovative and disruptive telemedicine solutions, Aligned Telehealth is helping underserved populations gain better access to mental health services, while also maintaining the highest standards in patient confidentiality.


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