Non-pharmaceutical, non-traditional tools for improving mental health (e.g., biofeedback exercises, meditation, yoga, breath work, transcranial magnetic stimulation, etc.) have long helped individuals manage fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and stress, among other concerns. These alternative treatments continue to grow in popularity as more individuals who want help with their mental health seek options beyond pharmaceuticals.
Increasing access to alternative mental health care tools outside the doctor’s office is crucial given that a majority of the 40 million Americans who have anxiety are not receiving any treatment. Furthermore, although taking antidepressants is relatively common, large meta-analyses conducted over the years, including one published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the effectiveness of antidepressants had been overstated. In addition, there is mounting evidence on the negative side effects of taking antidepressants.
“My view is that we really don’t have good enough evidence that antidepressants are effective and we have increasing evidence that they can be harmful. So we need to go into reverse and stop this increasing trend of prescribing [them].”-Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, psychiatrist and researcher at University College London
As a result, more stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem are supporting alternative tools beyond prescription medicine to help improve mental health for the millions of people in need.
Aiding this effort, in 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new insurance reimbursement codes that cover chronic care remote physiologic monitoring. Remote patient monitoring helps provide more affordable, scalable mental health services to the many individuals in need, who may not have access to an in-person provider who has the resources to adequately address their mental health. Primary care providers can now direct patients to tele-health collaborative care services, like Lief Rx, that ensure their patients’ mental health issues do not fall through the cracks.
In addition, remote care services can help engage individuals in alternative ways of managing mental health, such as mind and body exercises that promote relaxation to reduce stress. For example, Lief Rx tracks and helps improve heart rate variability (HRV), a key biomarker of mental health, using a biofeedback wearable. Lief Rx is the world’s first smart patch for mental health that is covered by insurance. Lief’s innovative HRV biofeedback exercises help calm the nervous system throughout the day, making wearer’s more resilient to stressful triggers.
Annual spending on mental health care is the U.S. is over $200 billion a year, and costs are expected to continue to rise. Remote patient monitoring combined with alternative mental health solutions, like increasing HRV and mindfulness, address the growing need for affordable, effective, scalable mental health care services, where patients can access empowering tools beyond drugs that help them understand and manage their mental health, no matter where they are.
Lief Therapeutics is currently offering a one month free promotion for healthcare providers interested in using Lief Rx with their patients. Providers may visit getlief.com/healthcare_provider to sign up.
Patients can reach out for assistance in determining eligibility for Lief Rx by visiting getlief.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.