Men’s wellness startup Hims rolls out telepsychiatry

Once upon a time, Hims was just another men’s wellness company offering hair loss and ED treatments, mail-order supplements, and other health tools. But with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company accelerated its plans to launch virtual primary care and mental health care.

In April, Hims began offering anonymous group therapy sessions through its website. Now the company is expanding its mental health care options again. It has added telehealth psychiatry consultation, starting with patients in New York and California and expanding to other states later. The company also plans to offer one-on-one counseling sessions.

“Hims & Hers was founded to break down the barriers to accessing care and eliminate stigma, both critically important efforts if we want to improve mental healthcare in this country,” said Julian Cohen, senior vice president of behavioral health for Hims & Hers.

Like Hims’ other services, these appointments are cash pay only: $59 for the initial evaluation, then charged under a subscription model for about $50 a month to cover the cost of medication, shipping, and ongoing provider check-ins. Psychiatrists will be able to prescribe common psychiatric medications including citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), and sertraline (Zoloft).

But finding the right psychiatric medications can be tricky, and sometimes the common ones don’t work. What happens in that case?

“If at any time during the process the patient is not responding well to medication and is not appropriate for treatment on our platform, they will be advised to discontinue their medication based on the provider’s tapering recommendation, and be referred for in-person care,”

Hims, which is now valued at $1 billion, may be planning to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), according to anonymous sources quoted by Reuters. A merger between Hims and a SPAC would be the latest in a wave of similar deals as many privately held companies are seeking to bypass a crowded IPO market.

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