Community and Infrastructure is the secret sauce behind BH Companies on Inc. 5000

Community and partnerships are key to many of the fastest growing behavioral health companies in the United States

Four of the thriving mental health companies, such as identified by Inc. 5000, has experienced growth that is usually the domain of emerging start-ups and technology companies. These companies have benefited from the massive imbalance between supply and demand that exists both nationally and in individual markets.

In addition to partnerships, each has proactively built infrastructure that can handle and enable rapid growth.

“There are probably more disadvantages to growing too quickly than there are advantages,” Brian Whelan, CEO of the 5000-titled Transformations Care Network, told BHB.

Transformations Care Network, a platform firm backed by Chicago-based private equity firm Shore Capital Partners, was formed in August 2021 until Consolidation four Outpatient mental health practices. Shore Capital Partners has invested for the first time in Transformations In October 2020. The company’s annual revenue grew 125% from 2018 to 2021, according to List Inc. 5000.

Whelan said the Transformations Care Network pursues outpatient mental health practices with leaders who are dedicated to making their practices the leading practice in the state.

“That’s my number one goal, which is to help someone make their brand a leader in that state in a business network where every drive does,” Whelan said.

The Transformations Care Network then acquires controlling stakes in these companies, helps them grow with new capital and supplies the back office and central administrative systems. It also provides continuing education and training.

“You will meet very few founders, no matter how incredibly clinically motivated, who will be motivated to do payroll,” Whelan said. “We allow them to go back to what they were originally engaged to work for — which is to be a clinical leader, to be a supervisor, to be a coach, to be a member of the human services community, not to be payroll hockey.”

Centralizing vital business functions has another added benefit as the company grows.

“The drawback is if you’re moving too fast that you don’t really have the infrastructure, the systems and the processes to ensure consistency,” Whelan said, adding that patient intake “constantly confuses mental health. … These are really complex processes.”

Insurance partnerships are vital to growing behavioral health companies

Network-based business with the growth of health plans has been another trend among the listed health companies. 5,000 which responded to BHB’s request for comment. This also requires deep investments in community and infrastructure.

Ellie Mental Health, based in Minnesota, Minnesota, owns and operates its Minnesota practices and sells franchise locations to teams of investors and local doctors. Its revenue from 2018 to 2021 grew 544%.

Ellie Mental Health is striving to achieve a “trifecta” with its franchise model, co-founder and CEO Erin Pash told BHB In a previous interview.

The tripartite idea calls for generating bargaining power and taxpayer respect through strong national systems, clinical best practices and clinical outcomes; Giving therapists the sense of a small local practice with the support of a large system; He brought in local investors and businessmen to assist the therapists in aspects of the business.

“The whole mental health care system involves working with … insurance companies,” Bash said. “Insurance companies do not want to contract with independent practices without standard operating procedures that support the best of what they offer insurers.”

In 2020, about 64.3% of all health care spending in the United States was paid for by private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicare, according to the Report by the American Medical Association.

In a previous interview, Carrie Singer, owner and founder of Quince Orchard Psychotherapy, told BHB that being in the network with pushers pushes patients to practice it with little need for marketing. This pairs with a community focus to create a strong pipeline of word of mouth referrals.

Quince Orchard Psychotherapy grew its revenue by 87% from 2018 to 2021.

The disadvantage is that if you are moving too fast you don’t have the infrastructure, systems and processes necessary to ensure consistency.

Brian Whelan, CEO, Transformations Care Network

Meet multiple needs

Focusing on the community and infrastructure allows behavioral operators to accomplish many things simultaneously.

Scott Snyder, CEO of Proven Behavior Solutions LLC, started his autism center in November 2015 after his wife, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), contracted with a company that she discovered was likely to be committing insurance fraud.

“We were seeing the landscape and how there weren’t enough providers doing this kind of service, at first, but then those who were here just didn’t give him the level of quality we knew was possible based on our own experience,” Snyder said in an interview.

Norwell, Massachusetts Proven Behavior Solutions, whose revenue grew 170% from 2018 to 2021, focused on opening locations southeast of Boston where there was a much lower density of autism caregivers.

“The lack of provider density helped us at first because once you started, it wasn’t too hard to raise our flag and say ‘Hey, we’re open,’” Snyder said.

While the lack of geographic competition helped launch the company, building trust with a “really high standard of clinical quality became a huge differentiator for us.”

“That’s what really boosted the growth,” Snyder said.

The company offers Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, special education advocacy support for parents of students with special needs and assistive technology services at each of its centers.

All the while, the company has sought to build a corporate structure similar to that of multi-country companies although it is currently operating in only one region in one country.

“You have to put the scaffolding together first to enable rapid growth,” Snyder said. “While you are on the move, you don’t necessarily have time to hit the brakes, stop and think [about] What we miss. … Being proactive is number 1 for us.”

The combination of smart community mobility and infrastructure development, according to Snyder, has been validated by partners of the New York City-based Health Foundation. investing in Proven behavioral solutions. Snyder said the goal is for Proven Behavior Solutions to grow as a behavioral health platform company in southern New England.

The challenges are many

Snyder said that despite rapid growth and investment, the primary challenge to being a fast-growing company is managing spending rates responsibly.

“We have to make sure we’re monitoring that burn rate and not drag ourselves to a point where we can’t keep the doors open,” Snyder said. “We cross that line sometimes.”

Earlier in the year, BHB reported that outpatient mental health company Foresight Mental Health almost folded due to overspending.

Scaffolding must be held together first to enable rapid growth.

Scott Snyder, CEO, Proven Behavior Solutions LLC

Recruitment challenges amplify when the company’s need for employees increases while workforce supply challenges persist. This allows staff, especially doctors like therapists, to be selective about jobs and with the types of patients they want to see, Singer said.

“Frankly, it’s not hard to find clients,” Fisher said, adding that when it comes to finding employees. “It’s the employee market.”

At Quince Orchard Psychotherapy, Fisher needs to find therapists who want to treat children aged 10 and under. But many therapists do not want to because of the additional and unique duties of caring for young children even if they are trained to do so.

“Finding employees who are willing to serve patients who need the most help and who present a real challenge to patients…is a tough sell,” Fisher said.

Wheeler echoed the same sentiments. But the challenge for an outpatient mental health provider in expansion mode is finding therapists willing to take on insurance companies.

“Our biggest competitor isn’t another well-capitalized company, it’s the ability to not participate in a network,” Wheeler said. “What is critical to us is keeping our promise to be a good place to work because that maintains it [clinicians] On their journey with us.

“Then we can kind of fulfill that promise of getting to the taxpayers. When we do that, the payers are willing to pay us more because we are an alternative to emergency rooms.”

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