Virtual psychiatry company Talkiatry has teamed up with NOCD, a virtual provider for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the companies told MedCity News exclusively.
New York City-based Talkiatry contracts with payers and offers medication management services and therapy through virtual visits. It treats patients for a range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and OCD. Chicago-based NOCD also works with payers and virtually connects patients with OCD to therapists who specialize in Exposure and Response Prevention therapy, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that was created specifically for people with OCD. It helps patients “confront” thoughts and situations that make them anxious, and avoid compulsive behavior in response to the situations.
Through the partnership, the companies will refer patients to each other and collaborate on the patients’ care. For example, if an NOCD provider believes a patient could benefit from medication management, the provider could refer the patient to Talkiatry for this service. On the flip side, if a Talkiatry provider determines a patient could benefit from Exposure and Response Prevention therapy, the provider could refer the patient to NOCD.
In addition, the companies can share patient information — with the patient’s consent — through their electronic medical records to support collaboration in the patient’s care.
There is no shared revenue in the partnership. Both companies are in network with most major insurers, and will bill payers for their services. Talkiatry and NOCD’s shared payer customers include UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Cigna.
Talkiatry and NOCD chose to work together because each company specializes in a different type of care, and working together strengthens the support they can offer to patients, said Robert Krayn, co-founder and CEO of Talkiatry.
“We don’t think you can be the best-in-class at every single thing. … These types of partnerships benefit patients [by having] better interconnectivity, rather than saying, ‘We don’t do this, but we’re also not going to help you get to the person who does,’” Krayn said in an interview. “I don’t think that benefits anyone.”
Krayn added that the partnership also helps the companies’ insurance partners.
“We overlap really significantly on the types of insurance partners we have, and being able to direct patients to the right level of in-network care is something that has been historically very, very difficult,” he said. “I think this is a really big step in being able to do that.”
About 2.5 million adults in the U.S., or 1.2% of the population, are affected by OCD. Oftentimes, people with OCD also struggle with other mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression and substance use disorder.
Recent research also shows that about 14% of people with OCD attempt suicide at some point in their life, noted Stephen Smith, co-founder and CEO of NOCD, in an interview. Ultimately, NOCD and Talkiatry want to strengthen the support they can offer to people with OCD.
“It’s a very severe population, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” Smith said in an interview. “If we can simply identify folks and manage them in a personalized manner, in a convenient manner, in an affordable manner, I think we’re going to move the needle on that stat and just make the world a better place for this population.”
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