The state of payers' behavioral health provider networks in 2022: AHIP

Payers nationwide are rapidly growing their behavioral health provider networks by actively recruiting, increasing payments and training primary care physicians to care for more behavioral health conditions, according to a new survey from AHIP.

The 14-question survey was released Aug. 4 and sent to AHIP members that offer commercial plans. Responses were received from May to June from plans representing 95 million members.

Eight key takeaways:

  1. About 180 million Americans have employer-sponsored insurance that covers their mental healthcare.

  2. All plans cover telehealth for behavioral services.

  3. The quantity of in-network behavioral health providers has increased an average of 48 percent over the last three years.

  4. Over the last three years, the number of providers that can prescribe medication assisted therapy for substance use disorders has grown 114 percent.

  5. Applied behavioral analysis specialists saw the largest growth over the past three years, increasing 135 percent. Psychologists increased the least over the same period, growing just 11 percent.

  6. To find more providers, 78 percent of payers have increased payments and 89 percent are actively recruiting in mental health.

  7. Most payers (72 percent) are training primary care physicians to provide care to patients with mild or moderate behavioral conditions.

  8. Most payers (83 percent) help members find open behavioral health appointments.

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