Photo: Shana Novak/Getty Images
Evernorth’s behavioral health network will now incorporate Bicycle Health’s virtual opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment, and will be available to all Evernorth clients, as well as Cigna health plan customers who receive health coverage through their employer or marketplace exchange plans in 24 states.
Evernorth is the health services business of Cigna Corporation.
According to Bicycle Health, its virtual care model increases access to OUD treatment, which is largely inaccessible in an in-person setting.
An estimated 40% of counties in the U.S. do not have a single medication-assisted treatment (MAT) provider for OUD, and 56% of counties with the greatest need have “inadequate capacity” to treat patients in an office setting, according to a 2020 report from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
Through the virtual care model, customers will have access to behavioral health clinicians who can help develop a personalized care plan, including a prescription to Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone), if appropriate.
To access care, customers first have an enrollment call to ensure the program is a fit for the person’s specific needs. After that call, an appointment is scheduled with a provider.
Ankit Gupta, CEO and founder of Bicycle Health, said that opioid use disorder is highly stigmatized in the U.S., which directly contributes to 90% of people with the disorder not pursuing treatment.
“We need innovative ways to help those looking to overcome opioid use disorder, and Bicycle Health provides a new option to care for our clients and customers,” said Dr. Doug Nemecek, chief medical officer, behavioral health, Evernorth.
THE LARGER TREND
The news continues a year of growth for Bicycle Health – including its Series B announcement and expansion in seven new states. Bicycle Health has now served more than 17,000 patients across 24 states.
Cigna launched Evernorth in 2020 in a rebrand of its health services portfolio. It includes pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, specialty pharmacy Accredo and eviCore healthcare, which provides utilization management services for health plans or employer groups and outpatient diagnostic imaging service programs.
Email the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org