A major health insurer in Washington is rolling a new app that gives plan members more access to mental health treatment tools.
Amerigroup Washington, a part of Amerigroup, covers 7.7 million seniors, people with disabilities, low-income families and other state and federally sponsored beneficiaries, and federal employees in 26 states. Amerigroup’s parent company is Anthem Inc.
The new app from Amerigroup Washington lets the plan’s 140,000 members access an Apple or Android version of an app developed and maintained by myStrength Inc., a Denver-based developer of mobile health programs and apps for behavioral apps.
Once the free app has been downloaded users can access ‘in-the-moment’ coping resources such as short video and audio clips covering a broad range of categories to target their current state of mind. Using a mood assessment tool, plan members can also determine if simple coping exercises such as relaxation, breathing techniques, and concentration can provide immediate assistance.
The goal of offering the app to plan members is giving them mobile access to learning modules and self-care applications and activities to help bridge the gap between therapy visits, says Amerigroup Washington medical director Dr. Tanya Dansky. “This brings a ‘whole person’ approach to care,” Dansky says. “The collaboration seeks to address access challenges by increasing our members’ access to digital behavioral health self-care to improve their emotional health and well-being.”
Amerigroup Washington didn’t disclose the cost of deploying the myStrength app. The health insurer is deploying the mental health app in part because the state of Washington has a high rate of people with mental and behavioral health issues—Washington ranks 30 out of 50 states in the nation for prevalence of serious mental illness, says Mental Health America.
The new app is aimed at plan members coping with anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and chronic pain among other issues, says Amerigroup Washington.
The vendor, myStrength, says it works with over 100 health plans, community behavioral health providers, integrated health systems and accountable care organizations such as Aetna Inc. and Anthem.