Health Tech

Intermountain’s Value-based Subsidiary Selects Headspace for Mental Health Support

Through a new partnership, Castell will be able to refer members of its Utah health plan customers to Headspace for behavioral health coaching and therapy.


Castell, the value-based care subsidiary of Intermountain Healthcare, selected Headspace to offer digital mental health services to members of select insurance plans in Utah, the companies announced Thursday.

Santa Monica, California-based Headspace offers a range of virtual mental health services, including coaching, therapy, psychiatry and employee assistance program services. Castell works with payers, providers, health systems and accountable care organizations to help them engage in value-based care. When it comes to payers, it offers a care team to help members navigate the healthcare system, provides referrals to specialists and other services.

Through the partnership, Castell will be able to refer members of its Utah health plan customers to Headspace for behavioral health coaching and therapy. The behavioral health company’s coaches can help patients learn coping skills and deal with stressors, while its therapists can provide a range of treatment types. Patients who are receiving coaching may be able to step up to therapy if they need more acute clinical care, and can make changes later on if their conditions improve.

“What [Castell] is doing is they’re going to offer Headspace care as a part of their value-based care offering,” said Katie DiPerna Cook, senior vice president of partnerships at Headspace, in an interview. “So members that are being cared for under Castell will have access to our clinical services.”

The collaboration does not include Headspace’s self-guided mental health content or psychiatry services but could expand later on.

Through the value-based arrangement, Headspace will get paid based on patient engagement and improving outcomes, DiPerna Cook said. The companies will be tracking patient outcomes based on the PHQ-8 and GAD-7, which are common assessments for depression and anxiety, respectively. 

In the partnership, Castell hopes to advance the care it’s able to provide to patients, said Jay Zerwekh, CEO of Castell.

“Our goal with patients is to help them have the most holistic view of their health. Being able to better address and integrate a patient’s mental health status is critical to treating the whole person and elevating the quality of care they receive,” Zerwekh said in a statement.

Headspace is already engaged in several other value-based contracts, including with Kaiser Permanente, Cigna and Blue Shield of California. However, it’s not common for mental health care to be managed in a value-based care model, DiPerna Cook declared.

“Most mental health support is still being managed in fee-for-service models,” she said. “There’s some innovative work that’s going on and I think we’d like to be at the forefront of pushing virtual mental healthcare providers more into the space.”

Other mental health companies include Talkspace, Lyra Health and Spring Health.

Photo: atibodyphoto, Getty Images