By Riley Kaminer
Amidst our country’s looming mental health crisis, there is a broad swathe of the population that is underserved by traditional mental health offerings: Medicaid patients. While 1 in 4 Americans are covered by Medicaid, only 35% of psychiatrists accept this coverage.
Miami-based Brave Health is bridging the gap by providing Medicaid patients with virtual mental health services. Today, the company announced that it has raised a $40 million Series C to propel this mission forward – bringing its total funding to $60 million. Town Hall Ventures led the round, with additional participation from existing investors including Union Square Ventures and City Light Capital.
Brave Health provides telehealth-enabled counseling, therapy, psychiatry, and medication management to Medicaid patients as well as patients with private healthcare plans. They treat a wide range of mental health and substance use disorders, all through their digital platform.
This tech-enabled approach lets Brave Health engage with patients before they leave hospital settings. That way, these patients can sidestep the long wait times typically associated with behavioral health services: upwards of 48 days on average.
“The power of startups to innovate in the healthcare space is enormous,” CEO Anna Lindow told Refresh Miami last month. “There is a huge amount of opportunity to change some of the industry’s operating practices and bring technology that gets used in other settings to healthcare.”
The data supports this assertion. Since being founded in 2019, Brave Health has covered more than 65 million people across 18 states through partnerships with around 200 health plan contracts.
With these funds, Brave Health will develop more partnerships and continue to develop their platform, with a particular focus on their patient engagement and outcomes. The Series C will also enable the startup to expand into new states and ink further deals in the states where it is currently active.
Miami has played a key role in Brave Health’s growth, Lindow explained. “As a founder based here, I am grateful for the Miami startup and entrepreneur community. The support I have received from others in this community has been invaluable.”
Beyond the positive societal benefits associated with Brave Health’s offering, there is also a tangible business need. Insurers are looking for ways to manage rapidly rising costs for mental health treatments. More often than not, Medicaid bears the brunt of these costs.
“The team at Brave Health has demonstrated a commitment to doing the hard work of engaging the most vulnerable populations at their most vulnerable moments and getting them into ongoing care,” Town Hall Ventures general partner Andy Slavitt said in a statement.
“And they’re taking on the accountability to improve patient outcomes and ultimately reduce the total cost of care,” Slavitt continued. “We are thrilled to support Brave Health’s expansion as they work to revamp the way mental health services are delivered and paid for on behalf of Medicaid populations across the country.”
Town Hall Ventures reportedly assessed 50 behavioral health startups this year. But Principal Anna Fagin told Axios that “the commitment to Medicaid really stood out.”
Lindow has been based in South Florida since 2016. Before founding Brave Health, she worked at tech education organization General Assembly, where she was first exposed to the opportunities for digital solutions to behavioral health issues.
For Lindow, it’s only up from here. “We know that the need is greater than it’s ever been – yet the supply of mental health providers who accept Medicaid is shrinking,” she said.
“We’re most excited about addressing the market that is deeply needed at a scale that makes a deep and meaningful impact.”
This story has been updated.
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