Better Life Partners: Improving Access to High-Quality OUD Care
Better Life Partners recently raised $26.5M in a Series B funding round led by aMoon and F-Prime Capital with participation from .406 Ventures. As part of the funding, Dr. Yair Schindel, the co-founder and managing partner of aMoon will join Better Life’s board of directors. aMoon is Israel's largest healthtech venture capital fund whose goal is “to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who harness groundbreaking science and technology to transform healthcare.” The funding brings Better Life’s total funds raised to $38M and will be used to develop and scale its offering and expand its population management services to new and existing markets.
Non-Latinx Black men and women had approximately a 50% less chance of receiving SUD treatment than non-Latinx White men and women-44% and 51% respectively (Public Health Reports)
In 2021, 94% of people aged 12 or older with a substance use disorder did not receive any treatment (SAMHSA)
2% of youths in the United States between the ages of 12-17 have an opioid use disorder (OUD), while almost 4% of adults have an OUD (NCDAS)
Drug rehabilitation costs an average of over $13K per person with the cheapest inpatient rehabilitation programs costing approximately $6K per month, while an outpatient rehabilitation program costs about $6K for three months of treatment (NCDAS)
According to the company, Better Life Partners was founded in 2018 by Adam Groff, MD and Steven Kelly to help those with opioid use disorder (OUD) achieve lasting and meaningful recoveries. The company understood that while there are a number of treatment options available for those suffering from OUD, many suffering from OUD lack access to high-quality health care, particularly those that are evidence-based practices and very localized. The company partners with local organizations to provide harm reduction and integrated medical, behavioral, and social care.
The company views itself as the “multispecialty practice of the future”. As noted in the press release about the fund raising, “the company provides on-site (in-person) and virtual care in the community forged with a trauma -informed, harm reduction approach, while also supporting population level outcomes. The company currently offers medication assisted treatment (MAT), therapy, coaching as well as care access and coordination. They are currently operating in the northeastern U.S. in the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Better Life views their approach as “hyper-local” in that they work hand-in-hand with mission-driven community organizations, treatment providers, and public health organizations to bring better care to the people they serve. As noted in a recent article in FinSMEs, Better Life “provides care in a community-embedded and whole-health approach” that works with alternative payment models. According to the company, “these partnerships are intended to help connect patients to a broader spectrum of services including harm-reduction and physical health care. As noted by the Boston Business Journal, Better Life Partners has partnerships with a broad array of community organizations including “recovery centers, syringe exchanges, food banks, shelters and homelessness resources, faith-based charities and churches, community development programs, and women’s and children’s support.” The company currently accepts Medicaid, Medicare, and some commercial insurance.
The Big Picture :
As widely noted, OUD has become a nationwide problem dating back nearly 20 years and consisting of two phrases. As we noted in our blog post “Pain Management, Lessons from Pear Therapeutics & a Path Forward-The HSB Blog 7/14/23“, the first phase (2000-2010) began when drug overdose mortality rates soared among middle-aged adults between 25-54 who became addicted to prescription opioid painkillers that drove the epidemic.. By contrast, the second phase (which has run since the 2010s) consists of opioid drug reformulation and declining prescription rates” but still high rates of addiction.
As a result, the need for treatment options that are both flexible and personalized is dramatic and cannot be overstated. For example, as noted by the National Center on Drug Abuse Statistics, approximately 2% of youths in the United States between the ages of 12-17 have an OUD, while almost 4% of adults have an OUD. Importantly, reaching people who suffer from OUD where they are is often one of the biggest barriers to care and is often addressed by community services. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, these organizations often “remove affordability barriers to accessing needed treatment services, particularly for people with OUD who are more likely to have low incomes compared to the general population and are disproportionately covered by Medicaid or are uninsured.”
In addition, having a strong and supportive social and community environment are essential to remaining drug-free. For example, SAMHSA’s recovery framework is based on the idea that “the processes of personal change (e.g. wellness, purpose, self-esteem, hope, self-efficacy, financial stability) and social reintegration (e.g. social support, community, and having a stable and safe home) are instrumental in maintaining abstinence.”