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Hims & Hers’ latest telehealth offering: online therapy sessions

After dabbling with group therapy during the pandemic, the telehealth company has decided to launch one-on-one teletherapy for $99 per session.

Hims & Hers’ latest telehealth offering: online therapy sessions
[Photo: courtesy of Hims & Hers]

Telehealth provider Hims & Hers is launching teletherapy sessions in 31 states, with plans to reach all 50 by year end. The company got its start providing heavily branded prescription drugs for common ailments like hair loss, erectile dysfunction, and acne. But in the last year it has expanded into primary care, launched tele-psychiatry and group therapy, and taken the company public.

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The mental health side of our business is one of if not the fastest growing category that we have and that’s the traditional psychiatric services,” says CEO Andrew Dudum.

Both the Hims- and Hers-branded sites will now offer one-on-one 50-minute therapy sessions for $99 apiece. The offering is not subscription based. Rather, individuals can set up therapy sessions at their own pace, whether that means two sessions a week or two sessions per month. Hims & Hers does not currently take insurance for its behavioral health offering. In addition to traditional therapy, it also offers group therapy, tele-psychiatry, and a 24/7 crisis hotline for members of the platform.

[Photo: courtesy of Hims & Hers]
The company, which has 391,000 paying subscribers, began to get into mental healthcare last April with the launch of anonymous support groups. Two months later, it hired Julian Cohen as senior vice president of behavioral health. Cohen previously founded a teletherapy service called Breakthrough Behavioral, which was acquired by telehealth provider MDLive in 2014. He’s also served as President of behavioral health at Teladoc.

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Demand for therapy has grown immensely since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Cohen says that all patients who engage in Hims & Hers mental health services will take a standard mental health assessment. The result of that initial test will go into a personal mental health dashboard where patients can track their progress. Throughout their treatment, whether in therapy or on medication, patients will be able to take regular exams to assess their mental health status and see whether they’re improving.

Therapy will not be limited to cognitive behavioral therapy or skills-based therapy, the latter being perhaps the most popular format featured in the fountain of startups now hosting mental health services. The platform will include evidence-based care, which may include psychodynamic therapy as well as internal family systems. “We’re trying to offer folks the kind of services that are going to be appropriate and insightful,” says Cohen. 

[Photo: courtesy of Hims & Hers]
Demand for therapy has grown immensely since the pandemic began in early 2020. In particular, teletherapy has seen an enormous rise over the past year leading some platforms to garner incredible valuations. Lyra Health, which offers both online and offline counseling sessions, just picked up another $200 million in funding and has reached a $4.6 billion valuation, according to Pitchbook data. In general, the digital health market is expected to reach at least $319 billion by 2025, according to financial estimates from Pitchbook.

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Even prior the pandemic, a significant amount of Americans were not able to get mental healthcare. Online therapy and psychiatry goes a long way to make these services available to people in remote locations, so long as they have internet access. However, there is also a shortage of practitioners, according to data from Kaiser Family Foundation. The sudden explosion of teletherapy and tele-psychiatry offerings has allowed more practitioners to practice in more places, but it does not make up for the lack of providers. As such, there’s currently fierce competition for the therapists who provide care via these platforms. Cohen says that Hims pays a flat competitive rate to such providers.

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About the author

Ruth Reader is a writer for Fast Company. She covers the intersection of health and technology.

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