Case Studies

Assisting in Launch of Mental Health App

Epstein Becker Green assisted iExhale in the launch of an application to promote mental health and happiness. The app allows users to speak with a board-certified therapist instantly via in-app messaging or by phone. Additionally, users have access to a social network to create a greater support system. iExhale has developed partnerships with after-school programs and youth centers in order to deliver mental health services to teenagers who may have restricted access to such services. The app launched on June 6, 2016.

The Epstein Becker Green team provided strategic advice and counseling regarding regulatory issues affecting the provision of telehealth services, including state licensure, scope of practice, credentialing and privileging, online prescribing, and coverage and reimbursement. Additionally, the team built the terms of use and condition, privacy policy, and consent documents for the app. Epstein Becker Green’s telehealth and security attorneys were supplemented by the business consultancy services of Epstein Becker Green’s affiliate EBG Advisors, Inc.

EBG Advisors will continue to assist iExhale in the app’s security management.

The Epstein Becker Green team included Adam C. Solander, Robert J. Hudock, Kevin J. Ryan, Amy F. Lerman, and Daniel G. Gottlieb.

Epstein Becker Green Successfully Advises on Regulatory Issues for Mental Health Platform

Epstein Becker Green has successfully advised Ginger.io, Inc., a big data/behavioral analytics health care company based in San Francisco, on a number of regulatory issues concerning, among other things, telehealth, corporate practice of medicine, reimbursement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), compliance, and fraud and abuse.

Named a “2015 Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum, Ginger.io is an industry leader whose mobile app analyzes passive data and analytics to identify patterns in users’ behavior and mental state that may impact their health and well-being. Providers can use the Ginger.io platform to reach out when patients need support.

Ginger.io also provides a virtual care network of mental health providers to enable users to receive virtual care therapy through the mobile app. Our team counseled Ginger.io as the company prepared to launch that virtual care network.  Ginger.io has collaborations and partnerships with a number of leading hospitals, academic medical centers, and insurers.

The Epstein Becker Green team included Kevin J. Ryan, Jason E. Christ, John W. Eriksen, Helaine I. Fingold, Paul A. Gomez, Daniel G. Gottlieb, Zachary C. Jackson, Amy F. Lerman, Jennifer L. Nutter, Kim Tyrrell-Knott, and Patricia M. Wagner.

Maximizing Opportunities for Behavioral Health Clients

Behavioral health providers face an ever-changing legal, regulatory, and technological environment, as well as an increasing demand for “telemental health services” (i.e., behavioral health services delivered via interactive audio or video, computer programs, or mobile applications). Epstein Becker Green behavioral health lawyers (utilizing their deep knowledge of the reimbursement, compliance, and other legal and regulatory issues, and software and remote monitoring applications, applicable to the behavioral/telemental health context) help clients minimize risks and maximize opportunities.

In 2017 alone, our behavioral health lawyers:

  • Represented numerous clients on cutting-edge behavioral health matters, such as private-equity acquisitions of substance use disorder and eating disorder treatment centers located in several states
  • Served as corporate, regulatory, and contract counsel to a national telemental health company in various matters
  • Drafted and negotiated managed care agreements for numerous behavioral health providers and health systems
  • Provided advice and counsel on:
    • state-specific requirements related to crisis management in telemental health services
    • the development of applicable crisis management protocols
    • the structure of management and other arrangements with behavioral health practices in compliance with applicable state corporate practice of medicine restrictions

Assisting in the Creation of a New Health Care Delivery and Payment Model

The New York State Department of Health, the New York State Office of Mental Health, and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services have collaborated to support networks of behavioral health care providers in the move to “value-based payment arrangements,” which are a financial incentive framework that rewards health care providers for improved quality, outcomes, and reduced costs. Epstein Becker Green has been providing advice to clients in the health care industry, including in behavioral health, as they experiment with these new health care delivery and payment models.

For example, a nascent network of a dozen behavioral and medical health care providers (also known as a “Behavioral Health Care Collaborative” or “BHCC”) in New York that received a BHCC grant from the above state agencies turned to Epstein Becker Green attorneys in achieving its objectives. Member of the Firm Arthur J. Fried advises the BHCC in legally compliant ways to organize a shared infrastructure and integrated care delivery model in order to improve health outcomes, manage costs, and participate in cutting-edge value-based payment arrangements.

Our attorneys provide strategic advice and oversee all legal services necessary to establish and operationalize the new organization, including establishing its governance and committee structure, membership rights and responsibilities, policies and procedures, compliance activities, funds flow, IT and data management, privacy and security, managed care agreements, and payment methodologies.

Providing the infrastructure for and guidance to the BHCC to succeed as the health care industry experiments with new health care delivery and payment models depended on the Epstein Becker Green team’s skill in navigating uncharted waters. We are pleased to be playing a role in helping our client forge the system of the future—one that integrates care to provide better outcomes for a wider range of constituents at a lower cost.

The Epstein Becker Green team is led by Arthur J. Fried and includes Joseph E. Lynch, Patricia M. Wagner, Alaap B. Shah, Alison M. Wolf, Kevin J. Malone, Elena M. Quattrone, and Gregory R. Mitchell.