Headway (headway.co)

What is the company? How much have they raised to date?

Headway is a mental health platform to help therapists get the support they need going into private practice. In their words, it’s your practice, “powered by Headway.” Headway is available for individual and group practices that accept insurance or don’t. There’s a big differentiator from Alma. You don’t have to accept insurance with Headway. Headway has raised more than $96 million dollars and was last valued at around $750 million dollars.

What's their mission? 
Headway is “rewiring the mental health industry for access, affordability, and quality.” Its mission is to make it easier for providers to accept insurance flexibility and in turn help clients find affordable care. 

Who founded the company? Are their clinicians on the executive team? 
 Headway was founded by Andrew AdamsJake SussmanDan Ross, and Kevin Chan. Andrew Adams is the CEO of Headway. His background isn’t what you would expect for a mental health startup CEO. Andrew’s background includes being a Summer Associate at SoftBank, and then a Product Analyst at Spring inc. for 1 year before becoming CEO of Headway. While Spring was a marketplace, it was for mobile shopping. Jake Sussman has a similar background, working for Goldman Sachs and then 1stdibs before becoming a co-founder of Headway. Dan Ross was the founding Head of Operations but left in 2021 to join Benepass as Head of Strategy. Dan also did not have prior healthcare experience. Kevin Chan, the final founder of Headway was their original Head of Engineering but left the company at the start of 2022 to found a company of his own called Paperclip. Kevin’s a serial entrepreneur having founded previous startups outside of healthcare before Headway. 

If you’re curious how these four finance and entrepreneurial folks got the idea, Andrew writes about it in their Series A announcement. When he moved to NYC in 2015, he couldn’t find a therapist he could afford. Andrew states that Headway is solving this problem by building the first national network of therapists who accept insurance. 

Headway has limited clinicians on the team but they are currently hiring a Head of Clinical Strategy.

What's the business model? How does this company make money? 
 It’s free to join. Headway says they make money by getting paid by the insurance companies. As a clinician, you’re a 1099 contractor with Headway and get paid on the 15th and last day of a month.

What does one get for paying that price? 
Being a Headway contracted provider comes with a number of benefits. Thanks to their presence as a “national network” they can negotiate better rates with insurance than you might be able to on your own. They also handle all of the billing and administrative support so you can spend more time focusing on your clients. If you’re a therapist who struggles with getting paid by insurance, here’s the big kicker. They guarantee payment twice a month and say “No more rejected claims or delayed payments.”

For patients, Headway has a directory of all their clinicians so they do the patient recruitment as well. 

What is the cancellation policy? 
If you decide to leave Headway, you are no longer a part of their national network and it would appear you would lose your in-network status with insurance companies.

If applicable, what are the pay/benefits for therapists? 
Providers are 1099 with Headway as Headway pays the clinicians. Rates are dependent on what insurance and service are provided. According to this Reddit thread, rates are typically $80-$120. If you scroll down a bit, someone actually posted a chart of the payouts.

The Review 

Similar to Grow Therapy, clinicians looking into Headway should get a good understanding of what they can expect to be paid from Headway. Therapists should very clearly understand what they can expect to earn from Headway before joining.  

Headway’s privacy practices state they can share patient health information without authorization for the use of research - research that Headway or other researchers may use. This information is non-identifying according to their site. However, the vagueness of the statement does not dictate the types of research being done or what type of data is used.