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GETTYSBURG, Pa., Oct. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2021, 50% of health plans surveyed said they now reimburse for electronic cognitive behavioral therapy (E-CBT), up from just 23% in 2019 and 30% of payers now reimburse for text-based therapy, up from just 5% in 2019.

These were the findings of a national survey of U.S. health plans conducted by OPEN MINDS. The survey results are published in the new Otsuka America Pharmaceutical book Trends in Behavioral Health Guide, Third Edition (The Guide), published free of charge on PsychU.org.

Highlights include:

  • In 2021, almost all health plans (98%) now reimburse for psychiatric consults, up from 72% of health plans in 2019.
  • Access to telehealth has increased to 100% in 2021 from 85% in 2019.
  • Networks have been expanded to include specific provider types of treatment services for addiction services to 100% in 2021 vs. 84% in 2019.
  • Member access have increased access to select and view the schedules of providers when booking appointments, up to 48% in 2021 vs. 5% in 2019.

"Our goal with this Third Edition is to continue to make a positive contribution to the national conversation among key stakeholders, including commercial and government payers, integrated care delivery networks, and providers, about the disproportionate effect that behavioral health disorders still place on Americans," said Sean Phillips, Pharm.D., Vice President, Market Access for Otsuka American Pharmaceutical which sponsors the publication of the 130-page guidebook as well as the website PsychU, where the guidebook and many other resources for consumers and providers can be downloaded free.

Other highlights include:

  • Details on how quickly and dramatically the behavioral health market switched to telehealth and other online tools as the widespread fear, bereavement, isolation, and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the world's strained mental health, putting additional pressures on the existing network of mental health resources.
  • Information on how behavioral health providers quickly adapted many technologies being piloted before the pandemic, such telehealth, E-CBT, text-based therapy, wearables, artificial intelligence, and smart homes.
  • Data on how the pandemic has affected the looming shortage of behavioral health providers, such as the fact that 60% of all counties in the United States lack even one practicing psychiatrist. Telehealth has improved access for many in the country, but the report says it's unclear if changes to allow providers to practice across state lines will continue after the public health emergency ends.


OPEN MINDS is a national leader in market intelligence and management best practices focused on organizations serving consumers with chronic conditions and complex needs. Our unique approach is based on focus and synergy:

First, we stay exclusively focused on a very specific set of domains in the health and human service field – mental health, addiction treatment, chronic disease management, intellectual and developmental disabilities services, disability supports and long-term care, children's services, juvenile justice, corrections health care, and social services. We have deep knowledge of these market areas – and the $860 billion in spending in each.

Second, our unique structure and variety of services fosters a unique synergy between market intelligence and tradecraft. Our team is research-based at its core – with 40+ team members dedicated to tracking every market development, government contract, legislative change, payer, and provider organization in the field. We combine this wealth of market research with a national team of seasoned executives, subject matter experts, and strategic analysts with 'on-the-ground' management experience to provide real-world insights and solutions to the organizations we support.

For over three decades, OPEN MINDS has been the 'bridge to business success' for thousands of organizations in health and human services. We understand and interpret the implications of changing policy and changing science – and how to navigate and leverage those changes for organizational sustainability and success.

About The Trends in Behavioral Health Series

The Trends in Behavioral Health guides provide information and insights into the multi-layered United States behavioral health system. They include in-depth view of current statistics, prevailing issues, and emerging trends in order to inform the discussions, debates, and decision-making of policy-makers, payers, providers, advocates and consumers. The complete Guides address current behavioral health care trends topics, including:

  • A look at the national policy that is shaping the U.S. health and human services market
  • A view of the state behavioral health delivery systems that were created by a combination of historical practices, federal and state policy, and market factors over recent years
  • An examination of the practices of health plans that manage both physical and behavioral health care for the vast majority of the U.S. population
  • A deep-dive into behavioral health care access and delivery of care from the consumer perspective

The Guide Updates provide concise summaries of major changes occurring in the industry. These include high-level impacts of situations affecting behavioral health care (such as COVID-19), new trends, policy changes, and much more.

About PsychU

PsychU members share one simple belief: improved information, increased collaboration, and ongoing discussion will lead to improved mental health care and patient outcomes for individuals with mental illness. Over 64,000 health care professionals who provide, regulate, or administer mental health services are part of the PsychU community. Membership is free and provides complete access to all programs and resources on PsychU.

PsychU is supported by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC), Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI), and Lundbeck, LLC., and is managed by OPEN MINDS – committed supporters of the mental health treatment community. Editorial development and support for PsychU is provided by OPDC, Oxford Pharmagenesis, Inc., MedThink SciCom, a division of MedThink Inc., and OPEN MINDS, who have been compensated for their services.

Learn more about the community, or become a member today by visiting www.PsychU.org.

For additional questions and inquiries, please contact Murray Beachtel, Senior Consultant, OPEN MINDS at 717-334-1329 or openminds@openminds.com.


This article originally ran on curated.tncontentexchange.com.


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