Telepsychiatry startup Talkiatry recently announced the completion of its $37M Series A funding round, which it will use to scale its strategy of offering psychiatric care as an in-network benefit with payors.
- Talkiatry’s platform guides patients through an online survey before matching them with a staffed psychiatrist based on the results, offering continuous virtual care from diagnosis to medication and ongoing support.
- Many psychiatrists don’t participate in private health plans due to minimal reimbursement and paperwork headaches. Only 62% of them are willing to work with payors while just a third will accept new patients using Medicaid.
- Talkiatry’s solution to this problem is to bring psychiatrists on board as W-2 employees as opposed to contractors, offering stability while streamlining administrative tasks. Since launching in April 2020, the company has hired 190 providers and conducted over 60k visits.
- The funding will help Talkiatry expand beyond its home state of New York and continue to aggressively hire psychiatrists to meet the needs of its payor contracts that currently cover more than 200M lives.
Nearly every startup in the behavioral health space is addressing a common issue: the supply-demand imbalance for providers. Many companies have turned to recruiting therapists in place of psychiatrists, despite the fact that only psychiatrists can prescribe medication.
By avoiding the contractor model, Talkiatry is finding success in attracting these highly sought after providers, and so far the approach appears to be scalable. Over 83% of the psychiatrists in the company’s pipeline have actively applied to join the team.