NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fort Health, Inc., built in partnership with the Child Mind Institute, the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health, announces a new virtual mental health clinic for kids covered by insurance. Built at Redesign Health, Fort Health aims to bridge the gap between behavioral health and primary care. Approximately 1 in 5 children in the United States has a mental health condition, but only about half of those who need mental health care are currently receiving it.
Led by distinguished clinical experts, Fort Health’s approach to addressing this urgent systemic issue is to partner directly with pediatricians to increase access to quality care. Approximately 75 percent of behavioral health care starts with a visit to a primary care doctor, yet 65 percent of pediatricians report difficulties finding referrals for their patients. Fort Health is currently accepting Aetna Optum/United Healthcare and Geisinger Health Plan commercial insurance in New Jersey, with plans to expand into New York and additional states later in 2023. Fort Health recently secured a $4.5 M investment from Blue Venture Fund to expand access to evidence-based treatment across the country.
“Approximately 30 percent of pediatric visits include a behavioral health concern. Pediatricians are expected to provide care, yet are not given the time, training, or referral options to do so,” said Matt Biel, MD, Child Psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer, Fort Health. “By streamlining direct referrals and coordinating care between the pediatrician, our therapists and psychiatrists, and parents, we are able to provide faster access to higher quality mental health care for more families.”
Caregivers typically face many obstacles as they seek mental health care solutions for their children. Long wait times for appointments are commonplace, and behavioral health providers are four times more likely to be out-of-network compared with other medical specialists, putting pediatric mental health care out of reach for many.
“Digitizing youth mental health treatment alone will not solve this crisis. We are built in partnership with the Child Mind Institute, the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health, to deliver a more effective, affordable, and evidence-based solution,” said Natalie Schneider, CEO, Fort Health. “As a parent, I’m excited to be part of a long-term solution that meaningfully engages families and is redesigning how we approach youth mental health care to better serve our kids.”
“At the Child Mind Institute, we work on the front lines of the children’s mental health care crisis, so we know that getting access to evidence-based care is often one of the toughest challenges that families face. That’s why we’re so excited by Fort Health’s vision to provide an insurance-based telehealth offering that connects youth mental health practitioners with pediatricians,” said Dr. Harold Koplewicz, Director of Fort Health, President and Medical Director of the Child Mind Institute.
Fort Health offers fast access to affordable and evidence-based care through partnerships with:
- Pediatricians: Fort Health enables pediatricians to make direct referrals, provides care coordination, and opens a door to families at the beginning of their mental health care journey.
- Insurance plans: Fort Health partners with insurance providers to increase the affordability of mental health treatment.
- The Child Mind Institute: Fort Health is built in partnership with the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Leveraging their gold-standard evidence-based clinical experience, the Child Mind Institute has developed a proprietary clinical training program for use by Fort Health.
- Parents: With a family-centric approach to care, Fort Health addresses the logistical burden of coordinating care — from scheduling appointments to providing a channel for pediatricians and behavioral health specialists to communicate and view patient progress. Supplemental caregiver training resources are also available.
Fort Health is serving patients in New Jersey and will soon expand into New York, followed by additional states throughout 2023. Fort Health and the Child Mind Institute offer a wide range of practical resources for parents and educators, free to download online. Learn more at forthealth.com and childmind.org.
About Fort Health
Fort is an online mental health practice specializing in children and adolescents and built in partnership with the Child Mind Institute, the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health. Fort’s affordable, collaborative treatment options include group therapy for both young people and their families, integrated caregiver support, and 1:1 sessions. Fort Health’s evidence-based, wraparound program links caregivers, therapists, and primary care providers during treatment. For more information, visit forthealth.com.
About the Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders by giving them the help they need. We’ve become the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health by providing gold-standard evidence-based care, delivering educational resources to millions of families each year, training educators in underserved communities, and developing tomorrow’s breakthrough treatments. Learn more at childmind.org. For press questions, contact our press team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Redesign Health
Redesign Health is a company that powers innovation in healthcare by developing technologies, tools, and insights that lower the barriers to change across the industry. Since 2018, exceptional founders have built over thirty companies at Redesign Health, impacting more than ten million lives across many aspects of the healthcare ecosystem, including cancer care, teleaudiology, COVID-19 testing, metabolic health, and more. To learn more, visit redesignhealth.com.
About Blue Venture Fund
Blue Venture Fund is a unique collaboration among Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of BCBS companies, and Sandbox, to which 34 BCBS companies and special purpose licensees have committed over $890 million across four funds. Blue Venture Fund invests in promising emerging companies of strategic relevance to BCBS companies and provides its portfolio with access to BCBS companies to deploy innovation at scale. Sandbox is an independent company that provides healthcare-related investment management exclusively for the Blue Venture Fund. For more information, visit www.blueventurefund.com.