LCSWs at Risk: CareDash and BetterHelp
July 30, 2022
CSWA would like to call to your attention a duplicitous practice which a company called CareDash is engaging in. CareDash has partnered with BetterHelp to drive potential patients to CareDash or BetterHelp affiliated therapists. It has gathered information about thousands of LCSWs and other clinicians to direct them to CareDash or BetterHelp affiliated clinicians without the permission of the non-affiliated LCSWs listed.
If the LCSW is not affiliated with BetterHelp, CareDash will say that there is no way to connect with them through CareDash, without directing them to the website of the LCSW, or noting that this is an active licensed clinical social worker. CareDash receives a commission for all patients referred to BetterHelp.
CareDash also has its own list of LCSWs which they will only use for referrals if an LSCW affiliates with them. These practices could significantly reduce the ability of patients in gaining access to LCSWs who are not connected to CareDash or BetterHelp. Please note that if you are not on the CareDash list, patients will be directed to BetterHelp. CareDash at this point refuses to take anyone off their list who is not officially connected with them or BetterHelp.
There is little doubt that the CareDash list has been compiled from public lists such as NPI, insurers, and others, then made to look as if the LCSWs listed are not being artificially limited by CareDash.
Here is what CareDash said about me:
Laura W. Groshong LICSW (she/her) is a clinical social worker in Seattle, WA.
For new and existing patients, please see recommendations on how to schedule an appointment with Laura Groshong online. As a clinical social worker, she may specialize in Anger Management and Anxiety, in addition to other issues.
Laura Groshong got her license to practice in Washington.
If you want to see Laura Groshong, please contact her to book an appointment. You can also see how she compares to other clinical social workers in Seattle or get matched to an online therapy provider.
When anyone clicks on “schedule an appointment” or “book an appointment” they get the following message: “Laura Groshong has not provided a way to schedule online through CareDash. However, you could get connected with an online therapist or chat with our virtual assistant to get help finding a therapist.” There are then over 1000 mental health clinicians listed as “the best” clinicians in the Seattle area, all sponsored by BetterHelp, many of which offer 20% discounts for the first month.
Here is what CSWA recommends each member do to protect your practice:
1. Go to CareDash.com and see if you are listed as a member. Unless you are working for BetterHelp and want to remain on the CareDash list, send a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/. You will need the CareDash corporate address which is 614 Massachusetts Ave., Ste 400, Cambridge, MA 02139, and the BetterHelp corporate address which is 990 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA 94041.
2. You may also file a complaint with your state attorney general consumer protection department. To find the location of your state’s consumer protection department go to https://www.consumerresources.org/file-a-complaint/ .
3. A template for sending a complaint is found below:
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker writing to inform you that a company, CareDash, is unfairly restricting my practice as a clinical social worker. They have listed my professional information on their website without my permission and refer anyone who checks my name to another company, BetterHelp, or to their own list of clinicians. I do not wish to work with CareDash or BetterHelp. CareDash refuses to take my name off their list, claiming it is public information. Thus, CareDash is falsely marketing my services to generate online traffic for BetterHelp or itself, ultimately resulting in the selection of BetterHelp’s participating providers or its own, rather than me. This is a restriction of trade that should be stopped immediately.
CSWA encourages all members and affiliated societies to file complaints with the appropriate state and/or national organizations. Please let me know when you have done so.
Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice
Clinical Social Work Association