Vista, CA—Dr. Bronner’s has expanded its mental healthcare benefits to include Ketamine Assisted Therapy, according to a press release, as a first step in providing access to Psychedelic Assisted Therapy to employees to promote mental health.
The benefit plan is administered by Enthea, a non-profit healthcare organization responsible for medical policy development, provider network management, and benefit plan administration. Enthea establishes quality-of-care standards for the treatments offered, including credentialing and managing a network of specialty providers.
Dr. Bronner’s has partnered with Enthea over the shared belief that Psychedelic Assisted Therapies are effective in the treatment of many kinds of health problems, and should be accepted into standard mental healthcare as soon as possible. Both believe that there is significant potential for these treatments to heal and save lives. Dr. Bronner’s has supported public education efforts, advocacy organizations, and political campaigns around the country working to advance the acceptance and availability of Psychedelic Assisted Therapy to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more.
“The health and well-being of our employees is the primary driver in how we think about benefits and compensation,” explained Michael Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s, in the press release. “Offering coverage for Ketamine Assisted Therapy is in the interest of providing tools to our workforce to have the best quality of life and best options for mental health care. Our family and company are no strangers to depression and anxiety. We are deeply concerned about the mental health crisis society is facing, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Considering all our advocacy on this issue, this employee benefit is the next logical step.”
Coverage began on January 1, 2022. The initial offering includes ketamine medicine sessions integrated with specialized counseling services to improve mental health conditions. Ketamine is currently the only legal prescription drug—approved by FDA in 1970—with well-known psychedelic effects and efficacy data for mental health treatment. It is an anesthetic known to have dissociative effects when used in sub-anesthetic doses. More recently, research has found that sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine may be effective to treat a variety of mental health conditions.
“The effectiveness of Ketamine Assisted Therapy has been demonstrated through multiple research studies and more than twenty years of accumulated clinical experience,” said Dan Rome, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Enthea. “Numerous studies show that, among individuals with chronic health conditions, those who also suffer from mental health disorders are two to three times more costly to the healthcare system than those without. Our society is in dire need of more effective treatments for mental health conditions, to reduce human suffering as well as the economic toll on our overburdened health care system.”
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Mental health conditions and substance use disorders impact 970m people worldwide and 72m people in the U.S., the press release notes, and more than a third of patients receiving standard pharmacological treatment for depression report no improvement. Ketamine Assisted Therapy and other Psychedelic Assisted Therapies—such as MDMA and psilocybin—offer new options for treatments.
Dr. Bronner’s has capped the total compensation of the highest-paid executives at five times that of the lowest-paid fully vested position, the press release states. All employees receive a no-deductible PPO health insurance plan for their families—Dr. Bronner’s pays the complete health premium and all deductibles, so there’s no out-of-pocket cost for employees.
“We strive to effect positive change in all our spheres of influence,” said David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s and Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) board member. “The well-being of our employees is paramount to our company culture. We also know from experience that offering strong benefits helps with employee retention and recruitment. We hope to inspire and be a model for other companies and organizations to also partner with Enthea and offer this potentially lifesaving benefit to their staff. As other psychedelic assisted therapies become available, we look forward to adding benefits for those as well.”
After FDA approval, Enthea will administer coverage for MDMA Assisted Therapy and Psilocybin Assisted Therapy.
“We are particularly proud of this unique partnership and we applaud Dr. Bronner’s for showing the way for other companies,” says Lia Mix, CEO of Enthea. “Psychedelic Assisted Therapy holds tremendous promise for addressing our society’s mental health crisis and improving workforce well-being. At Enthea, we aim to promote ‘Healing from Within.’ This complements Dr. Bronner’s All-One mission, which it demonstrates by treating employees like family in providing exceptional benefits like Ketamine Assisted Therapy. High-performing and forward-thinking companies know the importance of employee mental health. We also see the best talent attracted to companies with next-generation benefits like the one implemented by Dr. Bronner’s. We anticipate both human and financial return on these organizations’ investment in covering psychedelic healthcare.”