Growth in mental health 3 (2)

There is a smartphone app for almost everything and more and more people
are embracing this reality to simplify their lives. In health care, clinicians are catching on to this trend. Health IT is a recent and burgeoning field, fueled by doctors’ desire to better care for patients, researchers’ need for innovation and finance departments’ need for efficiency. Many companies are joining this movement to improve the health industry though the application of technology. Of these breakthrough companies, is Mentegram.

It’s quite difficult to have good software without great developers. So we thought it was time to pull back the curtain and introduce one of our talented development team.  We hope you’ll take a minute to get to know Cristi.

Name:  Cristi Berceanu

Job Title:  Developer Read more

Yesterday, the U.S. electorate cast their votes in the 2014 Midterm elections. Elections, of course, mean course correction in the direction of US politics. Sometimes this correction is minor, but yesterday’s midterm elections cast a long shadow over mental health care in the United States. Read more

While we might be 150 years late for the actual Gold Rush, we hope to find a different sort of enrichment next week in San Francisco, at VentureBeat’s HealthBeat conference. This year’s theme — and we couldn’t have asked for a better one — is ‘How new ways of tracking our personal data can improve our health and health care system.’ Needless to say, we are extremely eager to hear from some of the industry’s brightest on this subject. Read more

The Mentegram team will be hitting the road for some events in the upcoming months. If you plan to be at any of these events, we would love a chance to meet you. So swing by our booth or send a few tweets by following @Mentegram. Here are the events that we’ve got coming up:

Of course we’ll be announcing additional items to follow as we get closer to each event. So until then, we hope to see you there!


They say that every dog has its day, and now it seems as though conditions are perfect for sweeping change in the behavioral health sector. Much of this fairer climate has legislation to thank, but these policy changes are in fact another result of the changing attitudes toward mental and behavioral health that are helping to bring them into the discussion.

As you have probably guessed, the legislation in question involves the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), but bonus points if you also guessed the slightly older Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). Together these acts do two very important things for behavioral health. The MHPAEA requires that coverage be increased by payers so that mental health benefits have parity with surgical and medical benefits, while the PPACA increases access to these benefits. In other words, more people now have better coverage. This translates into more money for treatment that has predominantly been expensive and self-pay.

Besides potential for new revenue, there also exists extraordinary demand that cannot be adequately satisfied by the current structure. Due to expanding coverage and improving public views on mental health care, an increasing number of individuals are seeking treatment. This also comes at a time when the number of providers has been dwindling, thus necessitating a new strategy. One solution is to enact a similar strategy of “roll up” that has been suggested by the authors of the article, Bullish Behavioral Health Market Drives Investment. The goal is to inexpensively create skilled networks of care that would benefit from an economy of scale, and more effectively address the needs of an expanding patient population.

Proactive investors have another opportunity to be highly effective by focusing on the highly sensitive, and often overlapping, areas of recovery and co-occurring conditions. Each field presents its own challenge in terms of efficiency and waste. The most expensive setback in recovery is relapse, which happens to half of candidates during their first year. When co-occurring conditions are in play, treatment becomes increasingly difficult and costly; more so in cases of substance abuse. Any improvement in these areas has the potential to drastically cut losses, positively affecting the bottom line.

So this certainly sounds like a great opportunity, but that usually indicates a catch. Here it is: You must prove your success. There is also no accepted method for calculating success; no figure that is universally accepted. Yet, without outcome-based measures, there will be significantly more pushback from payers, and a steeper hill to climb during each funding round.

Up next in our series to help you better know the Mentegram team is our CEO, Igor. So sit back and relax as El Jefe gets a chance to introduce himself. We hope you enjoy!

Name:  Igor Holas

Job Title:  Founder & CEO Read more

Just to mix things up, we thought it would be nice if we answered some questionnaires of our own for a change. So each week,  we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know a different member of our fun and talented team. This week is one of our founders, Milan!

Name:  Milan Steskal

Job Title:  Founder and COO Read more

I consider most healthcare innovations to be too complicated, lacking my favorite KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) approach. I assume it’s because they involve doctors, scientists and providers who make a habit of focusing closely on details, and are often perfectionists when it comes to their primary profession. Of course, that approach is perfect for what they do. However,  mHealth projects and health care startups need more of an entrepreneurial approach. Not only that, but you also have much more to consider than your typical startup. So when I heard about a new methodology – “6 Steps to mHealth Success” – I thought it sounded promising. Unfortunately, the more I read, the more disappointing it became. Why?

Read more

If you’ve been exposed to the news at all in the past few weeks, then you should be to some extent aware of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. During one such broadcast, the line stuck with me that, “People protest when they feel they aren’t being heard.” For whatever reason, this simple thought had never occurred to me, yet it made so much sense, causing me to consider further. Read more