Integrated care has been an ongoing goal in the healthcare industry, but Included Health is raising the standards. Included Health was formed after the merger of Doctor on Demand and Grand Rounds. The company’s integrated collaborative care model is creating a space for all healthcare needs, from behavioral health to chronic care and more. They also have a few initiatives that focus on meeting the unique needs of various populations including LGBTQ+ and Black communities. Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi, Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Included Health, talks more about the new entity with me:
Last month, you announced the merger of Doctor on Demand and Grand Rounds' new combined entity name, Included Health! Tell us more about the company’s mission to raise the standard of healthcare for everyone.
Included Health is the first virtual health company to include everything - behavioral health, primary care, chronic care, specialty care, LGBTQ+ care and more - all under one roof, for everyone. Our goal is to care for every individual, every community - no matter where they are on their care journey or what type of care they need, and ensure that their location no longer decides the type, or quality, of healthcare they receive. We’re proud to have a name that reflects that.
You also recently announced the Black Community Innovation Coalition. What is that?
There is no one-size-fits-all in healthcare. When it comes to the Black community, we know that major health disparities exist, including that only 1 in 3 Black Americans in need of behavioral health treatment receive care and that Black women are 3-4x more likely to die from a pregnancy-related death. These types of healthcare disparities for Black and African American individuals are unacceptable and we want to do our part to help improve these types of inequities in the healthcare our members experience every day.
We already have an LGBTQ+ specific solution and we wanted to launch a hyper-tailored solution for the Black community as well, so we partnered with companies like Walmart, Genentech, State Farm, Target and more to create something specifically for this community. We're using insights from these companies' employee resource groups (ERGs) to build the first dedicated care concierge and healthcare navigation platform focused on improving the healthcare experience and advancing health equity for Black Americans.
Taking this hyper-tailored approach ensures that we are addressing the very unique challenges facing the Black community in a meaningful way.
Behavioral health is often siloed from the rest of healthcare services. How is your integrated collaborative care model changing that?
We believe that mental health is health and, coming out of the pandemic, we're continuing to see increased numbers of people struggling with both chronic medical conditions as well as mental health issues. At Included Health, we've built a truly integrated practice. Our primary care doctors are specially trained to recognize behavioral health issues so they can seamlessly refer patients to our behavioral health team, and we provide a full suite of behavioral health offerings, inclusive of psychiatry, therapy, and coaching services. Our aim is to meet the member where they are, and provide the access to care they are most in need of at that moment so we help them live their fullest lives.
Included Health is taking huge strides towards an integrated healthcare system for all. Watch Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi’s GDBHT2021 session about Doctor on Demand’s culturally sensitive care, you can view it here.