Individuals who use Ginger’s on-demand behavioral health platform can now receive and manage their mental health medications from home, thanks to a new partnership with digital pharmacy Capsule.
After users complete a consultation with one of Ginger’s board-certified psychiatrists, they will be given the option to fill their prescriptions through Capsule, including free home delivery in select locations.
Same-day medication delivery is currently available in metro areas of New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston and Austin, with additional regions expected to be added in the coming weeks and months, Ginger said in its announcement.
Ginger’s prescribing psychiatrists will be armed with medication fill rates and adverse events data from Capsule’s platform to better inform their oversight of patient medication regimens.
Additionally, this partnership can save Ginger’s employer partners money by ensuring their workers are getting the mental health support they need to be productive, as well as by mitigating inappropriate fillings that could lead to adverse outcomes, according to Dr. Jon Kole, the director of psychiatry at Ginger.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Through this partnership, Ginger hopes to close a number of care gaps in psychiatry that exist today.
The first being to support patients who need mental health interventions. More than 13% of U.S. adults used antidepressants between 2015 and 2018 according to a National Center for Health Statistics survey.
“We’re talking about a cohort of people that are coming to care, which can take a big leap to start mental health services and already are stressed,” Kole told MobiHealthNews. “So if we can do anything to reduce the stress of starting a treatment or make things a little bit easier for that cohort, we should.”
It comes at a time when the need for mental health services is rising. By last June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further, Ginger says it has seen a 335% increase in demand for its services from before the pandemic to January 2021.
The partnership also hopes to address an ongoing lack of professional supervision over their patients’ medication plans. Less than one-third of Americans who take a single antidepressant medication have seen a mental health professional in the last year, according to a separate NCHS survey.
Among traditional deliveries of psychiatric care, there’s a gap where medication is prescribed to the patient, sent to the pharmacy and then to the patient, who is left to manage their own medication from there, Kole said.
“With this feedback, we’ll get reports on what’s getting filled and what’s not getting filled,” he said. “We’re going to avoid inappropriate medication refills, [and] gaps in care, and that’s going to help continue the pattern of Ginger’s outcomes being really good.”
THE LARGER TREND
Last year, Ginger acquired fellow digital mental-wellness company LiveBetter's technology assets. The company also completed a $50 million Series D funding round, bringing its total funding to more than $120 million.
Back in 2019, Capsule raised $200 million to help it expand its services beyond New York City.