Blog / DEIB

December 14, 2022

A Diverse Provider Network Matters. So Does Matching Our Members with the Right Therapist or Medication Manager.

6 minute read

Written by

Ethan Pruitt, Referral Concierge Manager, Spring Health avatar

Ethan Pruitt, Referral Concierge Manager, Spring Health

This is Part 1 of our Markers of a Leading Provider Network blog series

Seeing a therapist can be a big step, and one that involves jumping over multiple hurdles.  

This often starts with overcoming the stigma that people are only in therapy if there’s something wrong with them. Multiple phone calls and voicemails may be required to find a therapist accepting new patients, with many unreturned. 

If someone is part of a marginalized population, they may have encountered bias, and if they’re struggling with a mental health issue like anxiety or depression, the entire process likely felt even more exhausting. 

So, when they finally meet with a therapist and discover this person doesn’t understand their culture and lived experience, they can quickly arrive at the conclusion that therapy isn’t for them. 

Why a diverse provider network is essential

With so many communities facing heightened stress, depression, and anxiety levels from the increase in violence, discrimination, and racial trauma, culturally relevant evidence-based care is a must have. 

Only one in three Black Americans who need mental health support receive it, LGBTQ+ individuals are more than twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety, or substance use disorders, and 40% of transgender adults have attempted suicide at least once. 

Therapeutic alliance is one of the best predictors of mental health improvement. This happens when a therapist understands their patient’s mental health condition and the kind of treatment they need, as well as their cultural background, language, religion, lived experience, and gender.

The traditional provider matching experience 

Traditionally, the search for a therapist begins with a long list of names. There’s no information about the provider beyond their specialty, and there’s also no indication of whether they’re accepting new patients. 

So, the onus is on the individual seeking care to take the time to reach out to the therapists on this list, delaying access to the support they need.  

Typically, this is an automated report that’s not very personalized or even vetted, providing little choice—and even less chance of a positive mental health outcome. 

Innovative solutions provide a completely different experience

With Spring Health, each member—who is an enrolled employee or individual covered by your health plan—begins with a clinically-validated, online assessment that screens for over 12 different clinical issues. This takes 3-5 minutes to complete, and then a personalized plan is generated. 

If the plan includes care with a provider, such as therapy, medication management, or coaching, the member sees a list of providers, along with their specialty, pronouns, gender, and availability, and can schedule their initial appointment in less than two days. 

But we don’t stop there. 

Putting on those white gloves 

Our white-glove referral service provides personalized matching with a member of our Referral Concierge team, who meets with our customers and prospects to gain a deeper understanding of their search criteria. 

This personal engagement helps ensure the best possible match and mental health outcome for each care scenario.

To dig deeper into how this team works, when anyone in the population for current and prospective customers is unable to find the provider they need or want within Spring Health’s Provider Network, our Referral Concierge team springs into action.

Regardless of how complex the request is for a therapist that checks all the boxes, our Referral Concierge team will go to great lengths to help individuals find the right one.

Even when a company hasn’t signed on as a client yet or there isn’t an in-network provider available, we’ll find one off-platform.

Wondering exactly what this looks like? We’re glad you asked.

Personalized provider matching in action

Spring Health was recently approached by a potential customer that has a large Polynesian population. The organization had been looking for a male Polynesian therapist accepting new patients for in-person therapy in Utah for months, and their search kept coming up empty.

The unique criteria included a deep understanding of the Mormon faith, and the cultural background and personal life experiences of Polynesians who have migrated to Utah. Polynesians are often reluctant to even talk about mental health, let alone seek out a therapist.

Our Referral Concierge team found a therapist that fit this exact criterion in 10 days. 

The impact of our Referral Concierge service 

This is just one example of our commitment to the best provider matching in the market—and how we go the extra mile. 

Our Referral Concierge team has helped to refer over a thousand enrolled members to care. This is an amazing achievement by an experienced team dedicated to ensuring all members have equal access to the mental health support they need.

Helping members feel better, faster

Our Care Navigators work closely with the Referral Concierge team to help each member feel better, faster, and ensure equal access for all. 

When a member joins Spring Health, they’re assigned a dedicated Care Navigator, who is a licensed, master’s level clinician. Care Navigators are available 24/7, providing unlimited support in a variety of ways—including making care recommendations and assessing and de-escalating risk during a crisis. 

As our subject matter experts, they leverage their extensive recruiting background and Spring Health’s wealth of resources to fulfill even the most niche requests from our members.  

Spring Health studies have shown that members who work with a Care Navigator are eight times more likely to see a therapist and stay with the same provider. Additionally, members who are high risk and meet with their Care Navigator improve at a clinical rate that’s almost double those who don’t. 

Inclusion matters. We stand alongside every member.

At Spring Health, we are obsessed with building and curating the most reliable and diverse provider network on the market. We will stop at nothing to find the right fit for every member, because equal access to mental health support resources for every part of your population matters, now more than ever before.

Our diverse network is a key driver of member satisfaction and positive clinical outcomes. Here’s a short overview:

  • Spring Health providers offer enrolled members more than 12,000 hours of appointment availability per week, with the average member able to book an in-person or virtual session within two days
  • The ethnic and gender-based diversity of our network sets us apart
  • Our providers specialize in more than 15 different mental health conditions and over 10 patient archetypes, ranging from children to adults, and couples to veterans
  • Did we mention they also speak 40 different languages? 
  • This diversity enables our providers to better anticipate and address a wide range of member needs quickly, with a wealth of different treatment plans

Our relentless pursuit to break down barriers to care

Innovative approaches are still needed to address the large gap that exists between the availability and utilization of mental health benefits. 

Across all industries, the average EAP utilization rate is only 4.5%, and 40% of members say it’s difficult to find and access quality mental healthcare. 

Members want fast access to a comprehensive mental health benefit with high-quality care, and inclusion is a huge component of an effective solution, ensuring no part of the population is left out.  

To truly transform mental health challenges—and the way people think and feel about mental healthcare—the right support system must be in place. 

A key part of this is matching members with the right provider, and our Referral Concierge team delivers the best matching in the market to spark transformational change.

Get your copy of this guide to learn how more about how Spring Health’s dedicated provider network is delivering clinical outcomes and timely care.

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About the Author

Ethan Pruitt, Referral Concierge Manager, Spring Health avatar

Ethan Pruitt, Referral Concierge Manager, Spring Health

Ethan joined Spring Health in August of 2021 to help build the Referral Concierge function. His team is responsible for matching personalized providers to members who can't find exactly what they're looking for on our platform, whether it is a specific provider request or type of care our current platform doesn’t support. Ethan has been in the Healthcare space for the last six years, most recently coming from a healthcare recruitment organization. He's currently using his recruiting skills to optimize the service delivery of the Referral Concierge function, and build a high-performing team for Spring Health.