- American Well has signed a definitive agreement to acquire behavioral telehealth and telepsychiatry provider Aligned Telehealth as virtual care vendors become more bullish on specialty care.
- Financial terms and timeline of the deal were not disclosed, but the combination will create the largest enterprise telepsychiatry platform in the U.S. with the most psychiatrists in-network, according to American Well.
- Woodland Hills, California-based Aligned provides virtual behavioral and mental health consultations with its network of physicians to hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics and correctional programs along with customized programs for accountable care organizations and health plans focused on population health.
Telehealth giant American Well has doubled down on chronic and specialty care of late, launching a joint venture with the Cleveland Clinic last month to provide patients access to medical specialists worldwide. But the Aligned acquisition — American Well's second ever — illustrates the vendor is still focused on rounding out its presence in the virtual care basics of behavioral and mental health, where stigma against the conditions and a shortage of clinicians can deter patients from getting help.
Executives from both companies declined to provide contractual details, but the private, for-profit Aligned raised a total of $12.9 million in funding over four rounds and has an estimated revenue of $4 million, according to Crunchbase. The six-year-old company has a notable customer base, including 41-hospital Dignity Health, which merged with Catholic Health Initiatives in February to create the largest nonprofit health system by revenue.
When shopping for a behavioral health partner, American Well looked at the "few" players in the field before settling on Aligned, the vendor's CEO, Ido Schoenberg, told Healthcare Dive.
American Well and Aligned have partnered since last year, when the Boston-based vendor first added Aligned's services to its platform.
Aligned's physicians deliver behavioral and psychiatric healthcare on-demand to hospitals, allowing them to address patients brought in for suicide risk, chronic mental illness, substance abuse or other related issues. Aligned says a consult is available roughly an hour following a request.
In the emergency department alone, behavioral health conditions account for one out of every eight visits or about 12 million visits annually, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. However, American Well plans to expand Aligned's services beyond the hospital.
"Currently, it delivers to the ER, but the need for those services is really across our ecosystem," Schoenberg said. "We can now take and really expand to meet the demand for these services well beyond the current marketplace. There's a lot of promise for scaling out."
In addition to its more than 160 health systems, the private American Well contracts with 55 health plans including 36,000 employers, covering more than 150 million lives.
"With AmWell being so vast in their initiatives, we can see embedding our service line into every endpoint," Aligned CEO Nitin Nanda told Healthcare Dive.
American Well acquired Virginia-based tele-acute care company Avizia last year for a reported $150 million in a bid to broaden its business model and boost its ability to connect doctors in different hospitals for consults.