The Iron Triangle: How AbleTo Is Working On Access, Cost, and Quality

Published on:
April 28, 2022

As stakeholders in behavioral health, we’re all familiar with the importance of access, cost, and quality of care. Access to care has been especially difficult in the field of behavioral health – from the fragmented healthcare system to a shortage in providers. But in recent years, companies have been utilizing technology to innovate how people access care. Although in some cases, this isn’t enough because the cost is too high. And if someone finally finds accessible care that is within their budget, is the quality of that care even worth it?

In an attempt to make the best of all three worlds,  AbleTo has various strategies in place to increase access and quality, while reducing costs. We spoke to the team from AbleTo about these strategies and how they are advancing and innovating behavioral healthcare. 

How is AbleTo ensuring access to care?

AbleTo is continuing to meet the increased need for behavioral healthcare across the nation by ensuring access in 3 ways:

  1. Partnering directly with insurers

AbleTo partners with insurers to offer our programs as an eligible benefit, allowing us to treat a broad range of members across the socioeconomic spectrum, serving those on commercial, Medicare and Medicaid health plans. Due to the strong health outcomes and medical cost savings, health plans know there is a high value in removing barriers to care to improve the total care of cost such that AbleTo is a fully covered benefit with $0 cost share for 95% of our participants. 

  1. Expanding our ability to treatment scope through technology enhancements  

We also understand the importance of treating across the mental health spectrum, expanding our platform to meet the recently increased demand amidst the pandemic to enable a population-based approach to deliver the highest quality mental health care to members. Our technology helps us identify those individuals for care, including those who are especially vulnerable to mental health issues due to social determinants of health and comorbid health issues that show up in claims data. Through technology, we’re able to provide high quality, evidence-based care to people when and where they need it most across all 50 states to an eligible population of over 50 million lives. In fact, in 2022 we hit a milestone of delivering over 2 million therapy sessions. 

  1. Delivering culturally competent care

AbleTo also ensures that care being accessed is high-quality and delivered in a culturally competent manner. AbleTo’s network of 2000+ providers includes therapists and coaches across all 50 states. The network is reflective of the culturally diverse landscape of our participant population and is trained to address factors stemming from race and race trauma, racial stress, and issues that may be specific to individuals that identify as LGBTQ+. Many providers in our network are bilingual so participants can converse in the language that is most comfortable for them. Delivering the right care means recognizing that no one patient is the same. Providing the highest possible quality care ensures every patient gets the care they need for lasting improvements in their mental and physical health.

How does AbleTo provide personalized care, improve outcomes and reduce cost?

We know mental health isn’t one-size-fits-all. That’s why AbleTo’s suite of solutions ensure individuals get support that is truly personalized to their needs, from program intensity to the mode of delivery. Our 8 week long, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) programs are proven to reduce depression, stress and anxiety for those with mild to complex behavioral health needs. With weekly 1-on-1 support from a licensed therapist, behavioral coach, or both, combined with digital tools, we help put learned techniques into daily practice. 

AbleTo’s approach to care is simple yet effective. We pair the human connection of empathy, understanding and expertise with digital tools and program resources that advance real life application between sessions. Ultimately, solutions that address the individual complexity and nuances of mental health result in greater positive health outcomes and patient satisfaction, and that’s what we see in AbleTo’s data. We are creating and adhering to a quality standard of care using an evidence-based approach, navigating people to the right programs, and simplifying the member experience through our app. These elements are central to our mission to ensure better outcomes and move the needle for health care.

Our members experience our 8-week programs and return to their lives feeling like they can manage. And for many of our health plan partners, AbleTo is a covered benefit that is 100% free for most people. Our outcomes show decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms along with other health benefits like stress and loneliness score reduction, increased medication adherence, reduced pain severity, reduced in-patient hospitalizations and more. And with a 98% program satisfaction rate among graduates, we know members feel the program works for them. 

How does AbleTo maintain a quality provider network?

Demand for care continues to outweigh the availability of quality providers, leaving companies to compete to attract providers to their network. At AbleTo, we are setting ourselves apart on the basis of quality standards of care. As the first behavioral health solutions provider to receive URAC accreditation, we’re constantly adopting the latest tools and best practices to support our providers, allowing them to deliver the right interventions to the right participants, grounded in quality care.

We also value the ability for our providers to grow and develop both professionally and personally. AbleTo's clinical roles expand with opportunities to supervise providers, train and develop providers, oversee network quality, support risk/escalation, shape our therapy programs, and more. Providers are encouraged to seek out and take advantage of any opportunities that interest them such as volunteering, mentorship, training and development, educational resources, and more. Driven by our collaborative culture, providers are equipped with comprehensive training and tools, as well as ongoing support from our skilled clinical supervisor.

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