Brave Health is a virtual mental health provider dedicated to helping people thrive by engaging them in high-quality, affordable, and easily accessible mental health care. Brave Health provides individual and group therapy and psychiatric medication management via telehealth, and offers specialized therapy programs for patients with complex mental health concerns, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders.
NeuroFlow spoke with Brave Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Aleksandr Zverinskiy to learn how Brave Health is tackling the mental health crisis by making mental health care more accessible for all. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Zverinskiy brings deep clinical expertise and innovative approaches to providing telehealth-enabled mental health care. He empowers patients to identify issues through a person-centered lens, and with those insights, develops individualized treatment plans.
What is your professional background and how did you get involved in behavioral health?
I come from a family of physicians and have always wanted to practice medicine. Although I found human behavior very interesting, psychiatry wasn’t on my radar until a close friend in medical school struggled with mental health issues. At that point, I realized that it wasn’t possible to practice medicine without having a firm grasp on mental health and decided to do a residency in psychiatry.
I quickly learned that specializing in psychiatry would allow me to spend more time with my patients and achieve a work-life balance that empowered me to provide better care to those patients. Unlike many aspects of medicine that are well-established, there is still a possibility for tremendous advances in psychiatry because it is still evolving.
What’s the biggest problem facing behavioral health?
By far access to care is the biggest problem in behavioral health. There simply are not enough psychiatrists, and then they tend to concentrate in urban areas. That creates an even wider gap for people in rural areas who need care.
Mental health care has not kept up with advancements in patient engagement and data sharing. Historically, mental health care has relied on reactive engagement strategies, with the expectation that patients navigate their own care. Brave Health works with health plans, primary care providers, and hospitals to flip the script, using a proactive patient engagement approach that increases the number of completed appointments.
Currently, mental health care is often delivered and paid for in a vacuum, with limited data sharing across care teams. This reinforces a reactive, disengaged approach to treating mental health conditions, driving up costs and diminishing outcomes.
How is Brave Health working to solve that problem?
Telehealth gives us an opportunity to level the playing field by connecting patients in underserved areas with providers who are licensed in the patient’s state though they may live elsewhere. Telehealth is being practiced to some extent in many areas of medicine, but mental health is an area that can be completely remote.
In terms of patient engagement, Brave takes a step-by-step approach to powering outcomes. We know that you can’t treat who you can’t reach. To bolster patient engagement, we work with partners (health plans, psychiatric hospitals) to identify individuals who need care and get them into care quickly. In some of our markets, we are able to provide same-day appointments. We provide concierge-level support to keep patients engaged in their treatment. Then, we share our rolled-up data back with our partners
What new innovations do you think will have the biggest impact on behavioral health and why?
By dramatically increasing access to care and hopefully solving the access problem altogether, telehealth will continue to have an outsized impact on behavioral health. As connectivity improves across the country, especially in rural areas that don’t have access to WiFi, and more people begin seeing mental health providers via video, we will close the access gap.
Learn more about how Brave Health is delivering high-quality care and improving the mental health ecosystem.