CVS Invests $25M in Virtual Mental Health Clinic

Investors understand that virtual behavioral health services are not only here to stay, but are crucial to addressing the nation’s mental health crisis. That’s why CVS Health on Monday poured $25 million into a Series C funding round for Array Behavioral Care.

Array’s existing investors also participated in the round and contributed additional capital — these include Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, Health Velocity Capital, Harbour Point Capital, HLM Venture Partners, OCA Ventures and OSF Healthcare. The New Jersey-based company raised $24 million during a Series B round in 2021, but its prior investments aren’t disclosed.

The company’s history dates back to 2009, Array CEO Geoffrey Boyce said in an interview. That year, he founded a startup called InSight Telepsychiatry along with Dr. James Varrell, who serves as Array’s executive chief medical officer. The startup began as an extension of the work Dr. Varrell was doing at his bricks-and-mortar psychiatry practice.

In 2019, InSight merged with a Chicago-based company called Regroup Telehealth, which was providing similar services. The combined company rebranded as Array in 2021 — Boyce said the name represents the array of offerings that the company offers across the continuum of care.

Array operates as a virtualized outpatient mental health practice. The company is focused on creating an environment where clinicians can be successful and deliver their patients with the best possible outcomes, Boyce declared.

“We worked very hard to build a culture — and systems and processes — that puts clinicians in a position to practice as a group of colleagues,” he said. “They’re really trying to apply team-based care, using technology to distribute their services. We’re putting them in a position where they can focus on really high quality clinical care that uses measurements and is focused on outcomes to drive great results.”

Array’s services are in-network with most major payers — including Aetna, which is a part of CVS Health. The company documents all patient visits in its electronic health record and then submits claims to health plans on the back end. 

Array also sometimes integrates its clinicians into other provider groups, Boyce explained. In these situations, a hospital or clinic might be Array’s customer. Once Array’s clinicians join the medical staff at a hospital or clinic, they document their visits and submit claims using that provider’s EHR.

Last year, Array’s clinicians had more than 400,000 encounters with patients, Boyce said.

CVS made the decision to invest in Array because the demand for virtual psychiatric care is high, said Cara McNulty, CVS Health’s president of behavioral health and mental well-being. When CVS was determining how to best democratize quality mental health care access for members, it chose Array as a trusted partner because the company has been in the virtual mental health space far before it took off during the pandemic, she said.

McNulty acknowledged that one company can’t solve the country’s mental health access issues — for things to get better, many providers and health plans will have to collaborate and scale services. That’s why Array is not the only mental health company CVS has invested in or plans to invest in. For example, CVS participated in suicide prevention startup Oui Therapeutics’ $26 million funding round last year.

There’s plenty of virtual mental health companies CVS has to choose from when it comes to their next investment. This also means Array is competing with many different startups. But Boyce believes that Array stands out for two reasons.

The first is Array’s “heavy emphasis” on psychiatry. More than half or Array’s clinicians are psychiatrists, which allows the company to provide services to more acute patients, Boyce said.

The second differentiator is Array’s ability to provide services across the continuum of care. Patients can connect with Array clinicians from a variety of settings — such as their home during a moment of crisis, the emergency room, an inpatient hospital room or an outpatient clinic.

“We’re really trying to be able to bridge that continuum of care to help individuals and our partners find solutions to manage mental health concerns, as opposed to just providing one point solution and then disappearing,” Boyce said.

Photo: Nuthawut Somsuk, Getty Images