Author Health: $115 Million Closed To Help Seniors With Mental Illnesses

By Dan Anderson ● Jul 7, 2023

Author Health recently launched as one of the first platforms to provide comprehensive care and treatment for Medicare Advantage recipients with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. And the company has received $115 million in financing led by General Atlantic with participation from Flare Capital Partners.

This funding round will help Author Health expand into new markets and secure additional partnerships with other insurance and healthcare companies in an effort to advance its value-based approach to behavioral healthcare and increase access to high-quality services for seniors and other vulnerable populations.

About 1 in 4 Medicare recipients have a mental illness and 40% of people in the U.S. over age 50 with serious mental illness report a lack of access to care. In order to meet this need, leading health and wellness company Humana is the first to launch Author Health services in coordination with CenterWell Senior Primary Care in the Southeastern U.S.

Author Health is being led by CEO Dr. Katherine Hobbs, a psychiatrist, former health insurance executive, and a national leader in quality and value payment for behavioral health. And Dr. Gary Gottlieb serves as Executive Board Chair. Dr. Gottlieb is a geriatric psychiatrist, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and former CEO of Partners HealthCare, now Mass General Brigham, the largest healthcare delivery organization in New England and it is among the largest biomedical research and training enterprises in the U.S.

Author Health provides a team-based approach to psychiatric care, bringing together specialized physicians, nurses, therapists, and community health workers to deliver a mix of virtual and in-person care for individuals who are often disconnected from the traditional healthcare system. And through this model, patients and their caregivers are given an avenue to reconnect with healthcare providers and receive personalized and comprehensive treatment within their communities, and outside of hospitals and institutions.

Author Health is deeply integrated with primary care. And people who have serious mental illness and substance use disorders often suffer from co-occurring medical conditions and health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. These conditions could be better managed and often stabilized with behavioral health treatment integrated alongside primary care and other medical and social services. This care delivery model leads to improved quality of life for patients and their caregivers, as well as a reduction in medical emergency and inpatient hospital care, which in turn creates savings for health plans focused on value-based care.

Even though Author Health’s initial launch in South Florida was created in collaboration with Humana, the company is multi-payer and is expected to expand its services to include Medicare Advantage and Special Needs Plan recipients in other locations by early 2024.

The Author Health team has more than 13 decades of combined go-to-market, operations, and healthcare experience as well as a history of successfully developing and leading value-based approaches for improving health and quality of care. And as part of its official launch, the company has also named Dr. Pei Nie, geriatric psychiatrist and former VP of Medical Affairs at Amwell and Aligned Health, as Chief Medical Officer.

KEY QUOTES:

“Every day, our nation experiences the devastating effects untreated mental health and substance use disorders have on individuals, families, and our communities. Humana is a national leader in value-based payment and care delivery innovation, and we intend to apply the same forward-thinking approaches to behavioral health to overcome limitations in the current system. The positive outcomes we’re seeing already in South Florida across patient populations previously thought unreachable is truly transformative.”

— Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard

“Our nation is clearly struggling to meet the health and social needs of people with behavioral health conditions, and those needs are only increasing within our aging population. Author Health was born out of the necessity to fundamentally shift how our health system prioritizes behavioral health and preventive services. By aligning Medicare Advantage health plans and clinicians to improve health, and using a combination of technology and community relationship-building to open access for hard-to-reach populations, Author Health is primed to meet the growing demand for psychiatric care on a national scale.”

— Katherine Hobbs, CEO at Author Health

“Building and supporting more robust care options is essential for the U.S. to be able to respond to the growing need for mental health and substance use services, particularly amongst seniors and people with disabilities. With leadership from some of the top healthcare and technology organizations in the nation, a proven, cost-effective, and scalable approach, and a meaningful market need, Author Health is well-positioned for growth. We are proud to support Author Health’s mission-driven approach and vision to change millions of lives for the better.”

— Robbert Vorhoff, Managing Director and Global Head of Healthcare at General Atlantic