Brave Raises $40M for Medicaid Mental Health

Brave Health

Serve a large need. Serve it at scale. Serve it well. It’s a popular playbook for many mental health startups, but Brave Health is looking to put a twist on the model with $40M in Series C funding.

Brave’s strategy differs from employer-focused mental health providers like Lyra and Headspace in its commitment to Medicaid members, no easy path considering only a third of psychiatrists accept new Medicaid patients.

To serve this population, Brave employs nearly 200 behavioral health providers and supports them with a tech stack that’s one part teletherapy tool and one part engagement platform.

  • These providers offer virtual counseling, therapy, and psychiatry, while the priority is to get Medicaid patients referred to mental health services into care as quickly as possible.
  • This engagement component is key. Brave boasts an 80% contact success rate and has received 23k referrals this year alone through partnerships with payors and hospitals.

The fresh funding will be used to help Brave expand beyond the 18 states in which it currently operates, and to accelerate the activation of more value-based contracts.

  • After entering its first VBC contract with Molina Healthcare of Texas earlier this year, Brave’s now signed two others to push the total number of lives it could potentially cover under risk-based arrangements to over one million.
  • It’s also likely that we’ll see Brave double down on partnerships with other startups in the Medicaid space, building off of existing relationships with MedArrive (in-home care) and Doula Network (maternal mental healthcare).

The Takeaway

Brave’s “you can’t treat who you can’t reach” approach is fairly unique among its cohort of VC-favorite mental health startups, but its focus on Medicaid sets it even further apart from competition. By taking ownership of getting members into treatment as well as their care journey, Brave seems well-positioned to deliver results for both health plans and the patients they serve.

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