Online mental health care provider Meru Health announced it has joined Evernorth’s national behavioral health provider network. Evernorth is the health services business of Cigna Corporation, and by joining its behavioral health network, Meru’s services are now available to all Cigna health plan customers who access benefits through their employer or through the company’s individual and family plans. Resources available to these customers include access to an online program designed to improve mental health by treating depression, anxiety, and burnout through clinician support and mindfulness practices as well as sleep, nutrition, and social support.
This expansion builds on a successful earlier collaboration. Meru Health’s online mental health resources were first made available to Cigna health plan customers in three states in the spring of 2020 as a way to quickly address mental health challenges that many faced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initial collaboration, which expanded to 12 states by the end of 2020, enrolled participants spent an average 14.3 hours engaging with in-app activities or with a therapist via chat. At the end of the 12 week treatment program, 69 percent of people who started the program with clinical levels of depression or anxiety no longer met these criteria.
“Evernorth is working hard to help people access the mental health care they need, and we’re proud to join their network,” said Meru Health CEO and founder Kristian Ranta. “It’s exciting to see the rapid adoption of online services like Meru Health. Our research shows we can deliver better results than traditional care, and continuing to do so is our top priority – while the pandemic drags on and beyond.”
“Virtual care has been key to helping people address mental health needs, and we expect continuing to improve access to care will play a crucial role in the health care delivery system post-pandemic,” said Dr. Doug Nemecek, chief medical officer of behavioral health at Evernorth. “We’re committed to bringing innovative and convenient solutions to the market that address health care needs, when and where people need it. Meru Health helps us do that, and making their program available nationwide will help even more people facing anxiety, depression, and burnout.”
The Meru Health mental health program is a 12-week, smartphone-based solution that goes beyond traditional standards of care, including talk therapy and medication. In addition to on-demand clinician support and behavioral, mindfulness, and biofeedback practices, Meru Health integrates sleep, nutrition, and social support into the program.
In a peer-reviewed study, researchers found that 48 percent of participants responded to the Meru Health intervention, and 60 percent did so at the 12-month follow-up. These response rates are higher than those found in a real-world antidepressant study that showed a response rate less than 20 percent at end-of-treatment and less than 30 percent at the 12-month follow-up.
About Meru Health
Meru Health is setting the new standard in mental healthcare with the most comprehensive online solution that combines licensed therapists and psychiatrists, a smartphone-based treatment program, biofeedback training, anonymous peer support, and habit-changing activities for sleep, nutrition and more.
The company is committed to evidence-based care and has published groundbreaking clinical outcomes with Stanford, Harvard, and UC Davis that show promising clinical effectiveness and lasting results that offers a convenient, accessible, side effect-free mental health treatment option in contrast to the standard of care in the U.S. today. Meru Health partners with major health insurance providers like Cigna, Humana and Moda Health, as well as leading businesses who want to provide best-in-class mental health care for their employees or members.