Anthem BCBS in Virginia selects Confidant Well being for psychological well being/substance use help

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Virginia is partnering with tech behavioral healthcare provider Confidant Health for addiction treatment services, the companies announced Wednesday.

Bethel, Connecticut-based Confidant Health offers a variety of services for mental health and substance use disorders through its app, including medication management, therapy, counseling, health and recovery coaching and group support. In its partnership with Anthem BCBS in Virginia, the company is starting with members with opioid use disorder, but is offering them its full array of services, said Sam Arsenault Wilson, chief quality officer and co-founder of Confidant Health. 

This is particularly important to fill the substance use treatment gap given 97.5% of people with substance use disorder who do not get care do not feel they need ‘treatment,’” Wilson said.

There’s a need in Virginia, where opioid deaths increased by 42% in 2020, according to a news release. Drug poisoning deaths increased by 22% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

Wilson added that its services are especially helpful for people who are unable to receive care in-person because of transportation, childcare or other challenges.

Members can be referred directly to Confidant Health by Anthem or a healthcare provider, and then the company will reach out to book an appointment, Wilson said. Otherwise, members can go through the app, which can be downloaded on the Apple app store or Google Play. When people go through the app, they can book an appointment to talk with a clinician, or they can communicate with its chatbot named Alfie. Through their conversations, members determine their goals and get directed to support based on their individual needs. Then they can receive ongoing care, whether it be through therapy sessions, medication management, exercises, reading or other resources. 

“Each member’s care journey is customized and designed to meet their needs using a range of evidence-based practices,” Wilson said.

The chatbot was built over two years by a group of technologists, epidemiologists, health economists, behavioral health providers, patient advocates, people using drugs and family members, according to Confidant’s website.

Other companies in the addiction treatment and mental health space include Workit Health, Bicycle Health, Boulder Care and Quit Genius. But Wilson claimed Confidant Health differs by appealing more broadly to those struggling with mental health or people just looking to improve their overall quality of life.

“Confidant Health meets all members where they are in their journey whether they suspect things could be better or they’re seeking help for addiction and mental illness,” Wilson said.

While this partnership is starting with members with opioid use disorder, Wilson said the goal is to expand to other members in the future.

Photo: SIphotography, Getty Images

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