Health Assurance

Our Investment in InStride Health

Supporting Children and Adolescents with Anxiety & OCD
Published
March 27, 2024
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It’s been roughly one year since the US Surgeon General brought the youth behavioral health crisis into the spotlight by declaring an emergency.1 While COVID-19 certainly exacerbated social isolation and anxiety, the reality is that young people were experiencing high rates of increasingly severe clinical anxiety before the pandemic. Researchers increasingly point to the mass adoption of smartphones and social media, which began around 2010.2 According to JAMA Pediatrics, approximately 11.6% of kids had anxiety in 2012, up 20% from 2007, and during the pandemic, those numbers nearly doubled, such that 20.5% of youth worldwide now struggle with anxiety symptoms.3 

General Catalyst believes there is a tremendous opportunity to provide broader access to evidence-based care that helps the youth and their families recover from debilitating anxiety and OCD. For this reason, we are pleased to announce our Series B investment in InStride Health, a specialty, insurance-based,outpatient treatment provider for kids, teens, and young adults (ages 7-22) experiencing moderate to severe anxiety and/or OCD. 

InStride Health offers comprehensive, evidence-based treatment — CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy), components of DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) — with an emphasis on exposure. Programs last between 4-12 months, depending on the severity of the child, provide support for both the patient and family, and are delivered via a care team that consists of a psychiatrist, therapist and exposure coach, with opportunities for peer support throughout the program. The model was developed by InStride’s clinical cofounders while at McLean Hospital - America’s top-ranked psychiatric hospital and the largest psychiatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. They spun out the model in 2021 with the goal of widening insurance-based access. Today, the company serves patients in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, with Maine coming soon.

The company’s approach is a much-needed alternative to expensive academic intensive outpatient and residential programs, which can cost families >10x more than InStride’s programs. In addition to being lower cost, InStride’s model is driving incredible outcomes with initial results showing:

  • 90% of graduates experienced a reduction in anxiety following two months of treatment, with statistically significant average symptom reduction of 46% - as measured by the GAD-7 among program graduates with initial elevated anxiety symptoms at admission
  • 82% of graduates reported reduced functional impairment and symptom severity (statistically significant) - after three months, as measured by the Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS-Y) among program graduates
  • 91% of caregivers reported a reduction in their distress after seven months of the patient’s treatment initiation, and 86% reported a reduction in significant work absenteeism
  • Four months post-admission, 97% of caregivers would recommend InStride to a friend

With our Health Assurance thesis, General Catalyst aims to take on the most difficult issues plaguing the traditional healthcare ecosystem. Given the critical role youth play in driving societal progress across many dimensions, it’s hard to think of a more important population to support. We are honored to work with innovative partners like InStride to deliver distributed, evidence-based care that forms the basis of a new twenty-first-century model. 

This financing will provide the capital to scale InStride’s clinical, technology, and leadership teams to support growth within current and new markets. We are thrilled to join InStride Health on this journey and welcome the company to our Health Assurance network of portfolio companies.

__________

1 https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/21/health/surgeon-general-adolescents-mental-health.html

2 https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-am-cea2ecd8-29d7-4319-964d-d4dc39c99b54.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top

3 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2782801

Published
March 27, 2024
Share
#
min read

It’s been roughly one year since the US Surgeon General brought the youth behavioral health crisis into the spotlight by declaring an emergency.1 While COVID-19 certainly exacerbated social isolation and anxiety, the reality is that young people were experiencing high rates of increasingly severe clinical anxiety before the pandemic. Researchers increasingly point to the mass adoption of smartphones and social media, which began around 2010.2 According to JAMA Pediatrics, approximately 11.6% of kids had anxiety in 2012, up 20% from 2007, and during the pandemic, those numbers nearly doubled, such that 20.5% of youth worldwide now struggle with anxiety symptoms.3 

General Catalyst believes there is a tremendous opportunity to provide broader access to evidence-based care that helps the youth and their families recover from debilitating anxiety and OCD. For this reason, we are pleased to announce our Series B investment in InStride Health, a specialty, insurance-based,outpatient treatment provider for kids, teens, and young adults (ages 7-22) experiencing moderate to severe anxiety and/or OCD. 

InStride Health offers comprehensive, evidence-based treatment — CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy), components of DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) — with an emphasis on exposure. Programs last between 4-12 months, depending on the severity of the child, provide support for both the patient and family, and are delivered via a care team that consists of a psychiatrist, therapist and exposure coach, with opportunities for peer support throughout the program. The model was developed by InStride’s clinical cofounders while at McLean Hospital - America’s top-ranked psychiatric hospital and the largest psychiatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. They spun out the model in 2021 with the goal of widening insurance-based access. Today, the company serves patients in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, with Maine coming soon.

The company’s approach is a much-needed alternative to expensive academic intensive outpatient and residential programs, which can cost families >10x more than InStride’s programs. In addition to being lower cost, InStride’s model is driving incredible outcomes with initial results showing:

  • 90% of graduates experienced a reduction in anxiety following two months of treatment, with statistically significant average symptom reduction of 46% - as measured by the GAD-7 among program graduates with initial elevated anxiety symptoms at admission
  • 82% of graduates reported reduced functional impairment and symptom severity (statistically significant) - after three months, as measured by the Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS-Y) among program graduates
  • 91% of caregivers reported a reduction in their distress after seven months of the patient’s treatment initiation, and 86% reported a reduction in significant work absenteeism
  • Four months post-admission, 97% of caregivers would recommend InStride to a friend

With our Health Assurance thesis, General Catalyst aims to take on the most difficult issues plaguing the traditional healthcare ecosystem. Given the critical role youth play in driving societal progress across many dimensions, it’s hard to think of a more important population to support. We are honored to work with innovative partners like InStride to deliver distributed, evidence-based care that forms the basis of a new twenty-first-century model. 

This financing will provide the capital to scale InStride’s clinical, technology, and leadership teams to support growth within current and new markets. We are thrilled to join InStride Health on this journey and welcome the company to our Health Assurance network of portfolio companies.

__________

1 https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/21/health/surgeon-general-adolescents-mental-health.html

2 https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-am-cea2ecd8-29d7-4319-964d-d4dc39c99b54.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top

3 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2782801